From Spindletop to Saudi Arabia

In the 1950s, at the peak of its financial might, Texaco was the most profitable oil company in the U.S. and one of the best known. Millions of Americans watched the Texaco Star Theater television show, featuring Milton Berle, and a decade later any child could sing the jingle "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star." With exploration, refining and retail operations from Abilene to Aberdeen, the company has generated huge wealth and no small amount of controversy in its 86-year history.

Texaco grew from one great gusher. In 1901 Joseph Cullinan, a former Standard Oil...

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