T. Boone Pickens has died at the age of (checking notes) 91. Wait…91? I swear he’s been 91 for like 10 years. Nevertheless, the old Oil & Gas Man turned Corporate Raider has passed away at his home in Dallas.
This is a guy that started his own oil company, leveraged it into a hedge fund, built himself into a billionaire swallowing up less savvy businessmen and putting them out of business. It turned him into a celebrity in the 80’s…the face of the Wild West of Corporate Takeovers, except instead of doing it from a Manhattan boardroom, he was actually boots on the ground in the Wild West.
So this is just some greedy guy that probably just spent most of his time swimming around in piles of cash like Scrooge McDuck, right?
Well, not so fast, my friend. Pickens was actually a legendary philanthropist, with over a Billion in estimated donations. Unreal! Like a Cowboy Bill Gates, he probably did a ton of good in the world then??? Well……..
Over 500 MILLION of those donations were to Oklahoma State Athletics, and led to him having the freaking stadium named after him. This guy makes Phil Knight look like a PTA mom. Now, maybe not the most noble of causes, but, hey it’s still giving. Even if it served his ego, helping the athletic program helps the University and helps the community as a whole. Ultimately that’s a good thing, and deserves rightful credit.
Hold up, you’ve got to be shitting me…his largest single donation was for an “Athletic Village”, which was built on land taken from homeowners through eminent domain. Holy shit…that settles is. This guy was clearly a ruthless, greedy, egomaniac who didn’t care about anyone but himself. I mean after all, he was an oil tycoon… and they notoriously don’t give a shit about effects of their behavior on the environment, as long as they are turning profits. So why should we give him any credit at all.
What’s that? During the -00’s Pickens started warning about the reliance on crude oil, pushing for natural gas and wind energy, and ultimately became a go-to voice speaking on behalf of Clean Energy lobbyists…of fucking course he did.
I give up.
Bottom line, this is an All-Time American. Was he evil? Was he great? Who the hell knows. He was an enigma. And he’s an HTTA guy.