Murphy Oil Chairman William Nolan Jr. Dies at 72

EL DORADO - Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado said Tuesday that its chairman of its board, William C. Nolan Jr., died following a brief illness. He was 72.

The oil company (NYSE: MUR) said in a news release that Nolan died Monday at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado. Nolan has been Murphy Oil's chairman since 2002.

Nolan had already announced his planned retirement for May 1. Company director and former CEO Claiborne P. Deming was named as his successor.

"I am deeply saddened by Bill Nolan's sudden passing," U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Bill was a kind, genuine and thoughtful man who cared deeply for his family and community. He will be remembered as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, leader, and to those fortunate enough to know him, a dear friend and a blessing," Griffin said. "He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on."

Nolan had been a director at Murphy Oil since 1977. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale in 1961 and his law degree from Yale Law School three years later.

After graduation, he worked in Murphy Oil's law department until 1969, when he left to found the Nolan and Alderson law firm.

He also served as president of Noalmark Broadcasting Corp., which owns radio stations in Arkansas and New Mexico. And he was a director of Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado (NYSE: DEL), a real estate and timber company that was spun off from Murphy Oil in 1996.

Nolan was the nephew of Charles Murphy Jr., who founded the company as it is known today. Nolan was also a first cousin to Deming, company director and former company chairman R. Madison Murphy and company director Caroline Theus.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)