Founded in 1881, Odessa [†] was named after the Ukrainian port city "Odessa". The City owes its origins to functioning as a water stop and cattle-shipping point along the Texas and Pacific Railway. Odessa became an incorporated city in 1927, after oil was discovered. In the late 1920s, the discovery of oil in the Permian Basin would change the City forever.
Odessa's economy is intricately tied to the energy industry. Throughout its history, Odessa's periods of growth and stagnation are directly attributed to the energy market. Odessa's economy has long been defined by periods of boom and bust in the energy sector. This is a fact of life for those who call Odessa home and who stay in the community through the good times and the bad. Times of economic boom represent a time for the community to build, revitalize and regenerate.
Over the past decade, high oil market prices have led to the advancement of fracking technology, which has opened the Permian Basin's oil reserves back up for extraction. This has created a period of robust growth in the Permian Basin, growth not seen since the bust of the 1980s. In 2013, Odessa was the third fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation.
Nationally, Odessa is arguably most famous for its sports culture and "MOJO," depicted through numerous movies and TV shows. Odessa is home to one of the largest and most well-known high school stadiums in Texas, Ratliff Stadium, which was featured in the movie Friday Night Lights. Odessa was also used as the hometown setting in Season One for the NBC show Heroes. The truTV reality series show Black Gold is based on three oil wells outside of Odessa. Part of the Tommy Lee Jones movie, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrata, was also filmed in Odessa.
A few persons of note who have called Odessa home include President George H. W. Bush, President George W Bush, The Gatlin Brothers, Larry King, Ty Murray, Roy Williams and Larry Johnson.
† Envision Odessa, comprehensive plan, 2016, www.municipalsolutions.org, accessed August, 2021.