At 33 Thomas Fenlon was commodore of the Standard Oil fleet of oil tankers. He had come a long way since he had fled an orphanage. There had been long lean years, scrubbing decks on Erie Canal boats, diligently doing his best on a fishing boat in Chesapeake Bay, only to learn he had been an inadvertent oyster pirate; then years in China, where he faced native pirates. In the 54 years he spent with Standard Oil he became company troubleshooter -- ever speeding the flow of oil by tanker, raising sunken ships, always a jump ahead of the times in marine transportation. As a hero Captain Fenlon loses stature, for his exploits were chiefly those of a ""company man"". Since his daring and seamanship were primarily of a commercial nature, they do not inspire to the degree that they would if undertaken in the name of exploration. But it is important to know that business has its heroes too.