A lot has happened since the museum was founded way back in 1958. The museum itself has evolved, the world's understanding of science has grown in leaps and bounds, even our name has changed. The following is a glimpse of our past, as well as a short biography about our founder, John Elson Kirkpatrick.
Admiral John Kirkpatrick was born in Oklahoma City in February 1908 and graduated from the Oklahoma City Public Schools before attending West Point, Marion Institute and, in 1931, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1932, Kirkpatrick married Eleanor Blake of Mangum.
During World War II, Kirkpatrick served 54 months at sea as a gunnery officer aboard the USS North Carolina and later served on the USS Alaska and the USS Oklahoma City. After the war, Kirkpatrick entered the oil business and in 1950 founded the Kirkpatrick Oil Company.
Prominent civic leaders in Oklahoma City since the 1940s, the Kirkpatricks have given much to the communities and state of Oklahoma through their generosity and philanthropy, including multiple arts and education organizations. Their works are continued today through the Kirkpatrick Foundation.
Science Museum Oklahoma was made possible largely through the support and generosity of the Kirkpatrick family.