William C. Nolan Jr., the chairman of Murphy Oil Corp., has died following a brief illness. He was 72.
Nolan died Monday at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, Murphy Oil said. Nolan had served as Murphy Oil's chairman since 2002 and had been a director at the company since 1977.
Nolan had already announced his planned retirement for May 1, and Claiborne P. Deming will succeed Nolan as chairman, the El Dorado-based company said in a Tuesday statement.
Congressman Tim Griffin, R-Arkansas, said he was saddened to hear of Nolan's death, calling him a friend.
"Bill was a kind, genuine and thoughtful man who cared deeply for his family and community," Griffin said. "He will be remembered as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, leader, and to those fortunate enough to know him, a dear friend and a blessing."
Nolan received his undergraduate degree from Yale in 1961 and his law degree from Yale Law School three years later. He also served as president of Noalmark Broadcasting Corp., which owns radio stations in Arkansas and New Mexico.
The company was originally named Murphy Corp. when it was incorporated in Louisiana in 1950. In 1964, it was reincorporated as Murphy Oil Corp. Nolan was the nephew of Charles Murphy Jr., who founded Murphy Oil.
The company drills for oil and gas worldwide and has operations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including a refinery in Wales.