Lawson McDowell was almost born in the backseat of a Buick, but a wild ride through the wheat fields near Dodge City, Kansas, arrived at the hospital in the nick of time. That was in 1951. It seems Lawson has been in a hurry ever since.
At age five, his family moved to the oil fields of West Texas, establishing roots in the wildcatter town of Andrews.
Lawson grew up with rattlesnakes and roughnecks in the bare-knuckled oil boom years of the 50's and 60's. In 1965 Andrews County was the nation's foremost oil producer.
After high school, Lawson plunged into the oil fields where laying pipelines quickly convinced him to do well in college.
He attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he won four letters in swimming before graduating in 1972.
After college, Lawson went to work for Southern Pacific Railroad learning train operations and rail yard management across the Southwest.
He advanced through the ranks, eventually serving in leadership roles in Los Angeles, Tucson, Kansas City and St. Louis. In Denver, he served as director of safety and chaired the Association of American Railroad Safety Section in Washington, D.C.
Lawson attended executive classes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While MIT retooled and polished his skills, he developed a love for Boston and the Red Sox.
For many years, Lawson served as Director of Network Operations, for Union Pacific Railroad where he helped meet the nation's demands for premium rail services. Lawson retired in 2015 to dedicate more time to greatest passion, his wife, Virginia.
He and his wife live in Omaha, Nebraska.
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