James Robert "Jim Bob" Moffett, Sr. died Friday, January 8, 2021, at 11:25 pm at Seton Memorial Hospital in Austin, Texas of complications from Covid-19. He was 82 years old. Jim Bob cherished that he was born on the same date (August 16) that Elvis Presley died. He was a big fan of Elvis and since college had a history of impersonating him. All knew that when requested, Jim Bob could be counted on to come out in his blue suede shoes to sing his favorite Elvis songs at parties or at his children's events. We like to think that he chose the birthday of Elvis to leave this earth and that the uncanny Austin snowfall was caused by Jim Bob shaking, rattling and rolling with Elvis in heaven! It's easy to forget about Jim Bob's humble beginnings. He was born at home in Houma, Louisiana and at a very young age moved to Houston, Texas with his single mother, Mary, and his sister, Marilyn. Jim Bob received a football and academic scholarship from the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated in 1961 with an award for excellence in geology. Jim Bob later received a Masters Degree in geology from Tulane University. After college Jim Bob continued his close relationship with renowned coach and mentor, Darrell Royal, until Coach's death in 2012. Jim Bob received the UT Distinguished Alumni award in 1981 and remained one of the school's most notable supporters. He began his oil exploration career as a bottom-rung roustabout in the rough-and-tumble Louisiana oil fields by lugging pipe, unclogging pumps and digging ditches. By 1969, he formed an exploration company with two partners, W. K. McWilliams, Jr. and B.M. Rankin, Jr. They took the first two letters of each of their last name and called it the McMoRan Oil & Gas Co. In 1981, with Jim Bob as Chairman and CEO, McMoRan Oil & Gas merged with Freeport Minerals Co. to form Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a Fortune 500 company. At the time it was one of the largest mergers in Wall Street history. In 1988, under Jim Bob's leadership, Freeport-McMoRan discovered the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, which is considered one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world. Jim Bob's longtime Oil Patch buddy, billionaire T. Boone Pickens said, "Moffett's oilfield exploits rank him in the top five of any list of U.S. wildcatters". Jim Bob sat on a number of non-profit boards including Horatio Alger Association, Children's Tumor Foundation supporting NF-1 research, University of Texas at Austin, Tulane University, Wildcatter's Club, Alfalfa Club, Audubon Nature Institute and many others throughout the years. He stated that, "You can't just be a name on a board's letterhead, you have to give it time and you have to believe in the cause. One has to have compassion and a desire to help others, and then you have to be dedicated to make sure the help you offer makes a difference." Jim Bob credits his mother with his work ethic. He stated that she had a sign in the kitchen of a boarding house that she ran that read "if you don't work, you don't eat." He also credits her with his philosophy on the importance of giving back. She always said "if you won't share a dollar, you won't share a million". Jim Bob was preceded in death by his mother Mary Pollack and is survived by his wife, Laurée Zachariah Moffett, son, Jordan Moffett, daughter, Corinne Moffett, daughter, Crystal Lourd, and son, Bubba Moffett (wife Blair), six grandchildren and his sister, Marilyn Krause. The family wishes to thank all of Jim Bob's caregivers, especially Ben "Gentle Ben" Gomez and all of Jim Bob's friends and associates who have offered condolences at this time. There will be a Celebration of Life for Jim Bob with military honors at a later date during safer times. The family wishes that any donations be made to The Parkinson's Foundation online, https://www.parkinson.org/
or by mail to Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, Florida 33131 in memory of Jim Bob Moffett for research. The flag will be flown over the Texas State Capitol at half-staff this weekend in memory of Jim Bob. We all need to remember Jim Bob's motto that "it is impossible to have a bad day if you do something for someone else". We know that he is giving us the "thumbs up" right now!