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Red Adair Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Childhood And Early Life

Legendary American firefighter Red Adair was born in Houston, Texas into an Irish immigrant family on the 18 June 1915. His father Charles was a blacksmith and, as a child, Red Adair spent time with him in his workshop.

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Education

He was a pupil at Reagan High School but left without graduating to work as a laborer.

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Rise To Fame

In 1936 he got a job on the Southern Pacific Railroad. His first job in the oil industry was when he was employed by the Otis Pressure Control Co in Houston.

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World War II

During World War II Adair was part of the 139th Bomb Disposal Squad and was a staff sergeant by the end of the war. His time in the Bomb Disposal Squad taught him how to deal with explosives in a high-stress environment.

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Career

After the war, Red Adair worked with Myron Kinley who specialized in oil-well blowout and fire control. Adair remained there for 14 years and then set up his own business Red Adair Co. He became known for his clever marketing with his red uniforms and helmets which he also sold to admirers. During this time he dealt with fires on land and sea nationally as well internationally. Over the course of his career fighting oil-well fires, Red Adair was involved in the capping of the first US land well, fighting a fire on a vessel at sea as well as an underwater wild well. He was also involved with the Catco fire (1959), the Devil’s Cigarette Lighter (1962), the Bay Marchand field (1970), the Bravo in the North Sea (1977), the Ixtoc fire in the Gulf of México (1979),  the Piper Alpha explosion in the North Sea (1988) and the massive fires throughout  Kuwait in 1991.

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Personal Life

Red Adair was married to Kemmie, and the couple had two children. He retired in 1994 and died on the 7 August 2004.

Legacy

John Wayne portrayed Adair in the film Hellfighters (1968).


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