Harry Ford Sinclair (Harry Ford Sinclair)

Harry Ford Sinclair

Industrialist.  Founder of Sinclair Oil and key figure in the Teapot Dome scandal.  Born in Wheeling,  West Virginia and raised in Independence,  Kansas,  he initially worked as a pharmacist with his father.  He entered the oil industry as a lease broker in 1901 and with a partner,  Edward White,  formed the White Oil Company.  An ambitious schemer who dreamed of becoming bigger than Rockefeller,  he took control of White’s interests and bought several small oil companies,  which he consolidated into Sinclair Oil in 1916.  His unorthodox business practices brought him to Moscow in 1919,  where he met Lenin and attempted to negotiate the oil rights in Siberia.  A 1924 US Senate investigation revealed that Sinclair had given $300,000 in cash gifts and “loans” to Secretary of the Interior  Albert Fall,  in exchange for an exclusive no-bid lease on government oil reserves near Teapot Dome,  Wyoming.  Fellow magnate  Edward Doheny was also implicated.  Sinclair was acquitted of bribery charges in 1927 but was found guilty of criminal contempt when it was discovered he had hired a detective agency to tail members of the jury.  The US Supreme Court upheld his conviction and he served six months in prison in 1929.  Following this disgrace he moved his base of operations from New York City to Los Angeles.  When Sinclair retired in 1949,  his enterprise  had assets of $1.3 billion.  Sinclair Oil was acquired by ARCO in 1969 and by R. Earl Holdings in 1976.  The company’s green dinosaur logo (introduced in 1930) is a familiar sight at over 2000 service stations in 21 US states. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)  Family links:  Parents:  John Sinclair (1846 – 1896)  Phoebe Simmons Sinclair (1845 – 1946)  Spouses:  Elizabeth Farrell Sinclair (1878 – 1964)*  Ella Southard Lindamood (1897 – 1962)*  Children:  Virginia Sinclair Mdivani (1915 – 1979)*  Sibling:  Earl Westwood Sinclair (1874 – 1944)*  Harry Ford Sinclair (1876 – 1956) *Calculated relationship


  • July, 06, 1876
  • USA


  • November, 11, 1956
  • USA


  • Calvary Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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