Matthew Simmons (obituary)
Matthew Simmons was born in Utah in 1943, the son of a prominent businessman. He graduated cum laudae at the University of Utah in accounting, and went on the take an MBA at Harvard in 1967, serving there as a research assistant over the ensuing two years. In 1974, he co-founded Simmons and Company International, which grew to have an important role in financing the oil contracting business. He was also a director of several other companies and played an active part in wider society, having served on the National Petroleum Council and the Council of Foreign Relations. In due course, he became aware of the Peak Oil issue and turned his attention to Saudi Arabia, doubting that it would be able to offset declines elsewhere to allow world production to grow, and publishing a notable book on the topic, Twilight in the Desert. He gave many presentations and also chaired an energy committee advising George W. Bush before and after his election to the presidency. He had a colourful personality, many friends, and several wider interests, including painting watercolours, but sadly died unexpectedly in August 2010 at the age of sixty-seven at his holiday home in Maine.
Matt was arguably the most influential individual in North America to warn about the coming peak and decline of world oil production.