James Robert "Jim Bob" Moffett Sr.
{ "" }
Share
Share James's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
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!
Published in The Advocate from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
16 entries
January 21, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Robert Killion
Coworker
January 20, 2021
Jim Bob was such a lovely neighbor. He and Miss Laurée were always so kind to my children.We lived next door for a year and a half in Baton Rouge. My deepest condolences.
Linda Johnson
Neighbor
January 19, 2021
Jim Bob was a good friend to all of us during the Darrell & Willie Golf Tournament at The Woodlands, help me a great deal and was truly loved by Johnny Mitchell and myself, great memories,
always uplifting, great stories, great man..he will sadly be missed by all..sending thoughts and prayers



































Mary Jo Pawlowski
Friend
January 18, 2021
Saddened to learn of Jim Bob’s passing. He did so much for those of us that spent most of our careers at Barton Creek. May he Rest In Peace with the Lord
James Walsh
Friend
January 18, 2021
Truly saddened to hear of Mr. Moffett’s passing. Heartfelt condolences to his family and all others who were close to him
Tino Calderon
Acquaintance
January 18, 2021
Saddened to hear of Mr. Moffett’s passing. Heartfelt condolences to his family and all others who were close to him
Tino Calderon
Acquaintance
January 18, 2021
Truly saddened to hear of Mr. Moffett’s passing. Heartfelt condolences to his family and all others who were close to him.
Tino Calderon
Acquaintance
January 18, 2021
Saddened to hear of Mr. Moffett’s passing. Heartfelt condolences to his family and all others who were close to him.
Tino Calderon
Acquaintance
January 17, 2021
Jim Bob was a Horatio Alger member like my deceased Husband, Red Scott. His dedication to the organization and his constant financial and mentoring to the scholars will never be forgotten! Jim touched the lives of so many and I was proud to know him for so many years.
RIP: Katherine Scott
Kathy Scott
January 16, 2021
My father in law, Kyle “shorty” Greer
and B. J. Bullard of Shell Oil offshore
drilling formed a consulting firm that
was in charge of drilling for McMoRan. “Shorty” said it was a
pleasure to work for and with “Mr”
Moffitt ! I know that both “shorty”
and “billy Jack” being older, still
referred to James as “ Mr Moffitt”
As a team they had many innovations and accomplishments,
world records, one which probably
stands to this day !
Ray L. Yarbrough
Coworker
January 15, 2021
I had the pleasure of meeting mr. Moffett when Freeport opened on poydras street. He never meet a stranger always had a kind word. He will be truly missed Dianne Williams
dianne williams
Friend
January 14, 2021
A very busy man all his life. A great leader and friend.
It was an honor to know him.

Kathleen Becnel Burmaster
Friend
January 13, 2021
I was so saddened to hear of Jim Bob’s passing. I send my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones.
Jennifer McWilliams Cantrelle
Friend
January 13, 2021
Great man - a larger-than-life extrovert who made such a difference in all spheres of his time here with us.

Much respected negotiator with the Indonesian Government over many years.

My condolences to all of his family.
Ian Christie
Coworker
January 13, 2021
I didn't know James but thought you would like to know that Elvis was born on January 8th the same date as your beloved James passed away. I am a huge Elvis fan myself & thought it might mean something to you to know the importance of the date of January 8th. Sorry for your loss. God bless.
Charlotte
January 13, 2021
In loving memory of such a wonderful boss. We will miss you always. Rest in Peace.
Marian Del Pino
Marian Del Pino
Friend
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences