Autry Stephens


The West Texas wildcatter, whose “Big Dog rig number 28” was the focus of season two of TruTV’s Black Gold oil patch reality series in 2009, is the richest of the 20 newcomers to this year’s Forbes 400. Stephens, 84, grew up on a farm and worked for a bank, did consulting and spent two years as a platoon leader with the Army Corps of Engineers before founding Endeavor Energy in 1979. It now produces more than 200,000 barrels’ worth of oil and gas per day.

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