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 Paul Neal “Red” Adair

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Paul Neal “Red” Adair

  • Birth 18 Jun 1915 Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
  • Death 7 Aug 2004 Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
  • Plot Abbey Mausoleum IV Section 430, Crypt D
  • Memorial ID 10874851

Oil well fire fighter and blowout specialist. Memorialized by the 1968 John Wayne movie Hellfighters roughly based on his life of fire fighting. He began fighting oil well fires after returning from serving in a bomb disposal unit during World War II. Red started his career working for Myron Kinley, the "original" blowout/oil firefighting pioneer. He founded Red Adair Co., Inc., in 1959, and over his long career battled more than 2,000 land and offshore oil well, natural gas well, and similar spectacular fires. Red Adair gained global notability in 1962, when he tackled a fire at a gas field in the Sahara nicknamed the Devil's Cigarette Lighter, a 450-foot (137 m) pillar of flame. In 1977, he and his crew (including Asger "Boots" Hansen) contributed in mending the biggest oil well blowout ever to have occurred in the North Sea (and the 2nd largest offshore blowout worldwide, in terms of volume of crude oil spilled), more specifically at the Ekofisk Bravo platform, located in the Norwegian sector and operated by Phillips Petroleum Company (now ConocoPhillips). In 1978, Adair's top lieutenants Asger "Boots" Hansen and Ed "Coots" Matthews left to found competitor Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. In 1988, he helped put out the UK sector Piper Alpha oil platform fire. At age 75, Adair took part in extinguishing the oil well fires in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops after the Gulf War in 1991. Red started the Red Adair Company with partners Edward "Coots" Matthews and Asger "Boots" Hansen all who served as technical advisors on the movie. US Army WW II veteran in the bomb disposal unit.

Bio by: GW


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  • Created by: GW
  • Added: 30 Apr 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10874851
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Neal “Red” Adair (18 Jun 1915–7 Aug 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10874851, citing Forest Park Cemetery, Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by GW (contributor 46500507) .