Tom Love is the founder and CEO of the family-owned company, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores. Born in Oklahoma City, Love, the descendant of two different Chickasaw families bearing the name, attended St. John’s University but left to join the Marines. During his service, he rose to the rank of corporal.
Love and his wife, Judy, opened their first service station in 1964. With a $5,000 investment from Judy’s parents, the Loves opened a filling station in Watonga, Oklahoma, and quickly found success.
When OPEC announced an oil embargo in 1973, it threatened Love’s businesses, which relied almost entirely on gas sales. He pioneered combining the gas station with the 24-hour convenience store as well as self-service pumps. Love and his family have grown the company to more than 480 locations across the United States.
Love and his wife have also been leaders in philanthropy. Between personal donations and corporate giving, the Love family has supported institutions of higher education as well as local charities across the country. Since 1999, Love’s has partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network, raising more than $28 million for children’s medical research.