Charles Schusterman z”l—Founder
Charles Schusterman was Chairman of the Board of Samson Investment Company and Co-founder of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
Charles formed Samson in 1971 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Samson is engaged in the production, development and exploration for oil and gas reserves everywhere from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico through most states west of the Mississippi to the frozen tundra of Canada, as well as in Russia and Venezuela. Today, Samson ranks among the 20 largest independent oil and gas companies in the United States.
Widely known and respected for his business skills, Charles was featured in Fortune magazine and served on many corporate boards of directors. Included among those groups were several Oklahoma financial institutions and various regional independent oil and gas associations.
Charles contributed much of his time to civic organizations to further causes in which he believed. This included serving on the boards of such diverse groups as STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal), PEJE (the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education), Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the Energy Institute of the Americas and the Israel Arts & Science Academy.
Diagnosed in 1983 with chronic myelogenous leukemia, Charles entered an experimental protocol and lived far longer than the few years he was originally told to expect. He died on December 30, 2000, from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a complication of leukemia. What Charles was able to accomplish during his last 18 years, both in business and in philanthropy, is more than remarkable. Given his medical condition, it is nothing less than astounding.
Charles received many honors during his extraordinary life, among the most notable of which were his inductions into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Tulsa Hall of Fame and the Central High School Hall of Fame.
For more about Charles, read Charles Schusterman: He Lived the American Dream.