About the Awards
Henry Bellmon was a farmer, statesman and conservationist. As a proud Oklahoman he was a man of integrity and a nonconformist who did his homework and then voted his conscience, regardless of party politics or popular opinion.
In honor of his memory, Sustainable Tulsa and the Tulsa Southside Rotary Club and Foundation have joined together to create the Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards. Both Sustainable Tulsa and the Tulsa Southside Rotary Club and Foundation are focused on assisting Tulsa to create a more livable community in which to raise our families.
Our collaborative mission for the Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards is to raise awareness and reward those people, agencies, organizations, or companies that dedicate themselves to a balanced approach toward quality of life for all, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship.
About Henry Bellmon
Henry Bellmon was born in 1921 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. As one of 13 children in a family surviving the Depression, Mr. Bellmon was ingrained a strong work ethic which he used to work his way through OSU (then Oklahoma A&M). Mr. Bellmon carried this work ethic into the Marines, where he was taken to the Pacific Theater. Specifically, Iwo Jima, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit and a Silver Star.
Mr. Bellmon’s political career began in 1946 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. In 1962, he would be named Oklahoma’s first Republican Governor in nearly 60 years. Henry would go from the governor’s office to the United States Senate from 1969 to 1981. In 1987, Henry Bellmon would return to the governor’s office for another term.
Henry Bellmon would earn his political and personal reputation by speaking with the voice of a man raised by the land. Mr. Bellmon’s actions would carry a weight of sustainability being the ultimate goal. Mr. Bellmon encouraged sustainability in the environment through soil conservation and the Clean Water Act. Mr. Bellmon encouraged sustainability in the people through education reform. Henry Bellmon passed away in 2009, remaining active through his final days.