Born of humble beginning with working-class parents, Tony Petrello grew up in a predominantly Italian, working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. With honor, integrity, caring for others and a strong work ethic instilled in him at an early age, he knew the value of hard work and studied excessively in his schoolwork. This hard work resulted in strength in mathematics and logic.
With his mathematics prowess, Petrello continued his education at Yale University to pursue his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in math. During his university education, he decided to focus on the human sciences instead of mathematic and went to Harvard Law School to pursue a Juris Doctor degree.
Upon his graduation from Harvard Law School, Tony Petrello started his career at Nabors Industries and worked a variety of jobs. He became the CEO of the company in 1991 and 2011, became the Director of Stewart & Stevenson LLC in Houston Texas.
Even in his success, Tony Petrello never lost the virtues that he was taught early in his life, and by remembering his beginnings, he established the Yale Scholarship for deserving middle to low-income students. In the 1990’s Petrello and his wife, Cynthia, had a daughter who weighed only 20 ounces and had cerebral palsy with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Because of his daughter’s struggles, Tony and Cynthia wanted to help other parents of children with neurological conditions and donated 7 million dollars to the Texas Children’s Hospital. This hospital used the money to build a wing that is dedicated to pediatric neurological care. This wing, the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, provides innovative care to many families throughout the world.
In 2017, Houston, Texas and the surrounding area, was stricken by Hurricane Harvey. This hurricane destroyed many homes and businesses as well as flooding many streets. Committed to giving back to the community, Tony Petrello and his company, Nabors Industries, helped the residents of Houston with relief efforts. He matched his employees donations of $173,622 and served hot meals to local families from Nabors Industries on-site kitchen.