James Robert “Jim Bob” Moffett, former chairman of Freeport-McMoRan, dies at 82

January 11, 2021

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. announced that former Chairman, James Robert “Jim Bob” Moffett of Austin, TX passed away at the age of 82. Moffett served as Chairman of Freeport-McMoRan from 1984-2015 and chief executive officer from 1984-2003. Moffett co-founded McMoRan Exploration Co. in 1969 with B. M. “Mack” Rankin, Jr. (deceased) and W. K. McWilliams (deceased). In 1981, under Moffett’s leadership, McMoRan merged with Freeport Minerals Company to form one of the world’s leading natural resource companies, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FTX), FCX’s former parent company.

“Jim Bob was a legend and visionary in the natural resource industry,” said Gerald Ford, Chairman of the Board of FCX, and Richard Adkerson, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Jim Bob’s passion and relentless drive as an explorationist led to the discovery and development of world class oil and gas and mineral deposits over his long career. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones during this time.” 

Moffett was well known in the natural resources industry for his leadership and vision. He loved the University of Texas at Austin, where he played football on an athletic scholarship, and received a Bachelor of Science degree with special honors in Geology in 1961. In 1963, he received a Master of Science degree in Geology from Tulane University. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Louisiana State University and a Doctor of Financial Economics, Honoris Causa, degree from the University of New Orleans.

Moffett was a noted civic leader and received many awards during his career, including the 1990 Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award. In 2000, he received that Association’s Norman Vincent Peale Award for his exceptional humanitarian contributions to society. He is also a member of the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame and the American Mining Hall of Fame, Mining Foundation of the Southwest.



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