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I. Birth and Childhood.
A. Paul N. "Red" Adair was born June 18, 1915 in Houston, Texas.
1. His parents, Mary and Charles Adair, also had four other sons and three daughters.
2. The family lived in the Heights of Houston where his father worked as a blacksmith.
B. After attending Harvard Elementary School and Hogg Junior High School, he quit Reagan High School to help support the family. He held many different jobs from the time he quit high school until he went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1936.
A. In 1938 Red was hired by the Otis Pressure Control Company, his first oil related job.
B. Red continued to work at odd jobs in the oil patch until he was inducted into the United States Army in 1945.
1. Red served in the 139th Bomb Disposal Squadron through the end of World War II and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.
2. He returned home to Houston following the war and went to work for Myron Kinley, the original pioneer of oil well fire and blowout control. Red continued to work for and with Mr. Kinley until 1959.
C. After fourteen years with the M. M. Kinley Company, Red resigned and formed Red Adair Company, Inc. to control oil well fires and blowouts.
1. Through Red Adair Company, Red pioneered the development of modern-day effective Wild Well Control techniques and equipment and earned his reputation as "best in the business."
2. Red and other members of his firefighting team averaged controlling over 42 oilwell fires and blowouts per year, inland and offshore, all over the world. Red and his men represent over a century of Wild Well Control and expertise, completing over 1,000 jobs internationally.
III. Awards and Accomplishments
A. One of Red's greatest tasks and accomplishments occurred in 1991 following the Gulf War with Iraq.
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1. Red and his team extinguished 117 of the burning oilwell fires ignited by Sadam Hussein's Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait. The wells extinguished by Red and his men were located in the Ahmadi, Magwa and Burgan fields -- the highest producing fields in Kuwait.
2. The fields were estimated to be extinguished anywhere from 3 to 5 years but Red and his team put out all the fires in 9 months.
B. Red's career has been recognized worldwide by the news media with magazine and newspaper articles and television shows and documentaries.
1. Adair was the Technical Advisor on the movie Hell fighters starring John Wayne as Red Adair
2. He was a guest on the Tonight Show in 1977 and he had appearances on Good Morning America in 1979 and 1980.
3. An authorized biography has been published entitled Red Adair: An American Hero.
C. The Prestigious Franklin Institute has awarded the Walton Clark Medal to Paul N. "Red" Adair and has elected him to a Life Fellow Membership in the Institute.
D. Red has also received Special Letters of Recognition from President Jimmy Carter, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and President George Bush
E. Some other notable awards that Red received include the Outstanding Houstonian Award, the Houston Distinguished Sales and Citizenship Award, the Distinguished Oil Man and Sports Booster Award, the Water Safety and Preservation of Our Natural Resources Award and the American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award
Conclusion – Red Adair died of natural causes at a Houston hospital at age 89. He is regarded as many as the most influential and celebrated fireman of all time. His achievements and innovations in the fire fighting field will never be forgotten and firefighting and firefighting techniques today would not be as advanced or sophisticated had it not been for Red Adair; a true Texas Hero.