Augustus C. Long, Retired Texaco Chairman, Dies
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 16, 2001 – Augustus "Gus" C. Long, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texaco Inc., died on November 15 at his home in North, Virginia. He was 97.
Current ChevronTexaco Vice Chairman and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texaco Inc. Glenn F. Tilton, noted, "Gus Long's leadership and business acumen were recognized throughout the industry. He led the company during a period of growth and expansion, and met head-on the challenges of running a worldwide integrated oil company in the 1950s and 1960s."
During his 41 years with Texaco, Long served as President from 1953 to 1956, as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from 1956 to 1965, and as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer from 1970 to 1971. He was a Director of the company for 27 years, from 1950 through 1977.
James W. Kinnear, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Texaco Inc., who will deliver a special eulogy memorializing Long's life remarked, "Gus Long was a towering figure among the business leaders of his day. He reveled in competition, he inspired his associates and he set an example of unswerving ethical behavior with his own sure moral compass."
Long joined The Texas Company (the original name of Texaco Inc.) in 1930 as a service station supervisor in Miami. Two years later, he was appointed General Manager of Texaco's marketing company in Ireland, and became manager in the Netherlands in 1934.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was recalled to duty as a Lieutenant after the United States entered World War II. He served in London as Coordinator of Petroleum Supplies for the Allied forces. After the war, he was named Vice President in charge of Marketing (West of Suez) for Caltex Petroleum Corporation, jointly owned by Texaco and Standard Oil Company of California (the original name for Chevron Corporation). He was elected Vice President of Texaco in charge of International Operations (Eastern Hemisphere) in 1949, Executive Vice President in 1951, and President of the Company in 1953.
Following his election as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1956, Long's first major step was the acquisition by Texaco of the Trinidad Oil Company, Limited (now called Texaco Trinidad, Inc.). In 1958, Texaco increased its oil and gas reserves in the United States, Canada, and Venezuela by acquiring the Seaboard Oil Company. Texaco then bought the Paragon group of fuel and heating oil companies in 1959, and the White Fuel companies in the Boston area in 1962.
Long further expanded Texaco's producing interests in 1962 by acquiring from TXL Oil Corporation the mineral rights in almost two million acres in West Texas, and in 1964 by acquiring Superior Oil Company of Venezuela.
On January 1, 1965, Long retired as an employee of the company, but continued to serve as a member of the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. On September 10, 1970, at the Board's request, he returned to active service as an employee and was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer. He again retired from active management as an employee effective December 31, 1971, but remained a Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee until April 1977.
Long was born on August 23, 1904, in Starke, Fla., the son of a U.S. Federal District Judge, Augustine V. Long, and of Ruby Brownlee Long. He was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1926 and thereafter served at sea in the Navy for four years.
Throughout his business career, Long filled leadership roles in a large number of public service activities. He was active for 20 years (1955-1975) with the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, serving four years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. In addition, he served as a board member of the Miami Heart Association. He was a strong supporter of Texaco's sponsorship of the Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, which began in 1940 and continue today.
Long also served at various times as a Director of Freeport Minerals Company, Chemical Bank N.Y. Trust Company, Arabian American Oil Company and The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.
Long was married to Elizabeth Walsh, the daughter of the late John Walsh, Chief Counsel of the Federal Trade Commission, from 1927 until her death in 1963. They had three children: Elizabeth (Mrs. Nicholas P. D. Smyth) of Naples, Florida, Ellen Walsh Long of Washington, D.C., and Sheila, who died at the age of 20 following a vehicle accident in New York in 1956. In 1964 he was married to the late Doris Ann Penrose and had one daughter, Dorothy Sara Long of New York City.
Funeral services will be held at noon Monday, November 19, at St. Therese Catholic Church, Main Street, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, New York at noon on Tuesday, November 20.
Updated: November 2001