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Robert O. Anderson, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), will speak tonight at 8 p.m. on "OPEC and U.S. Energy Policy" at the ARCO Public Affairs Forum in the Kennedy School of Government.
Anderson, who as of 1970 owned more land in the United States than any other individual, and owned one of the nation's largest cattle operations, has built a reputation based on his patronage of educational, medical and cultural institutions and his rapid rise to power in the energy field.
Anderson started in the oil business in 1941, when he bought a small refinery in New Mexico using $50,000 of borrowed capital. By 1962 Anderson was chairman of the executive committee and the largest Atlantic stockholder following Atlantic's merger with Anderson-owned Honda Oil and Gas Co.
A year after Atlantic's purchase of Honda Oil and Gas for $37 million, Anderson's assorted enterprises grossed $20 million per year, and Anderson owned 1.35 million acres in New Mexico and Texas.
As chairman of Atlantic, Anderson engineered the 1966 merger of Atlantic and Richfield. Four years later he had developed ARCO into the eighth largest oil concern and ARCO owned one of the largest claims to the Alaska North Slope Field.
Anderson's interests, which range from oil and uranium to cattle, include his recent purchase of the faltering London Observer, and his appointment in 1978 as chairman of the board of Rockwell International Co., an aerospace, tool and weapons manufacturing company.
Recently Anderson initiated the move of most of ARCO's corporate offices from New York to Denver, where the company is now constructing a 30-story office building.
Anderson, who is the chairman of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies and is in Cambridge attending an Aspen Council Meeting at the Kennedy School, accepted a long-standing offer from Graham T. Allison '62, dean of the school, to speak at the ARCO Forum.
Anderson will give a short informal speech followed by a discussion of his remarks by a panel of three Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors. Anderson will have time to respond to their remarks and then will answer questions from the floor.
William Hogan, professor of Political Economy at the Kennedy School, will moderate the discussion. The panelists will be Roger B. Stobaugh, director of the Harvard Business School's Energy Project, Daniel H. Yergin, a collaborator in the Energy Project and a research fellow in Harvard's Center for International Affairs, and Henry Jacoby of MIT's Sloan School of Management and a participant in the work of the MIT Energy Laboratory.
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