Mack Rankin death announcement 


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, 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 of Gladewater, where he stayed until his early adulthood. 


He 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 US Army during the implementation of The Marshall Plan while stationed in Germany after WW2.


He learned the ins and outs of the oil business under expert tutelage at the Hunt Oil Co. before teaming up with Jim Bob Moffett and the late Ken McWilliams to form McMoRan Oil & Gas in 1968, trading publicly from 1969. The team later merged with Freeport Minerals to become Freeport-McMoRan, while keeping McMoRan Exploration as a subsidiary company. 


Because of his diagnosis and ongoing treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Mr. Rankin retired from active management in 1980 and continued to serve in the capacities of Vice-Chairman and Consultant until his passing. 


His directorships in business include seats on the boards of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., McMoRan Exploration Inc., P.T. Freeport Indonesia. He sat also as chair of the US 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. He gave generously to the University of Texas, where he is recognized for his many endowments including the B.M. (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 where his son Richard attended. He 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 MD Anderson, he brought comfort and hope to those with cancer, and served as an example of the successful advancements in cancer treatment. He was the proud chairman of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Global Research Foundation since 2004.


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, he became well known as the outspoken co-owner of the Texas Rangers during the team’s struggles in the early 80s. He was especially proud of his years in the service, and remained politically active his entire career, later becoming an aggressive advocate for effective governing of oil industry regulations.


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 sageness 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 18 years, Ashley Scott Rankin; one son, Richard Rankin, two grandchildren Hailey and Hunter Rankin; one stepson, Ashton Smith; a stepdaughter-in-law, Karen Smith; and two step-grandchildren, Samantha and Scott Smith. 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 from 1950 to 1992 to Opal Cook Rankin, Richard’s mother, who preceded him in death in 2004.


He was an avid bird hunter and fisherman, and a talented amateur golfer who served as director at both the Preston Trail Golf Club and Pine Valley Golf Club, and held memberships to at least a dozen clubs nationally, including Brook Hollow, Eldorado, and Barton Creek to name just a few. 


In his later years, Rankin enjoyed the many privileges of a successful business career and spent much of his time traveling to exotic places to enjoy his favorite hobbies and life’s finer things.


Among his many accomplishments, he was a licensed, badge-carrying deputy sheriff and subsequent sergeant in Harris County, and Colonel for the Maricopa County Sheriff'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, available from The Brown Books Publishing Group.


The family encourages memorial contributions to the CLL Global Research Foundation.

Rachel Landry

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