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George Mitchell was a visionary, oil giant and founder of our hometown, The Woodlands. He would have been 100 today but passed away in July 2013. Here is a look back on his legacy.

On October 19, 1974, George Mitchell officially opened The Woodlands. And his wife, Cynthia Woods Mitchell was right by his side. She can be seen in the iconic picture of the ribbon-cutting at The Woodlands on opening day.

George Mitchell envisioned The Woodlands to be built as a “new town,” using successful models of the nation’s then few large, master planned communities as a foundation. The Woodlands went beyond the live-work-play-learn model to add environmental preservation and social consciousness to the mix as evidenced by forests lining major streets and meandering throughout our villages. This is still practiced today. What a great place to raise a family and have generations live together because of the dreams of George Mitchell!

George Mitchell, who graduated from Texas A&M University in 1940, was considered the “father of hydraulic fracking”. Mitchell Energy & Development, George Mitchell’s company that was headquartered in The Woodlands until it sold in 2002, successfully cultivated hydraulic fracking in the 1990s and paved the way for energy.

“Mr. Mitchell was a visionary and helped shape Texas and the world with his innovations on community development and energy. His achievements will continue to have a lasting effect on energy production, and The Woodlands will continue to serve as a model of excellence for master planned communities,” said Robert Heinemen, Vice President of Planning for The Howard Hughes Corporation.

George and his wife Cynthia were philanthropist and founded Interfaith of The Woodlands and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, one of the top outdoor amphitheaters in the world. George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell are Hometown Heroes of The Woodlands.

Happy Birthday George!