John F Bookout, Jr.

John Bookout had an early interest in aviation and obtained both his private pilot’s license (1942) and commercial multi-engine with instruments rating (1946).  During World War II, he was a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot, advancing to lead pilot in the 413th squadron of the 96th Bomb Group stationed at RAF Snetterton Heath.  Bookout and his crew flew 19 successful missions over Germany.  He remained in the Army Air Force Reserves for five years with designation as instructor pilot.

Upon returning from the war, Bookout enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.S. and M.A. in Geology.  He received the 1981 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas and the 1985 Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Texas Geology Foundation.  He holds honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from Tulane University and Doctor of Law from Centenary College.

Upon graduation, Bookout joined Shell Oil Company, serving in positions of increasing responsibility and was ultimately named president and chief executive officer, serving in that capacity for 12 years.  He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Houston Methodist Hospital System for 16 years and continues to serve as Sr. Chairman.  Residents of Houston for more than 40 years, Bookout, along with his wife, Carolyn, have taken an active role in the community, supporting various educational and philanthropic organizations. 

In acknowledgement of his leadership and contributions to society, Bookout received various awards and recognitions. For three consecutive years, he was The Wall Street Transcripts’ Gold Medal award recipient for outstanding chief executive officer of a domestic integrated oil company. In 1987, the Dutch government recognized Bookout for his service to the nation with the Order of Orange Nassau, Commander.  He received the 1990 American Association of Petroleum Geologists' award for "Excellence in Exploration Leadership" and the 1994 United States Energy Association's U.S. Energy Award for lifetime contributions to energy.  In 2001, he received the Offshore Energy Center’s Industry Pioneer Award and was inducted into the Offshore Energy Center’s Hall of Fame.