Red Adair

Red Adair was an American oil well firefighter best known for completing over 1,000 jobs internationally.


Red Adair was an American oil well firefighter born on June 18, 1915, in Houston, Texas. In 1938, he worked his first oil-related job with the Otis Pressure Control Company, and during World War II he served in the 139th Bomb Disposal Squadron. In 1959, he formed Red Adair Company, Inc. which provided services to control oil well fires and blowouts. His company established modern-day effective Wild Well Control techniques. Adair’s accomplishment gained notice, and in 1968 he became the Technical Advisor on the film Hellfighters starring John Wayne. During his career, he and his company completed over 1,000 jobs internationally including in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Adair died on August 7, 2004, in Houston, Texas.

Firefighting Legacy

Fire-fighting specialist Red Adair was born in on June 18, 1915 in Houston, Texas. He was regularly called in as a troubleshooter to deal with major oil fires. In 1984, he and his team put out a major fire on an offshore rig near Rio de Janeiro, and in 1988 they were the first men to board the Piper Alpha oil rig in the North Sea after it was destroyed by an explosion. He was also one of the first called to extinguish the oil fires started in Kuwait by Saddam Hussein at the end of the Gulf conflict (Operation Desert Storm, 1991). He is the subject of a film, Hellfighters (1968), starring John Wayne.

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