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Red Adair


Firefighter who all devised ways to extinguish essential oil good blazes both on / off land. He effectively subdued almost 500-feet flames in the Sahara Desert area of Algeria. During Globe Battle II, he was an associate of the American bomb removal squad. After his tour of responsibility, he started doing work for Myron Kinley, an essential oil firefighting firm. He was seventy-five years of age when he helped released post-Gulf War essential oil well fires in Kuwait. He was created in Houston, Tx for an Irish dad. The Sahara Desert fireplace that he helped extinguish motivated a John Wayne film known as Hellfighters.

Quick Facts

Full Name Red Adair
Date Of Birth June 18, 1915
Died August 7, 2004, Houston, Texas, United States
Place Of Birth Houston, TX
Profession Firefighter
Education Heights High School
Nationality American
Spouse Kemmie Lou Wheeler
Children Robyn Adair, Jimmy Adair
Parents Mary Adair, Charles Adair
Siblings Faye Guidry, Robert Adair, Dorothy Morris, David Adair, George Adair, May Miata, Charlie Adair
Star Sign Gemini

  • Facts
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  • Quotes
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1Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 3-4. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
2Started the Red Adair Co. Inc. in 1959 and revolutionized the science of snuffing and controlling wells spewing high-pressure jets of oil and gas, using explosives, water cannons, bulldozers, drilling mud and concrete. He was the first to cap an underwater well and the first to cap a floating vessel. He led the industry in developing modern equipment and firefighting techniques, including the semi-submersible firefighting vessel.
3Is credited with battling more than 2000 land and offshore oil well fires and was instrumental in capping Kuwaiti oil wells set ablaze by Iraqi soldiers. His death-defying feats included battling the July 1988 explosion of the Piper Alpha platform that killed 167 men in the stormy North Sea off the coast of Scotland.
4His fire fighting team was first among 27 from sixteen countries. They capped 732 Kuwati oil wells during the Persian Gulf war.
5His exploits inspired the film "The Hellfighters," in which he was portrayed by 'John Wayne'.
6Specialized in extinguishing oil-well fires.
7Was hired to put out burning oil wells in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm). Because of the intensity of the fires, they had to be put out with modified army tanks fitted with jet engines. The tanks were brought next to the flames and then "blew out" the flames with the jet engines.



Hellfighters1968technical advisor: of the Red Adair Wild Well Control Company: upon whose personal experiences are based many of the incidents in this motion picture and whose technical help enabled us to re-create them



Modern Marvels2004TV Series documentaryHimself - Oil Fire Fighter
Ein Abend für Nadja Tiller und Walter Giller1987TV MovieHimself
Carson's Comedy Classics1983TV SeriesHimself
Good Morning America1980TV SeriesHimself
Bilder, die die Welt bewegten - Peter von Zahn berichtet1980TV Series documentaryHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1977TV SeriesHimself

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1It scares you: all the noise, the rattling, the shaking. But the look on everybody's face when you're finished and packing, it's the best smile in the world; and there's nobody hurt, and the well's under control.
2I've done made a deal with the devil. He said he's going to give me an air-conditioned place when I go down there, if I go there, so I won't put all the fires out.
3That's one of the best honors in the world: To have The Duke [John Wayne] play you in a movie.

1Red overalls

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