Born and reared in Shreveport, Louisiana, Norman V. Kinsey was certain he wanted to attend college after graduating from Byrd High School, but was uncertain how he could afford it. Not one to be easily daunted, Kinsey took on a part-job and with some help from his family, managed to pool enough resources to conquer this challenge.
While at Louisiana State University (LSU) he was a member of the Phi Delta Phi, Honorary Legal Fraternity and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Fraternity at LSU-Shreveport (LSU-S). Kinsey graduated from LSU, Baton Rouge in 1947 with a B. S. in Business Administration and a LLB. He became a member of the Louisiana Bar Association that year and later earned his Juris Doctorate in 1968.
Throughout the course of his successful career, Kinsey engaged in various ventures, such as the exploration for and production of energy, land development, venture capital and personal investments in the U.S.A. and abroad. He was a member and director of the founding group of Transco Energy Company, from which he retired in 1991 after 31 years service. Kinsey was also a member of the founding groups of Pacific Northwest Pipeline, Texas Illinois Natural Gas Pipeline and Piedmont Natural Gas Company, whose successors are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
A successful businessman in his own right, Kinsey contributes his experience to several business organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, Interstate Natural Gas Association, Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association-Louisiana Division, as well as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.
Kinsey is a strong endorser of education and has co-founded the Montessori School for Shreveport as well as the Ridgewood Montessori School. In addition to supporting selected special programs at Culver Military Academy and LSU-S, he is also a University Associate of LSU-S and is a member of both the Louisiana and Shreveport Committee of 100. In recognition of his contributions and achievements, Kinsey was inducted into the C. E. Byrd High School Hall of Fame and was named an honorary alumnus of Centenary College.
Having gained a vast wealth of experience throughout his career, Kinsey has shared his leadership skills with a variety of organizations. He served as president for such associations as the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, the Council for A Better Louisiana, the Norwela Council as well as the Culver Fathers' Association in Indiana. Kinsey is also the past chairman of the Council Trust Fund Committee and formerly held the position of vice chair of the Boy Scout Region V Executive Committee.
Kinsey is also affiliated with such groups as the Raleigh Tavern Society in Williamsburg, Virginia and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Social Fraternity. He is a Fellow of the Law Center at LSU-Baton Rouge and holds the rank of navigator in the United States Power Squadrons.
Kinsey's dedicated service has not gone unnoticed by the community. He has received a number of awards from the Boy Scouts of America, including the Distinguished Eagle Award and the Distinguished Citizens Award. In addition to this he was granted the Annual United Way Award for Community Service and was named "Businessman of the Year" by the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. Kinsey also received the Brotherhood Humanitarian Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews and is a member of the U. S. State Department Fine Arts Committee in Washington, D.C.
Kinsey has been married to his wife, Margaret Mary (Peggy) Wright, for 46 years. They have four children: Glenn Victor, Christopher Mahr, Rebecca Louise, Richard Norman.
In 1938 I graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport with a good record--not the top, but good. That summer was spent as a counselor and trading post manager at Norwela Council Boy Scout Camp. I had a keen desire to attend college but no financial means to do so. In August, one of my father's friends with the Louisiana Department of Conservation offered a campus job providing thirty-five dollars for fifty hours of work per month. The hours were flexible to fit my class schedule. That made it happen.
Byrd High School sent my transcript and my father provided thirty-one dollars for Registration and Student Fees plus twenty-seven dollars for a semester's room rent in the Pentagon Barracks. I scrounged ten to fifteen dollars for textbooks. The first year I ate at the University Boarding Club for fifteen dollars per month. The sole requirement for registration and admission was a high school diploma with certain core subjects.
In 1938 all entering freshmen were placed in the Junior Division, which was rather an extension of high school. After a year, students were allowed to apply for admission to a college. I was accepted into the College of Commerce in the Fall of 1939--about the time the LSU President, James Monroe Smith, was sent to Angola and ex-Governor Leche departed for Federal Prison. Both had used public funds for personal enjoyment without permission. My intended curriculum was a six-year course of Commerce and Law.
Since my entry to college occurred some sixty-one years ago, it is difficult to recall in great detail. Two professors whose message I do remember are first, Dr. McCracken for Economics. His introduction to Adam Smith's elements of free enterprise remain with me: land - labor - capital - and the entrepreneur or "undertaker." Life has taught me the first three are vital, but the risk-taker is the necessary requirement to provide direction and coordination, which in turn is rewarded by success or failure. Of course, supply and demand with marginal utility were explained and developed.
Another course I recall is Business Letter Writing, which carried the essence of motivating others through words. Effective persuasion first requires Attention, then Interest for Conviction, followed by Action. This formula has served me well through life.
As a Land Grant School, all males were required to attend two years of basic R.O.T.C., the first year to be as a resident in the barracks. Advanced R.O.T.C. was voluntary following application and acceptance. Upon completion of four years' training and a six-week summer camp, the cadet was awarded a commission as reserve officer. This was my path.
After a year in the Junior Division, I was accepted in the College of Commerce, housed mainly in Himes Hall. Accounting, statistics, corporate finance, business law and the like were presented and reasonably absorbed. Three years had passed by the fall of 1941 when I entered Law School and the entire WORLD changed. Grades depended on one test per semester--the final examination lasting four hours. No one instructed us how to read the law reports or what was to be gleaned--we were thrown into deep water and had to learn to swim.
My freshman law class had twenty-four students. At the end of the first semester, eighteen remained. Six had failed or dropped out. In December 1941, war was declared. In May 1942, four years of R.O.T.C. earned me a Commission as Second Lieutenant, orders to active duty and the termination of formal schoolwork.
My initial assignment was to a regular army unit in Georgia. We immediately went on six weeks of field maneuvers in South Carolina and by October (1942), I was part of an invasion fleet that landed in Morocco, North Africa on 8 November 1942. Thirty-six months later, after traversing North Africa, Palestine, Italy and Southern France back and forth as an Administrative Officer in the Army Air Corps (later U. S. Air Force), my units had earned a bronze arrowhead for amphibious assault, nine battle stars and two Presidential Unit Citations.
I was personally awarded a Bronze Star for exceptional service in support of combat operations. In the three years overseas I had prepared and submitted 125 Killed in Action Reports.
My return to the U.S.A. was not until October 1942. In November, on terminal leave, I moved to Baton Rouge and began two correspondence courses, finishing both for 6 hours credit in 34 days, re-entering Law School in January 1946 to carry the maximum allowed hours through the Summer, Fall and Spring Semesters of 1946-1947. In June 1947, two degrees, a B.S. in Business Administration and an L.L.B. in Law were received. Following six weeks' vacation, I began working with my father. During my absence abroad, he had success in locating gas, and with partners was currently developing a major natural gas field in East Texas. The group became involved in gasoline plants, pipelines, gas and liquid interstate pipelines. My administrative duties and experiences in the Service followed by the business and law degrees from L.S.U. were a useful combination for the next fifty plus years of business and living a full life.