T. Boone Pickens Jr., an oil man and pioneer in hostile takeovers, has died. He was 91 and died at home in Dallas of natural causes, his family said.
As the longtime CEO of Mesa Petroleum Corp., Pickens’ folksiness, advocacy for shareholder rights and populist vilification of “Big Oil” helped turn him into one of the most recognizable executives in the U.S. for decades.
He was little known outside of energy circles until 1968, when he made the first of a string of unsolicited bids for much-larger oil companies. He later claimed the idea for a hostile takeover came to him in the shower, after a friendly overture was turned down.
A full obituary is here.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued the following statement:
“Although born in Oklahoma, Texas has always considered T. Boone Pickens to be one of our own. He was a passionate man who always stood by his principles on his path to success. T. Boone Pickens’ commitment to establishing American energy independence will have a lasting impact on the state of Texas, and the United States of America. Throughout his life and career, he generously gave to charitable causes to advance education, medical research, and humanitarian needs. I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in remembering the legacy of T. Boone Pickens, and keep him and his family in their prayers.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz issued the following statement:
“T. Boone Pickens lived a life marked with kindness and generosity. Boone was a friend, and he was a legendary Texas entrepreneur. He was larger than life, had a passion for others, and embodied Texas values. An extraordinarily generous philanthropist and a passionate advocate for American energy independence, Boone will be remembered as a legend in the hearts of Texans and Oklahomans alike. Heidi and I send our condolences to the entire Pickens family as they grieve the loss of a loving father, grandfather, and friend. May he rest in peace.”