Prints and Photographs Collection

Bill Clements

Bill Clements as a young man

Bill Clements circa 1933. He played guard on the football team at his Highland Park high school. In his senior year, the team advanced to the state quarterfinals and Clements was named to the All State Team. He was recruited by several colleges, but his family had suffered great financial setbacks due to the Depression, and instead Clements headed for the oil fields after graduation to work as a roughneck.

The next year, Clements' father was able to find a job, and Clements enrolled in college to study engineering, first at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and then at the University of Texas at Austin. He had conflicts with his coaches and lost his interest in football and in school. Impelled by the fact that oilfield roughnecks made more money than graduate engineers, he quit school for good. He later said that working in the oilfields was like getting a PhD in life.

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Page last modified: March 30, 2011