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1985: Founding years
Enron's dramatic expansion and rise to international prominence

Enron was born in July 1985 when Houston Natural Gas merged with Omaha-based InterNorth.

Kenneth Lay, an energy economist who had held academic and government positions throughout his career, became chairman and chief executive.

His ambitions for the new company he had helped form went beyond the business of piping gas.

He wanted to see an energy trading revolution and place Enron at the heart of it.

By 2001 he appeared to be succeededing in his goal, having created a multinational corporation employing thousands with a turnover of billions of dollars.

But suddenly, as if from nowhere, the company unravelled and collapsed. How could a company worth billions come crashing down, destroying the livelihoods of thousands?

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