Byron M. Rankin Jr.

January 8, 1930August 14, 2013

Byron McLean Rankin, Jr. “Mack” 1930 – 2013

Friends and family come together in sadness at the passing of B.M. (Mack) Rankin, Jr. of Dallas. Beloved husband, father, grandfather, and mentor, Mr. Rankin died peacefully on August 14, 2013, surrounded by his loved ones.

A lifelong Texan, Mr. Rankin was born January 8, 1930. He took his first steps in Mineola, and lived briefly in Longview before settling with his family in his permanent childhood home in Gladewater, where he stayed until his early adulthood.

Mack attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a BBA in Accounting. He then proudly spent four years serving as a First Lieutenant, and eventually an Officer of Procurement in the United States Army during the implementation of The Marshall Plan while stationed in Germany after WWII. Mack was especially proud of his years in the service. He remained politically active his entire career, later becoming an aggressive advocate for effective governing of oil industry regulations.

He learned the ins and outs of the oil business under expert tutelage at Hunt Oil Company, before teaming up with Jim Bob Moffett and the late Ken McWilliams to form McMoRan Oil, Inc. & McMoRan Exploration Company. In 1969, the company went public through exchange of stock with Horn Silver Mines and name changed to McMoRan Oil & Gas Company, a Delaware corporation, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1978. Rankin, from 1968 to 1975 held the position of President. From 1975 to 1977, he served as Co-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee. The team later merged with Freeport Minerals to become Freeport-McMoRan, while keeping McMoRan Exploration as a subsidiary company, and became the largest phosphate fertilizer and sulfur producer in the United States. Subsequently, in 1995, the company spun off Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc., which, in Indonesia, mines the largest known gold deposit in the world and the third largest Copper reserve, with over 15,000 employees.

In 2007, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold bought Phelps Dodge, becoming the largest publicly traded Copper producer in the world, largest Molybdenum producer in the world and a major Cobalt and Gold Producer with 38,000 employees.

Because of his diagnosis and ongoing treatment for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Mr. Rankin retired from active management in 1977, and continued to serve in the capacities of Vice Chairman of the Board and Consultant to the Company, and Member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and major shareholder until his passing.

His directorships in business include seats on the boards of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., McMoRan Exploration Inc., and P.T. Freeport Indonesia. He sat also as Chairman of the U.S. Oil & Gas Association. He was an active member of the Dallas Wildcat Committee, the Dallas Petroleum Club, the Texas Oil & Gas Association, and member of the All-American Wildcatters, where his annual roasts as The Big Gusher were highly anticipated.

Mr. Rankin received numerous awards for his efforts in business and education. He was a great leader and philanthropist, passionate about educating the next generation of oilmen and businessmen and women. Mack will be remembered for his unique love of the University of Texas where he gave generously. He is recognized for his many endowments including the B.M. Rankin (Mack) Rankin, Jr. Professorship in Business Administration, the Athletic Department Scholarship, and the Head Football Coach Endowment. Equally passionate about the opportunities of college sports, he was asked to lead the fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. His efforts were immensely successful. He is a lifetime trustee of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity Foundation and past National Director of the same fraternity.

Mr. Rankin’s name prominently hangs over the entrance to the Longhorn Dining Hall, which he partly funded. He also endowed scholarships at Jesuit College Preparatory School, which his son Richard attended. Mack was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus at both Gladewater High School and the University of Texas, where he was also inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame.

Past Chairman and longtime member of the Board of Visitors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Mack brought comfort and hope to those with cancer. He served as an example of the successful advancements in cancer treatments, also known as one of the longest surviving patients in M.D. Anderson history. Mr. Rankin was the proud Co-Founder and Chairman of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Global Research Foundation, now nationally recognized by M.D. Anderson’s inclusion in their far-reaching Moon Shots Research Program, one of only six departments of the Cancer Center so recognized.

Profoundly missed and cherished, he will be most fondly remembered for his sharp wit, his dry sense of humor, and his biting sarcasm. A media favorite, Mack became well-known as the outspoken co-owner of the Texas Rangers during the baseball team’s struggles in the early 1980s.

Mack Rankin was a man of great integrity. He was a father to one, and a mentor to many. He was often sought for his sagacity, and inspired many to thrive in the face of challenge under his example of integrity, relentlessness, and perseverance.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Ashley Scott Rankin; one son, Richard Rankin, two grandchildren, Hailey and Hunter Rankin; one stepson, Ashton Smith, stepdaughter-in-law, Karen Smith, two step-grandchildren, Samantha and Scott Smith, and one brother-in-law, Hammond Scott and his wife Wendy. He also leaves one sibling, his brother Sam Rankin. Also, profoundly affected by his passing are, among his close friends too numerous to list, his longtime business partner Jim Bob Moffett, and his Executive and Personal Assistant of 33 years, Shirley Raines. Rankin was formerly married to Opal Cook Rankin, of Gladewater, Texas.

He was an avid bird hunter and fisherman who traveled extensively and enjoyed hunting expeditions with his wife and friends to Spain, Wales, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Scotland, as well as years of seasonal bird shooting in South Texas, Georgia, and other parts of the United States.

Mack was a talented amateur golfer who played many tournaments throughout the years in his beloved Palm Springs, La Jolla, and Pebble Beach, CA areas. Mack enjoyed homes in both the Vintage Club and Eldorado Country Club for many years, playing in tournaments and everyday golf with his close friends, a pure joy. He held memberships in at least a dozen clubs nationally, including Brook Hollow Golf Club, Barton Creek, as well as Pine Valley Golf Club, where he and his business partner Jim Bob Moffett own a home. He served as Director at both Preston Trail and Pine Valley Golf Clubs.

In his later years, Rankin enjoyed the many privileges of a successful business career, and spent much of his time traveling with his wife to exotic places to enjoy his favorite hobbies and life’s finer things. Among his greatest life’s pleasures was boating. His M/Y “I DON’T RECALL” was a particular pleasure for Mack and his wife from June 1st to September 1st cruising the Northeast from Manhattan to Nantucket, until the start of Football Season and Shooting Season.

Among his many accomplishments, he was a licensed, badge-carrying Deputy Sherriff and subsequent Sergeant in Harris County, Texas, and Colonel for the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department Reserve in Arizona.

He was a proud man, always eager to share his invaluable experiences, and recently achieved his longtime dream of completing his memoirs, entitled “Recollections of a Badass.” In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a memorial in Mack’s name to the C.L.L. Global Research Foundation, of which he was Co-Founder and Chairman:

C.L.L. Global Research Foundation c/o Michael Keating, M.D., C.E.O. Unit 428 P.O. Box 301402 Houston, Texas 77230-1402

Pallbearers are Richard Adkerson, Barry Andrews, Roger Chapman, Harry Cullen, Jerry Ford, L.R. French, III “Robin”, Jerry Jones, John Marion, Jim Bob Moffett, Charles Moncrief, Dick Moncrief, Robert Nichols, Boone Pickens, Harold Simmons, Taylor Wharton, M.D., and Jim Wikert.

Honorary Pallbearers are Morrison Bethea, M.D., Rhodes Bobbitt, Daniel DeMarco, M.D., Bill Duvall, Joe Geary, Joel Hirschberg, M.D., Michael Keating, M.D., Dick Latham, Alby Modiano, Tex Moncrief, Catalino Rodriguez, Jakie Sandefer, Don Vold, and Carl Webb.

Funeral services to be held on Tuesday, August 20th, at 2p.m., Highland Park United Methodist Church, 3300 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas, 75205.


  • Funeral Service Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Byron M. Rankin Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Beverly Latham

November 13, 2013

So very sorry to hear about your father.
He was such a wonderful person from reading about him. I know he will be missed.
Take care.
Beverly Latham

November 4, 2013

Ashley, just learned of your husbands passing. So very sorry for your loss.

Rita Bordelon Bennett, Pineville, Louisiana

Stacy Franklin

October 10, 2013

I am so saddened to just learn about his passing. I had the great pleasure of caring for this man during some difficult times. He, Ashley, and "Cat" became a regular part of my life. I am so sorry we lost touch, but you all have never left my thoughts. He will be greatly missed. I pray for comfort and peace to all who loved Mack...he was a very special man indeed.

Lorena Collier

September 27, 2013

I just learned of Mack's death. My deepest sympathy to Ashley and the rest of Mack's family.

Lorena Collier

Roberta Owens

September 4, 2013

Just now hearing about this sad news. I worked with Mr. Rankin and Shirley for about eight years. A very fair and generous man. One day at work I made a pretty big mistake. I was crying when I told him what had happened and all he did was hug me. I will never forget that. I feel for Ashley and Shirley and the rest of the family.

August 28, 2013

May the God of all comfort grant you peace of mind and heart at this time. (1 Cor. 1:3)


Christina Yampanis

August 26, 2013

B.M. Rankin, Jr. -- What a beautiful tribute to a man that every time I called -- he always responded with his generous spirit -- always eager to help some one or some group less fortunate -- and to share his blessings! A True Patriot and Proud American!


August 24, 2013

May you turn to the hearer of prayer during this difficult time (Psalm 65:2).

Micheal Klein

August 23, 2013

Ashley my thoughts are with you and your family

Thomas Mullenix

August 21, 2013

Sorry for your loss Richard - deepest sympathies to the Rankin family.