Kenneth J. Barr
1991 Inductee into American Mining Hall of Fame
Kenneth J. Barr was born in Wilam, Alabama, to a family where both grandfathers were coal miners. He graduated from Auburn University in 1947 as a chemical engineer. In 1948, he began a 31-year career with Standard Oil of Indiana as a junior petroleum engineer. He became Executive Vice President of AMOCO Production Company in 1979. In 1979, AMOCO acquired Cyprus Mining Company and Barr was named President. In 1980, when Cyprus was merged with AMOCO Minerals Company, Barr became President of AMOCO Minerals Company. In 1985, AMOCO spun off all of its mineral business into a new Cyprus Minerals Company with Barr as its President and CEO. In 1990, he became Chairman and CEO until his retirement in 1991.
Under Barr's leadership, Cyprus has become the world's largest molybdenum and lithium producer, the largest U.S. talc producer, second largest U.S. copper producer, one of the top 20 U.S. coal producers, and an important producer of iron ore, zinc, and gold. Barr is a long-time member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of A.I.M.E. and is a director of the American Mining Congress. He is also a member of the Newcomen Society and in 1989 was a recipient of the Coal Age Award.