Warren A. Bechtel

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Warren Abraham Bechtel

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of John Bechtel and Elizabeth Bentz
Husband of Clara Alice West
Father of Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr.

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Warren Abraham Bechtel


Warren A. Bechtel (September 12, 1872 – August 28, 1933) was the founder of the Bechtel Corporation, one of the world's largest engineering and construction services firms.

Early life

Warren Bechtel started as an employee of the burgeoning United States railroad industry in 1898 after his Oklahoma cattle ranch failed.

Over the next 20 years, Bechtel built up a sizeable contracting business that specialized in railroad and highway building. One of Bechtel's earliest major contracts was grading the site of the Oroville, California depot for the Western Pacific Railroad, then under construction.

W.A. Bechtel Company

In 1919, Warren Bechtel and his partners (including his brother Arthur) built the Klamath Highway in California, and in 1921 Warren Bechtel partners won a contract to build the water tunnels for the Caribou Hydroelectric Facility in that state. In 1925, Warren A. Bechtel's sons Warren Jr., Stephen, and Ken joined him and incorporated as W.A. Bechtel Company. In 1926, the new company won its first major contract, the Bowman Lake dam in California.

Bechtel died while visiting Moscow in 1933. His son Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr., took over the firm upon his father's death.

Today, the Bechtel Corporation is still owned and operated by the Bechtel family. Its current CEO is Riley P. Bechtel, one of the richest men in the United States.

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