AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Harold Courson was the 7th person to receive the Living Legend Award from the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association (PPROA).
He started Courson Oil and Gas in 1960 and eventually became one of the Panhandle's top executives in the industry.
During his time in the energy business Courson participated in a wide range of philanthropic activities.
On Tuesday leaders in the oil and gas field gathered at the Civic Center for the 87th annual PPROA Convention to celebrate Courson's accomplishments.
"When I first met Harold, he was broke," said Mike Riley, the Vice President of Courson Oil and Gas. "He is a self made man, he did it through hard work, and intelligence."
Qualifying for the award takes more than business success.
"You have to be in the oil and gas industry for a very long time and take part in philanthropic work in the community," said Judy Stark, Executive Vice President of PPROA.
Associates of Courson said he more than meets the qualifications.
"He is a giving man, he used his wealth to help lots of other folks," said Todd Lovett, Courson's business associate. "A lot of his giving has been behind the scenes and that's the reason we selected him, because of his philanthropic efforts."
Friends of Courson say he always helps people in need. He has contributed to multiple charities, started his own foundation and provided many students with scholarships.
Courson served as the Mayor of Perryton in the late 1970's.
"During his time as mayor he was aware of the water shortages, and purchased water rights for Perryton," said Riley. "That was unheard of at that time and now it's a big deal, he was a far thinking individual."