Billionaire Philanthropist Dies: T. Boone Pickens Biography, Wiki, Age, Family, Net Worth, Fast Facts You Need to Know

T. Boone Pickens Biography

T. Boone Pickens Biography

Thomas Boone Pickens Jr. was an American capitalist. Pickens chaired the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a very well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of November 2016, Pickens had a net worth of $500 million.

Thomas Boone Pickens Jr. Age

He was 91 years old.

T. Boone Pickens Quick Wiki

Thomas Boone Pickens Jr.

May 22, 1928

Holdenville, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died September 11, 2019 (aged 91)
Alma mater Oklahoma State University
Occupation Chairman of BP Capital Management
Net worth US$0 (September 2019)
Lynn O’Brien
(m. 1949; div. 1971)
Beatrice Carr
(m. 1972; div. 1998)
Nelda Cain
(m. 2000; div. 2004)
Madeleine Paulson
(m. 2005; div. 2012)
Toni Brinker
(m. 2014; div. 2017)
Children 5

T. Boone Pickens Early life

Pickens was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, the son of Grace (née Molonson) and Thomas Boone Pickens. His father worked as an oil and mineral landman (rights leaser). During World War II, his mother ran the local Office of Price Administration, rationing gasoline and other goods in three counties. Pickens was the first child born via Caesarean section in the history of Holdenville hospital.

At age 12, Pickens delivered newspapers. He quickly expanded his paper route from 28 papers to 156. Pickens later cited his boyhood job as an early introduction to “expanding quickly by acquisition”, a business practice he favored later in life.

When the oil boom in Oklahoma ended in the late 1930s, Pickens’ family moved to Amarillo, Texas. Pickens attended Texas A&M on a basketball scholarship, but he lost the scholarship and transferred to Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), where he majored in geology. He is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in geology in 1951. Following his graduation, Pickens was employed by Phillips Petroleum. He worked for Phillips until 1954. In 1956, following his period as a wildcatter, he founded the company that would later become Mesa Petroleum.

T. Boone Pickens Career

By 1981, Mesa had grown into one of the largest independent oil companies in the world. Pickens led Mesa’s first major acquisition, a takeover of the Hugoton Production Company, which was 30 times the size of Mesa. He then shifted his focus to acquiring other oil and gas companies by making solicited and unsolicited buyout bids and other merger and acquisition activity.

Pickens’ corporate acquisitions made him a celebrity during the 1980s, an era of vigorous and extensively reported takeover activity. His most publicized deals included attempted buyouts of Cities Service, Gulf Oil, Phillips Petroleum, and Unocal. It was during this period that Pickens led Mesa’s successful acquisitions of Pioneer Petroleum and the mid-continent assets of Tenneco.

These, as well as other deals, placed Pickens at the center of controversy during the 1980s. His celebrity rose so quickly after the Gulf Oil takeover bid that Time magazine put Pickens on the cover for the March 1985 issue. He briefly considered running for president in the 1988 elections. During this period, he was often characterized as a corporate raider and greenmailer. This is due to the fact that many of his deals were not completed, although Pickens and the shareholders he represented received substantial profits through the eventual sale of their stock as a result. His later takeover targets included Newmont Mining, a New York-based firm, Diamond Shamrock, and Koito Mfg., Ltd., a Japanese auto-parts manufacturer, making substantial gains in the process. He was also involved in the creation of the United Shareholders Association (USA), which from 1986–1993 attempted to influence the governance of several large companies. After nearly two years of periodic hearing and debate, in July 1998 the Securities and Exchange Commission voted 4–1 to approve a one-share, one-vote rule, a primary USA objective.

On the local level, Pickens chaired the Board of Regents of West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University) in Canyon and in 1987–1988 contributed to the restoration of the administration building known as “Old Main”. He was also active in the Republican Party in Potter County. Pickens organized a campaign in the mid-1980s against the Amarillo Globe-News newspaper, for what he claimed was inaccurate reporting about his deals and Mesa. Although the newspaper owner, Morris Communications, replaced its publisher twice during the conflict, Pickens’ attempts to have the paper change its editorial policy failed. Shortly thereafter, in 1989, Pickens and Mesa moved to a suburb of Dallas. Pickens sold Mesa to Richard Rainwater in 1996 after Rainwater’s wife, Darla Moore, had him removed from the company. Mesa merged with Parker & Parsley Petroleum in 1997 to form Pioneer Natural Resources.

In 1997, Pickens founded BP Capital Management (then called BP Energy Fund) – the initials standing for “Boone Pickens” and not related to British Petroleum. He holds a 46% interest in the company which runs two hedge funds, Capital Commodity and Capital Equity, both of which invest primarily in traditional energy companies such as oil, natural gas, and nuclear power corporations like Halliburton, Schlumberger, and Shaw Group.

In 2006, Pickens earned $990 million from his equity in the two funds and $120 million from his share of the 20% fees applied to fund profits. In 2007, Pickens earned $2.7 billion, as BP Capital Equity Fund grew by 24% after fees, and the then $590 million Capital Commodity fund grew 40%, thanks to, among others, large positions in the stocks of Suncor Energy, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum.

Pickens’ most recent recognition comes from The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. T. Boone Pickens received the 2009 Bower Award for Business Leadership for 50 years of visionary leadership in oil and other types of energy production, including domestic renewable energy, and for his philanthropic leadership contributing to education, medical research, and wildlife conservation.

T. Boone Pickens Political activity

Since 1980, Pickens has made over $5 million in political donations. He was a financial supporter of President George W. Bush and contributed heavily to both his Texas and national political campaigns. In 2004, Pickens contributed to Republican 527 groups, including a $2 million contribution to the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth which ran a campaign asserting that Bush’s rival, John Kerry, exaggerated claims about his service in Vietnam, and $2.5 million to the Progress for America advocacy group. In 2005, Pickens was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to Bush’s second inauguration.

On July 16, 2007, Pickens wrote an article for National Review supporting Rudy Giuliani for President. “In Rudy Giuliani, a gracious and committed public servant I’ve known for many years, we see that rare blend of big-picture vision and proven track record of achieving the ‘impossible.’ We see a forward-looking, accomplished executive eager to tackle the challenges of today’s America and ensure that tomorrow we wake up stronger, freer, and more united than ever before.” Pickens was an executive committee member of the Rudy Giuliani presidential committee.

Pickens chaired the celebration of the 40th anniversary of The American Spectator, a conservative U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics.

Pickens has focused his advocacy on alternative energy such as solar and wind. The Washington Post says that “perhaps the strangest role” Pickens “has fashioned for himself is his current one: the billionaire speculator as energy-wise man, an oil-and-gas magnate as champion of wind power, and a lifetime Republican who has become a fellow traveler among environmentally-minded Democrats – even though he helped finance the ‘Swift boat’ ads that savaged” Sen. John F. Kerry’s presidential campaign. In an editorial, The New York Times reported Pickens “has decided that drilling for more oil is not the whole answer to the nation’s energy problems.”

In the spring of 2010, Senator Kerry reached out to Pickens and encouraged his support of energy/climate change legislation he was drafting with Senators Lieberman and Graham. During a May 2010 meeting with reporters, Senator Kerry endorsed key provisions of “the Pickens Plan,” incorporating aspects of that in the Kerry-backed legislation calling for the greater use of domestic natural gas to replace foreign oil‑diesel‑gasoline in America’s heavy‑duty vehicle fleets.

T. Boone Pickens Personal life, Family, Spoused, Children

In 1949, Pickens married Lynn O’Brien. They had four children together; Deborah Pickens, Michael O. Pickens, Thomas B. Pickens III, and Pam Pickens. Pickens divorced Lynn in 1971.

In April 1972, Pickens married Beatrice “Bea” Carr Stuart and adopted one of her daughters, Elizabeth “Liz” Cordia. They had no children together.

In November 2000, Pickens married Nelda Cain. They divorced in November 2004. They had no children together.

In 2005, Pickens married Madeleine Paulson, the third wife, and widow of the founder of Gulfstream Aerospace, Allen E. Paulson. Pickens and Madeleine lived in Preston Hollow, Dallas and owned a ranch along the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle. They divorced amicably in 2012 and had no children together.

It was reported on December 4, 2013, that Pickens’ public relations representative told an NBC 5 affiliate reporter that he had proposed to Toni Chapman Brinker, widow of restaurateur Norman Brinker, at his ranch in Pampa. The couple married on February 14, 2014. The couple later divorced in June 2017.

Pickens had four biological children and one adopted daughter. As of 2007, Pickens had twelve grandchildren. In 2007, Pickens’ son Michael O. Pickens of Nocona, Texas was sentenced to probation for a penny stock trading scheme and entered drug rehabilitation afterward, emerging in March 2008. In October 2012, Michael, then 58 years old, began blogging under the title “5 Days In Connecticut.” In the blog, he made a number of allegations about his family, including that his drug addiction stemmed from physical abuse by his father, T. Boone Pickens. He also claimed his siblings stole from their mother and were addicted to drugs; and that his father sabotaged a family member’s business. Pickens and three of his children – Elizabeth Cordia, Pamela Pickens, and Thomas B. Pickens III – subsequently filed a lawsuit against Michael. They alleged libel, invasion of privacy and extortion via cyberbullying and cyberstalking. The plaintiffs said the blog was part of an effort to extort $20 million from Pickens. In January 2013, Pickens’ 21-year-old grandson Thomas “Ty” Boone Pickens IV died from a heroin overdose. Ty, the son of Thomas B. Pickens III, was a student at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

In July 2009, Pickens was the subject of controversy after he had a construction crew go to his grandmother’s former home, that was now owned by someone else, in Holdenville, Oklahoma and remove a slab of driveway concrete that he had signed as a child. The current owner of the home asserted ownership, and the slab was returned. In February 2010, a judge ruled that the slab belonged to the current homeowner.

Pickens owned a ranch in Roberts County, Texas that had three pipelines that crossed his property.

Pickens owned a Gulfstream 550 jet that he used to fly to Stillwater for OSU games from his private airport near Pampa, Texas.

On September 11, 2019, Pickens died. Pickens was in declining health and suffered series of strokes and a fall in 2017.

T. Boone Pickens Death, T. Boone Pickens Cause of Death

T. Boone Pickens, the wildcatter “Oracle of Oil,” hedge fund founder and philanthropist who rewrote the playbook for corporate raiders, has died. He was 91.

He died Wednesday of natural causes.

Pickens had been in declining health, suffering from a series of strokes and a serious fall in 2017.

T. Boone Pickens Honors and awards

In May 2012, Pickens was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award by the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation for his lifetime of accomplishments and in particular for the example that he has set for the future leaders of the world.

In 2003, Pickens was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Fast Facts You Need to Know

  • T. Boone Pickens was a wildcatter, corporate raider, hedge fund founder and billionaire philanthropist.
  • He also pursued clean energy solutions with wind power and natural gas.