When Anthony Petrello was growing up in his working-class community in Newark, New Jersey, he was always working on the most difficult math problems. By the time he graduated high school, he had been offered a scholarship to Yale. That gave him the chance to study under famed mathematician Serge Lang while earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
After graduating from Yale University, Anthony Petrello enrolled at Harvard Law School where he went on to earn his law degree. He then took and passed the New York bar examination and was hired by Baker & McKenzie, a world renowned law firm.
At Baker & McKenzie Anthony Petrello excelled. The law firm promoted him to managing director of their Manhattan, New York office. He seemed poised to have a great future practicing law. But Petrello’s incredible work impressed Nabors Industries Limited, one of the law firm’s most important clients. They offered him a job as chief operating officer of the company. Nabors Industries is the largest land-based oil and gas drilling company in the world. Anthony Petrello accepted the job in 1991. Within a few years he had been promoted to president, CEO and chairman of the company. In 2015 the company made him the highest paid CEO, paying him $68.2 million.
Things changed for Petrello when his daughter Carena was born prematurely. She was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia. He donated $7 million to Texas Children’s Hospital as seed money for their neurological research institute. The center helps children with neurological problems.