Bob’s Passion



Bob R. Simpson, owner of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram Building, has a passion for history and the Fort Worth skyline. Mr. Simpson has a long-standing commitment to the betterment of Fort Worth, as well as the preservation and revitalization of downtown Ft. Worth and its architecture.

Bob’s Passion

At an early age, self-motivation and desire pushed Simpson to achievement. After growing up on a ranch just outside of Cisco, Texas, a small town about 100 miles west of Fort Worth, Bob enrolled in Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “Baylor was, for me, the right school. It became part of my fiber. I attribute a lot of my own personal success in my life to Baylor, whether it’s spiritually or financially or just as a person.”

At 19, while attending Baylor, Simpson approached Merrill Lynch for a job. Simpson initially offered to work for free, but his enthusiasm won out and he was hired, with pay. Simpson graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting and went on to complete his MBA at Baylor in 1971.

In 1972, the Washington Senators moved to Arlington to become the Texas Rangers, and Simpson received the assignment to work on the Ranger’s account. Now one of the Ranger’s owners, Simpson says he has been a Rangers fan since the very beginning.

Simpson founded Fort Worth based XTO Energy in 1985 (originally as Cross Timbers Oil Company), and he served as CEO and then Chairman for twenty-five years. By 2009, XTO grew to the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. In 2010, Simpson sold XTO Energy to Exxon Mobil.

The Texas Rangers

After selling XTO Energy, Simpson and a group of investors purchased the Texas Rangers. “Initially I was just looking at being a board member, and then as talks advanced, I visited with Ray Davis [another investor in the group], and we kind of invented the co-chairman concept, which has turned out to be a good idea.”

Prior to Simpson’s ownership, the Rangers and made it to the playoffs just three times in 38 seasons and won only a single playoff game. But Bob had high hopes for his baseball franchise. “I’m somebody who can pick talent, encourage it and reward it, and keep it. I’m stronger at that than anything, and that’s what we’re applying to the baseball team.”

The Rangers made an appearance in the next World Series games after Simpson’s group took ownership. “We closed [the deal] in August, and before we could get our bags packed, we’re going to the World Series. Then the repeat proved it wasn’t a fluke.”

Fort Worth Restoration

Bob Simpson is consistently named one of the country’s ‘most admired CEO’s’ by leading publications. He credits his mother for fostering his appreciation of historic things. She often brought him along flea market antique shopping when he was a child.

Simpson’s achievements, both personal and business, have centered in Fort Worth, and he’s channeled his admiration for history and the Fort Worth community by restoring local historic buildings. Mr. Simpson has restored several downtown Fort Worth buildings, including the Transport Life Building, the Bob R. Simpson Building, the Petroleum Building, the W.T. Waggoner Building, the Montgomery Ward Warehouse, and the Binyon-O’Keefe Warehouse.

The Historic Star-Telegram building is Simpson’s latest project. Simpson purchased the building from The Star-Telegram in 2011, with the intention of reviving the original 4-story building. A team of architectural restoration experts is working with Mr. Simpson to restore the building using the original blueprints. Mr. Simpson plans to house his company, MorningStar Partners, in the building upon completion.

 

“I’m a little kid from Cisco who managed to go to Baylor University, who worked for Arthur Andersen on the Rangers account, and ended up being one of the Rangers’ chairmen. It’s a testimony to what you can do in America…”

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