Tom Love

Last updated
Tom Love
BornOctober 1937 (1937-10)
DiedMarch 7, 2023(2023-03-07) (aged 85)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Education St. Gregory's High School
Alma mater St. John's University (dropped out)
University of Oklahoma (dropped out)
Occupation(s)Executive Chairman, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
SpouseJudy Love
Parent F. C. Love

Thomas E. Love (October 1937 – March 7, 2023), was an American billionaire businessman. He was the founder, owner, and executive chairman of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores.


Early life

Thomas E. Love [1] was born in Oklahoma City in October 1937, [2] one of six siblings. He was the son of F. C. Love, a lawyer who was later president of the oil company Kerr-McGee, [3] and Margaret Eugenia Vessels Love. [1] Thomas was the descendant of two Chickasaw families, both named Love, who were forced to participate in the Trail of Tears. [4] He was a descendant of Benjamin Love, who was the official interpreter for the Chickasaw people. [4]

At age 13, he left home to be educated as a boarder at St. Gregory's High School in Shawnee, where he was a standout football player. [3] [5]

Love attended St. John's University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, but left after less than one semester. [5] He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and over a three-year career, rose to the rank of corporal. After leaving the Marines, he married and decided to try college once more. [5] He dropped out of the University of Oklahoma in 1964. [6]


Initially, Love owned restaurants and car washes, until he discovered an opportunity in abandoned gas stations. [3]

In January 1964, Love and his wife Judy leased a self-service gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma. [6] [3] Love went on to open another 30 gas stations. Then in 1971, he decided to merge self-service gas stations with convenience stores and the business continued to grow. [3]

Today, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is a national chain with more than 600 locations in 42 states. [7]

Personal life and death

Tom and Judy Love married on December 26, 1961. [2] They had four children and lived in Oklahoma City. Three of their children work for the company. [6] Frank Love and Greg Love are co-CEOs, and Jenny Love Meyer is the vice president of communications. [7]

Judy Love is secretary of Love's Travel Stops and president of Love's Family Foundation. She sits on the boards of Oklahoma City University, SSM Health Care, the St. Anthony Foundation, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Civic Center Music Hall, Allied Arts, Community Foundation, and the University of Central Oklahoma Foundation. [8]

Tom Love died in Oklahoma City on March 7, 2023, at age 85. [9] [10]

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  2. 1 2 "Tom Love". SMEI Academy of Achievement. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
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  4. 1 2 " | Tom Love". Archived from the original on 2 December 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
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  7. 1 2 "Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc". Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  8. Jane Jayroe (25 January 2011). Devote Forty Days. Tate Publishing. pp. 125–126. ISBN   978-1-61739-098-2.
  9. Lackmeyer, Steve (7 March 2023). "Tom Love, founder of Love's Travel Stops, dead at age 85". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  10. "Tom Love, founder of Love's Travel Stops passes; he was 85". Truckers News. March 7, 2023.