Wichita businessman, developer dies

Published On: Jul 07 2014 05:18:24 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 07 2014 05:23:09 PM CDT

A Wichita developer has died from complications of Alzheimer's.

Donald Slawson, who founded Slawson Companies, died Monday at the age of 80. He was a graduate of East High School and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1955 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Geology. In 1957, he founded Slawson Companies - an independent oil and gas exploration company which drilled over 4,000 operated wells in 10 states.

He helped pioneer the horizontal drilling technique, and his company remains a leader in horizontal Bakken drilling and production.

Slawson helped develop what is now New Market Square in west Wichita, as well as Tallgrass Center and The Shops at Tallgrass in east Wichita. His family helped open the Slawson Family Tiger Trek at the Sedgwick County Zoo in 2009.

Funeral arraignments are pending.