December 2, 1929 – March 16, 2014
Eugene M. Isenberg, aged 84, passed away peacefully in his Palm Beach home on Sunday, March 16 with his wife of 61 years, Ronnie, by his side. Gene was born in 1929 in Chelsea, MA to the late Hyman and Ida Isenberg. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree from Princeton University and completed the Program for Senior Executives at MIT. He began his career with Exxon Corporation in 1952 and subsequently became Chairman and principal shareholder of Genimar, a steel building products company. From 1987 to 2011 Gene served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive officer of Nabors Industries, Inc. During his tenure, Nabors transformed from a 320 employee strong Alaskan-based drilling company to the world ‘s largest land and offshore platform driller, currently employing 29,000. Outside of Nabors, Gene served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (NASDAQ), and the American Stock Exchange. He was also a member of the National Petroleum Council, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Gene often noted that his success far surpassed any expectations he had when he was younger. He, therefore, offered philanthropic support to causes he believed in, particularly education, medicine and the performing arts. Gene was a particularly strong advocate of education, often making resources available to those unable to afford or access quality education. He held leadership positions in numerous educational and philanthropic organizations. He was President of the UMASS (University of Massachusetts) Amherst Foundation where he endowed three professorships in environmental science, technology management and engineering. The UMASS Isenberg School of Management was named in recognition of these contributions, as well as significant other contributions he made toward facilities and scholarships. Gene and his wife were instrumental in the founding and support of the Parkside School in New York, which provides special education to elementary school children. He was also a contributor to Massachusetts General Hospital, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Columbia University Medical School, LIFE Disabled American War Veterans, and such charities as Morselife, Palm Beach United Way - The Alexis De Tocqueville Society, and performing art organizations such as the Kravis Center, Metropolitan Opera and Palm Beach Opera.
His wife Ronnie, his daughters Lynda and Diane, his son-in-law David and his three grandchildren: Carolyn, Dylan and Stefan survive Gene. A private burial took place in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at a later date to be announced. The family is sitting Shiva at their home in Palm Beach on Sunday, March 23, 2014 from the hours of 1-5 pm.
Those wishing to express sympathy and condolences to the family are asked to consider making a donation to any of the following: The Isenberg School of Management, 239 Whitmore Administration Building, 181 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA 01003 Attn: Michael Leto: The Parkside School, 48 West 74th Street, New York, New York 10023, Attn: Leslie Thorne or the Palm Beach Opera, 415 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 Attn: Ann Baskin.
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April 20, 2014
Our sincere condolences to you Lynda.and Diane. Our LOVE to all of you!
We had many Wonderful years together!
Mary Lou and Hub Knox
March 26, 2014
My sincere condolences to the family. May the "God of all comfort" bring you peace during this very distressing time. 2 Cor 1:3; JF
March 23, 2014
Rosalind and I send our sincere sympathy and are thinking of you and your family.
March 23, 2014
Please know I am thinking of you, your children and grandchildren in your hour of grief upon the loss of your beloved Gene. He will be sorely missed by so many.
May the love and support of your family and friends sustain you through this difficult time.
March 21, 2014
Eugene was a very strong and deliverable man when it came to challenges impossible by most. I have met Gene many times during tenure with Nabors. He was a man who stayed young and played fair among the industries best!!! So sorry to hear about his loss as its a great loss to the drilling industry.
Please accept my condolences he'll always be remembered for his service to this industry.
Maritime Drilling Schools Limited