T. Boone Pickens is the oil tycoon and corporate raider who died on September 11 at the age of 91. Pickens’ death was announced in a statement on his website. The press release read in part, “The long-time Dallas resident, who had battled back from a series of strokes and further head injuries sustained in a 2017 fall, died of natural causes surrounded by friends and family on September 11, 2019.” Pickens, a native of Holdenville, in the eastern part of Oklahoma, had been living in the Mesa Vista Ranch in the Panhandle. His cause of death has been given as natural causes.
Pickens’ Forbes profile refers to him as a “legendary energy executive, advocate for shareholder rights, and philanthropic leader.”
At the time of his death, Pickens net worth was reported to be around $500 million. Pickens is survived by his five children, Deborah Pickens Stovall, Pam Pickens Grace, Michael Pickens, Tom Pickens and Liz Pickens Cordia, as well as 11 grandchildren. Pickens’ grandson, T-Boone Pickens IV, died in January 2013 after taking a mixture of heroin and Xanax.
Pickens was married five times in his life, to Lynn O’Brien, between 1949 and 1971, Beatrice Carr, between 1972 and 1998, Nelda Cain, between 2000 and 2004, Madeline Paulson, between 2005 and 2012 and Toni Brinker, between 2014 and 2017.
The tribute on Pickens’ website says that memorial services will be held for Pickens in Dallas and Stillwater, Oklahoma. Pickens was a graduate of Oklahoma State University and die-hard supporter of the school’s sports teams. He will be buried at Karsten Creek Golf Club, the home of the school’s golf team.
Pickens’ wealth depletion was attributed in 2016 to the fact that he had given so much of his money away, according to the New York Times. In 2008, Forbes measured the Pickens’ wealth at $3 billion.
Pickens was a contributor to the Republican party, backing George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, even challenging Secretary of State John Kerry’s wartime credentials amid the swiftboat scandal. In 2008, Pickens put his support behind New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
In 2017, Pickens published a blog on Medium on the subject of mortality. The post came in the wake of several strokes that he had suffered that year. Pickens said that he initially lost his ability to speak but thanks to therapy, had regained 90 percent of his speech. Pickens wrote, “Be the eternal optimist who is excited to see what the next decade will bring. I remain excited every day, engaged and thrilled in the office and on the road. I thrive on that activity, and I’m going to stick to it, no matter the setback. And I am grateful to have such a strong support network that makes it all the more easy.
I’m fond of “Booneisms.” Number 15 on my list is this: “Don’t ever let age be an obstacle.” And I won’t.”