Doheny, Edward Laurence

Edward Laurence Doheny (1856-1935), an American entrepreneur, led Los Angeles’ first oil boom. On April 20, 1893, Doheny’s well discovered oil at a depth of about 200 feet, the first free-flowing oil well ever drilled in the city of Los Angeles. Sale of the oil enabled Doheny and his partners to buy more property and drill more successful wells throughout the L.A. area and in nearby cities. Doheny became extremely wealthy and eventually extended his oil operations to Mexico, South America, and the British Isles. Doheny is forever linked with the “Teapot Dome” scandal that began in 1922 when Albert B. Fall, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, leased, without competitive bidding, the Teapot Dome fields to Harry F. Sinclair, an oil operator, and the field at Elk Hills, California, to Doheny. A Senate investigation revealed that Doheny had lent Fall $100,000, interest-free and Fall was convicted for accepting bribes. However, Doheny, who said it was just a friendly loan, was acquitted of giving a bribe. Doheny later became one of Los Angeles' most generous philanthropists.

Further Reading
Marshall N. S., "The Forgotten Bagman of Teapot Dome: Edward "Ned" Laurence Doheny, Jr." (The California State Military Museum)



Cleveland, C. (2006). Doheny, Edward Laurence. Retrieved from


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