John F. Bookout has a long record of serving the petroleum industry and its related institutions. His tenure at Shell Oil Company lasted for nearly four decades, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer in Houston for thirteen of those years. He continued to serve as a member of the Supervisory Board of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and on the Board and Executive Committee of Shell Petroleum, Incorporated until 1993. Mr. Bookout also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Shell Canada. He has remained active in the oil and gas business as a direct investor and partnership participant with royalty and working interests in California, Montana and Texas. From 1991 to 2007 he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, and continues to serve as Sr. Chairman. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Medical Center. He is a member of the Council of Overseers for the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration of Rice University, an Emeritus Administrator of the Board of Administrators of Tulane University and served as a Director of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.
Mr. Bookout is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with B.S. and M.A. degrees, and he holds the honorary degrees of Doctor of Science from Tulane University and Doctor of Laws from Centenary College. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Texas Geology Foundation and was one of sixteen inaugural members to be inducted to The Jackson School’s Hall of Distinction at the University of Texas. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Texas A&M University’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology and also served as a member on the University of Texas Centennial Commission’s Research Task Force and on the Science Advisory Committee of Notre Dame University.
He served on the Board of Directors for the National Petroleum Council and the American Petroleum Institute (API) and has served as Chairman of both. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his contributions to the oil industry. He is a recipient of the API Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement. The Wall Street Transcript selected Mr. Bookout as their Gold Medal award recipient for three consecutive years for outstanding chief executive officer of a domestic integrated oil company. The Financial World gave him the CEO of the Year Award for two consecutive years, and Forbes magazine featured him in a front cover portrait article. In 1982, he received the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He also received the 1986 Mr. Spindletop Award/Spindletop International, the 1987 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Petroleum Division (Oil Drop) Award, the 1990 American Association of Petroleum Geologists' award for "Excellence in Exploration Leadership" and the 1994 United States Energy Association's U.S. Energy Award for lifetime contributions to energy. In 2001 he received the Offshore Energy Center’s Industry Pioneer Award and was inducted into the Offshore Energy Center’s Hall of Fame. The Southwestern Legal Foundation presented Mr. Bookout with The John Rogers Award for his contributions to the petroleum industry and to the betterment of the World Community. In 2009 he was awarded the Houston Legends medal from the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
The Houston community, education, and philanthropic organizations have received his support. He served as director of Central Houston Inc. and of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, and he was a member of the Houston Economic Development Council and the Houston Private Sector Initiatives Committee. He was honored with the People of Vision Award by the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness for exceptional community service, the American Diabetes Association’s Mankind Award and Pro-Education magazine’s special recognition award for outstanding efforts between the private/public sectors of education. He also received the 1979 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his significant contributions and outstanding service to American education. He served on the Steering Committee for the Houston School for Deaf Children, the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Directors of Science Engineering Fair, and the Advisory Board of Directors of Trees for Downtown Houston. He has been a supporter of the Museum of Fine Arts, Bayou Bend and, through the Shell Foundation, supported the building of the Wortham Theatre Center. He was a member of the Policy Committee of the Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, Century III Leaders, a founding member of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and a Lifetime Member of the 1001 World Wildlife Fund.
Mr. Bookout received various medals of honor for his service as a pilot in the Army Air Force during World War II. He was inducted into the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall of Fame and the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in Galveston, Texas, where he is also a member of the Board of Stewards. He received the decoration of Commander in the Order of Oranje Nassau from the Netherlands government and was a member of the prestigious British-North American Committee, American side. Vice-President George Bush presented him with a certificate of membership in The Fund for America’s Future and he received the President’s Volunteer Action Award presented by President Ronald Reagan.