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Published December 02, 2010, 11:25 AM

"Roughneck Royalty" Dies

Oilman Leon "Tude" Gordon, who worked on North Dakota's first producing oil well and was considered "roughneck royalty" by the industry, has died.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Oilman Leon "Tude" Gordon, who worked on North Dakota's first producing oil well and was considered "roughneck royalty" by the industry, has died. He was 95.

The Everson Funeral Home says Gordon died Tuesday at a Williston hospital with his family present.

Gordon, an Oklahoma native, was one of about a dozen oilmen who drilled a successful well on a northwest North Dakota wheat farm in 1951, spurring an oil frenzy in the state that has lasted more than six decades.

Gordon told The Associated Press in 2008 that he was the last surviving roughneck on the crew.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness called Gordon an oil icon who enjoyed telling stories about the state's oil history.

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