Robert S. Kerr (1896-1963) was born in a log cabin in Indian Territory in what is now Ada, Oklahoma. After serving in the United States Army during World War I, Kerr returned to Oklahoma where he studied law, passing the bar exam in 1922.
In addition to his interest in the law, Kerr and his brother-in-law formed the Anderson-Kerr Drilling Company. After Anderson retired, Kerr convinced Dean McGee to leave Phillips Petroleum Company to become his partner, and the name of the company was changed to Kerr-McGee in 1929. In 2006, Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation acquired Kerr-McGee in a transaction totaling over $19 billion.
Kerr first held elective office when he was elected as Oklahoma's first native-born governor in 1942. Winning a closely contested race in 1948, Kerr became the first Oklahoma governor elected to the United States Senate. He had Presidential aspirations briefly in 1952, but he failed to win the Democratic nomination, thereafter devoting his energies to his storied Senate career.