Kirchner, King | 2006

  • Birth and Death Year | 1927 - Present
  • Induction Year | 2006
  • Profession | Entrepreneur
  • Oklahoma Connection | Kirchner grew up in Perry, Oklahoma.
  • Hometown | Perry

Fun Fact

King Kirchner has logged more than 8,000 flying hours and owned more than 150 airplanes. In 1982, he formed Sky King Corporation, which buys and sells used aircraft.


“King is a man’s man…a generous philanthropist…and a great friend.” - T. Boone Pickens, 2006


King Kirchner was co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Tulsa-based Unit Corporation from 1963-2001. Following retirement, he continued to serve as a director of Unit Corporation, the fourth largest onshore drilling contractor in the United States. Kirchner grew up in Perry and graduated from Perry High School in 1945. At age 16, he began working as a roughneck in the oilfields. Kirchner received his degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University (1950) and in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He served in Germany during the Korean Conflict and, between 1954 and 1963, was an engineer and then vice president of the Unit Drilling Division of Woolaroc Oil Company in Bristow. Kirchner and his partner invested $10,000 each, and then borrowed $140,000 to buy three rotary drilling rigs, along with the Unit Drilling name in 1963, thus founding Unit Drilling Company which later became Unit Corporation.

See pictures of King Kirchner and other media HERE.