Ben Fortson
(Source: Kimbell Art Foundation)

Board member of Kimbell Royalty Partners Ben Fortson has passed away, Kimbell announced in a May 20 press release.

Fortson had more than 60 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, serving as the president and CEO of Fortson Oil Co. since 1986. Since 1975, Fortson was the CIO and executive vice president of the Kimbell Art Foundation.

Fortson invested in oil and natural gas minerals and royalties on behalf of the Kimbell Art Foundation—one of the original and largest sponsors of Kimbell Royalty Partners.

“A true gentleman, his devotion to the Kimbell was always accompanied by grace and a sense of humor. He leaves a powerful and enduring legacy,” the Kimbell Art Foundation said in an obituary.

Fortson played a big part in Kimbell Royalty Partners’ IPO in 2017 and stayed on with the company as a member of the board of directors into 2024.

"Ben's distinguished career in the oil and natural gas industry spanned nearly six decades, and we are very sad to lose him both as a good friend and wise counselor to Kimbell Royalty Partners,” said Robert Ravnaas, chairman and CEO of Kimbell Royalty Partners' general partner. “Our executive vice chairman, Brett Taylor, and I have known and worked with Ben for decades, beginning with our first royalty acquisition in the late 1990s.  His wise counsel, vision and prescient investing skills were a key factor to the success of Kimbell Royalty Partners over the years. We will miss his advice, sense of humor and friendship.”