Rex Tillerson Biography

(Former U.S. Secretary of State)

Birthday: March 23, 1952 (Aries)

Born In: Wichita Falls, Texas, United States

Rex Tillerson is the former U.S. Secretary of State who served during the Presidency of Donald Trump for about one year. Raised modestly in Texas and Oklahoma, he started taking up odd jobs at the age of fourteen and decided to become an engineer while working as a janitor at one of the engineering colleges at the University of Oklahoma. Eventually, he earned his degree in civil engineering and joined Exxon as a production engineer, climbing the ladder over the time to become the company’s chairman at the age of 54.  Concurrently from 2010 to 2012, he also served as the 34th National President of the Boy Scouts of America. In December 2016, he resigned from his post to become the Secretary of State and was confirmed by the Senate in January 2017. But having no previous experience in a public sector, he soon started having trouble with President Trump and was dismissed from service in March 2018.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Rex Wayne Tillerson

Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Renda St. Clair (m. 1986)

father: Bobby Joe Tillerson

mother: Patty Sue née Patton

children: Tyler Tillerson

Born Country: United States

Political Leaders American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

U.S. State: Texas

More Facts

education: Huntsville High School, University of Texas at Austin

Childhood & Early Life

Rex Tillerson was born on March 23, 1952, in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. His father, Bobby Joe Tillerson, at first a traveling salesman, who drove trucks to sell bread at grocery stores, later became an executive at the Boy Scouts of America. His mother’s name was Patty Sue née Patton.

Born second of his parents three children, he has two sisters; Rae Ann Hamilton and Lynn Peters. Initially the family moved a lot, traveling from Wichita Falls to Vernon in Texas and then to Stillwater in Oklahoma before settling down in Huntsville, Texas, sometime in late 1960s.

Around 1966, while living in Stillwater, fourteen year old Rex started working as busboy at the student union building at the Oklahoma State University, earning seventy-five cents an hour. Over the weekends, he would travel to the cotton farms, picking cotton all day long for one dollar an hour.

By 1968, he was also working as a janitor at one of the engineering buildings at the Oklahoma State University.  It was while mopping the floors that he decided to become an engineer.

Later as the family moved Huntsville, Rex joined Huntsville High School, from where he graduated in 1970.  During this period, he was not only active as a Boy Scout, but also became the leader of his school’s percussion section, playing the kettle drums and snare drums.

In 1970, on graduating from Huntsville, he entered University of Texas, Austin, with a Longhorn Band scholarship. He graduated from there with a degree in civil engineering in 1975. During this period, he continued to remain involved with the marching band.

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Career in Exxon

In 1975, Rex Tillerson began his career as the production engineer at the Exxon Corporation, serving in this capacity for twelve long years.  Thereafter, he was promoted to the post of the Business Development Manager of the company’s natural gas department, holding the position from 1987 till 1989.

In 1989, he became General Manager for the regional oil and gas production, overseeing the company’s interest in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas for next three years.  During this period, he had to undertake numerous technologically and geologically challenging upstream operations.

In 1992, he was appointed Production Adviser for Exxon Corporation and later the coordinator of affiliate gas sales for Exxon Company, International.  In 1995, he took his first overseas assignment and became the President of Exxon Yemen Inc

Soon he was looking after the company’s operations in Thailand’s Khorat Plateau and the Caspian Sea. In 1998, he became the President of Exxon Ventures and Exxon Neftegas in Russia. He developed a close tie with the Russian leaders and entrepreneurs over the years

In 1999, after Exxon Corporation merged with the Mobil Corporation to form ExxonMobil Corporation, he was named the Executive Vice President of ExxonMobil Development Company. Two years later, he had another promotion, becoming the company’s Senior Vice President, serving in this capacity from 2001 to 2003.

In 2004, he became President of ExxonMobil and a member of the company’s Board of Directors. Shortly, he was personally handpicked by the company’s Chairman and CEO, Lee Raymond, as his successor and was eventually elected to the position, assuming the command of the company on January 1, 2006.

At the time of his takeover, ExxonMobil had annual revenue of nearly $400 billion. Under Tillerson’s leadership, ExxonMobil became one of the most profitable firms of the world, breaking its own record by 2008.

In June 2010, the company finalized the acquisition of XTO Energy for $31 billion in stock. The deal increased ExxonMobil's U.S. natural gas production to 3.68 billion cubic feet per day, making it the largest producer in the U.S. Soon, he was also brokering numerous other deals, taking ExxonMobil to new heights.

On December 13, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced that Tillerson had been nominated for Secretary of State. In the same month, he retired as Chairman of ExxonMobil, thus ending four decades of the association with the company.

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Secretary of State

On February 1, 2017, Rex Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate as the Secretary of State by a 56-43 vote. His confirmation hearing was held on January 11, 2017, in which he was asked about his ties to Russia and also about what he will do to promote human rights abroad.

On February 15, 2017, he traveled to Germany on his first overseas trip, representing the United States at the G20 summit in Bonn. Later in the same year, he visited Mexico to talk about the border issues and new immigration policies of the USA with his Mexican counterpart.

In March 2017, he made his first trip to Asia, stopping in China, Japan and South Korea, declaring that a new approach is needed to counter provocations by North Korea. In April, he missed a NATO meeting to accompany Donald Trump in his talks with President Xi Jinping of China.

In April 2017, Tillerson made his first trip to Russia as Secretary of State, meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin. In the following month, he joined President Trump on the president's first overseas trip, to Saudi Arabia.

By October 2017, rift between Trump and Tillerson began to surface. An NBC report suggests that during a Pentagon meeting the latter had called Trump a moron. Although he refused to confirm or deny it, it soon became apparent that the relationship between the two men was far from smooth.

On March 9, 2018, Trump communicated to Tillerson that he would be replaced.  At that time Tillerson was on a visit to Africa and on receiving the communication he cut short his visit to return to the United States on March 12.

On March 13, 2018, President Trump announced through Twitter that he was replacing Tillerson.  However, the latter remained in office till the month end in order to ensure smooth transition, but delegated his duties to the Deputy Secretary of State during this period.

Awards & Achievements

In 2013, he received the Order of Friendship Award from the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Family & Personal Life & Legacy

Tillerson has been married twice. He married first wife, Jamie Lee Henry, in 1974. The couple had twin sons.  It is not known when the marriage was dissolved.

On June 21, 1986, he married Renda St. Clair, with whom he has a son, Tyler, born in 1988. From this union he also has a step son, born out of his wife’s previous marriage.

See the events in life of Rex Tillerson in Chronological Order

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