|Who is it?||Businessman|
|Birth Day||December 15, 1892|
|Birth Place||Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S, American|
|Age||127 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||June 6, 1976(1976-06-06) (aged 83)\nSutton Place near Guildford, Surrey, England|
|Spouse(s)||Jeanette Demont (m. 1923; div. 1926) Allene Ashby (m. 1927; div. 1928) Adolphine Helmle (m. 1928; div. 1932) Ann Rork (m. 1932; div. 1936) Louise Dudley Lynch (m. 1939; div. 1958)|
|Children||5, including: Eugene Paul Getty, later John Paul Getty Jr. Gordon Peter Getty|
|Parent(s)||George Franklin Getty Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher|
The second reason for my refusal was much broader-based. I contend that acceding to the demands of criminals and terrorists merely guarantees the continuing increase and spread of lawlessness, violence and such outrages as terror-bombings, "skyjackings" and the slaughter of hostages that plague our present-day world. (Getty, 1976, p. 139).
Getty was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Sarah Catherine McPherson (Risher) and George Getty, who was an attorney in the insurance industry. Paul was raised to be a Methodist by his parents, his Father was a devout Christian Scientist and both were strict teetotalers. In 1903, when Paul was 10 years old, George Getty travelled to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and bought the mineral rights for 1,100 acres of land. Within a few years Getty had established wells on the land which were producing 100,000 barrels of crude oil a month.
As newly-minted millionaires, the family moved to Los Angeles to escape the harsh Minnesota winters. At age 14 Paul attended Harvard Military School for a year, followed by Polytechnic High School, where he was given the nickname "Dictionary Getty" because of his love of reading. He became fluent in French, German and Italian - over the course of his Business life he would also become conversational in Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Russian. A love of the Classics also led him to acquire reading proficiency in Ancient Greek and Latin. He enrolled at the University of Southern California, then at the University of California, Berkeley, but left both before obtaining a degree. Enamored with Europe after travelling abroad with his parents in 1910, on November 28, 1912, Paul enrolled at the University of Oxford. A letter of introduction by then-President of the United States william Howard Taft enabled him to gain independent instruction from tutors at Magdalen College. Although he did not belong to Magdalen, he claimed that the aristocratic students "accepted me as one of their own," and he would fondly boast of the friends he made, including Edward VIII, the Future King of the United Kingdom. He obtained his degree in Economics and Political Science in 1914, then spent months travelling throughout Europe and Egypt, before meeting his parents in Paris and returning with them to America in June 1914.
In the autumn of 1914, George Getty gave his son $10,000 to invest in expanding the family's oil field holdings in Oklahoma. The first lot he bought, the Nancy Taylor No. 1 Oil Well Site near Haskell, Oklahoma, was crucial to his early financial success. It struck oil in August 1915 and by the next summer the 40% commission he accrued from it had made him a millionaire.
In 1917, when he was 25, a paternity suit was filed against Getty in Los Angeles by Elsie Eckstrom, who claimed he was the Father of her newborn daughter Paula. Eckstrom claimed that Getty had taken her virginity and fathered the child, while his legal team tried to undermine her credibility by claiming that she had a history of promiscuity. In late 1917 he agreed to a settlement of $10,000, upon which she left town with the baby and was never heard of again.
In 1919, Getty returned to Business in Oklahoma. During the 1920s, he added about $3 million to his already sizable estate. His succession of marriages and divorces (three during the 1920s, five throughout his life) so distressed his Father, however, that J. Paul inherited a mere $500,000 (approximately $7.32 million in 2017) of the $10 million fortune (approximately $146.49 million in 2017) his Father George had left at the time of his death in 1930. He was left with one-third of the stock from George Getty Inc., while his mother received the other two thirds, giving her a controlling interest. Just before he died, George Franklin Getty said that Jean Paul would ultimately destroy the family company.
Getty's first forays into collecting began in the late 1930s, when he took inspiration from the collection of 18th century French paintings and furniture owned by the landlord of his New York City penthouse, Mrs. Amy Guest, a relation of Sir Winston Churchill. He fell in love with 18th century France and began buying furniture from the period at knock-down prices because of the still-depressed art market. He wrote several books on collecting: "Europe and the 18th Century" (1949), "Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe" (1955) and "The Joys of Collecting" (1965). The overwhelming goal in his collecting was to buy items at a bargain which would offer a sure return on his investment. His stinginess limited the range of his collecting because he refused to pay full-price: his companion in later life, Penelope Kitson, would comment that "Paul was really too mean ever to allow himself to buy a great painting." Nonetheless, at the time of his death he owned more than 600 items valued at over $4 million (approximately $17.5 million in 2018 USD), including paintings by Rubens, Titian, Gainsborough, Renoir, Tintoretto, Degas, and Monet. During the 1950s, Getty's interests shifted to Greco-Roman sculpture, which led to the building of the Getty Villa in the 1970s to house the collection. These items were transferred to the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa in Los Angeles after his death.
In 1936, his mother convinced him to contribute to the establishment of a $3.368 million (about $62.5 million in 2018) investment trust, called the Sarah C. Getty Trust, to ensure that the family's ever-growing wealth could be channeled into a tax-free, secure income for Future generations of the Getty family. The trust enabled J. Paul to have easy access to ready capital, which at the time he was funneling into the purchase of Tidewater Petroleum stock.
Beginning in 1949, Getty paid Ibn Saud $9.5 million (approximately $97.71 million in 2017) in cash and $1 million a year for a 60-year concession to a tract of barren land near the border of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. No oil had ever been discovered there, and none appeared until four years had passed, and $30 million (approximately $274.40 million in 2017) had been spent. From 1953 onward, Getty's gamble produced 16,000,000 barrels (2,500,000 m) a year, which contributed greatly to the fortune responsible for making him one of the richest people in the world.
His insatiable appetite for women and sex also continued well into his 80s. He used an experimental drug, "H3", to maintain his potency. Getty met the English interior designer Penelope Kitson in the 1950s and entrusted her with decorating his homes and the public rooms of the oil tankers he was launching. From 1960 she resided in a cottage on the grounds of Sutton Place, and, though she did not have a sexual relationship with him, Getty held her in high respect and trust. Other mistresses who resided at Sutton Place included the married Mary Teissier, a distant cousin of the last Tsar of Russia, Lady Ursula d'Abo, who had close connections to the British Royal Family, and Nicaraguan-born Rosabella Burch.
Shrewdly investing his resources during the Great Depression, Getty acquired Pacific Western Oil Corporation, and he began the acquisition (completed in 1953) of the Mission Corporation, which included Tidewater Oil and Skelly Oil. In 1967 the Billionaire merged these holdings into Getty Oil.
Many anecdotal stories exist of Getty's reputed thriftiness, which struck observers as comical, even perverse, because of his extreme wealth. The two most famous examples are his refusal to pay his grandson's ransom, and the notorious pay-phone which he had installed at Sutton Place. A darker incident was his fifth wife's claim that Getty had scolded her for spending too much on their terminally ill sons' medical treatment, though he was worth tens of millions of dollars at the time. He was well known for bargaining on almost everything to obtain a rock-bottom price, including for suites at luxury hotels and virtually all purchases like art work and real estate. Sutton Place, for instance, a 72-room mansion, was purchased from George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 5th Duke of Sutherland in 1959 for the extremely low price of ₤60,000 (about ₤1.338 million in 2018 GBP), about half of what the Duke had paid when he bought it 40 years before.
On June 30, 1960, Getty threw a 21st birthday party for a relation of his friend, the 16th Duke of Norfolk, which served as a housewarming party for the newly-purchased Sutton Place. 1,200 guests consisting of the cream of British society were invited. Party goers were irritated by Getty's stinginess, such as not providing cigarettes and relegating everyone to using creosote portable toilets outside. At about 10pm the party descended into pandemonium as party crashers arrived from London, swelling the already overcrowded halls, causing an estimated ₤20,000 in damages. A valuable silver ewer by the 18th century silversmith Paul de Lamerie was stolen, but returned anonymously when the London newspapers began covering the theft. The failure of the event made the newly-arrived Getty the object of ridicule, and he never threw another large party again.
When speaking in a televised interview with Alan Whicker in February 1963, Getty said that he thought guests would want to use a payphone. After 18 months, Getty explained, "The in-and-out traffic flow at Sutton subsided. Management and operation of the house settled into a reasonable routine. With that, the pay-telephone [was] removed, and the dial-locks were taken off the telephones in the house."
Getty remained an inveterate hard worker, boasting at age 74 that he often worked 16 to 18 hours per day overseeing his operations across the world. The Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War of October 1973 caused a worldwide oil shortage for years to come. In this period, the value of Getty Oil shares quadrupled, with Getty enjoying personal earnings of $25.8 million in 1975 (appr. $120 million in 2018 USD).
When the kidnappers finally reduced their demands to $3 million (approximately $16.5 million in 2017), Getty senior agreed to pay no more than $2.2 million (approximately $12.1 million in 2017) – the maximum that would be tax-deductible. He lent his son the remaining $800,000 (approximately $4.4 million in 2017) at 4% interest. Paul III was found alive in a Lauria filling station, in the province of Potenza, shortly after the ransom was paid. After his release Paul III called his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom but, it is claimed, Getty refused to come to the phone. Nine people associated with 'Ndrangheta were later arrested for the kidnapping, but only two were convicted. Paul III was permanently affected by the trauma and became a drug addict. After a stroke brought on by a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in 1981, Paul III was rendered speechless, nearly blind and partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. He died 30 years later on February 5, 2011, at the age of 54.
At age 99, in 2013, Getty's fifth wife, Louise—now known as Teddy Getty Gaston—published a memoir reporting how Getty had scolded her for spending money too freely in the 1950s on the treatment of their six-year-old son, Timmy, who had become blind from a brain tumor. Timmy died at age 12, and Getty, living in England apart from his wife and son back in the U.S., did not attend the funeral. Teddy divorced him that year. Teddy Gaston died in April 2017 at the age of 103.
Getty increased the family wealth, learning to speak Arabic, which enabled his unparalleled expansion into the Middle East. Getty owned the controlling interest in nearly 200 businesses, including Getty Oil. Associates identified his overall wealth at between $2 billion and $4 billion. It didn't come easily, perhaps inspiring Getty's widely quoted remark—"The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights." J. Paul Getty was an owner of Getty Oil, Getty Inc., George F. Getty Inc., Pacific Western Oil Corporation, Mission Corporation, Mission Development Company, Tidewater Oil, Skelly Oil, Mexican Seaboard Oil, Petroleum Corporation of America, Spartan Aircraft Company, Spartan Cafeteria Company, Minnehoma Insurance Company, Minnehoma Financial Company, Pierre Hotel at Fifth Avenue and East 61st Street (NYC), Pierre Marques Hotel at Revolcadero Beach near Acapulco, Mexico, a 15th-century palace and nearby castle at Ladispoli on the coast North West of Rome, a Malibu ranch home and Sutton Place, a 72-room mansion near Guildford, Surrey, 35 miles from London.
The 2017 film All the Money in the World - directed by Ridley Scott and adapted from the book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty by John Pearson - is a dramatisation of the abduction of Getty's grandson, in which Getty is portrayed by Christopher Plummer. Plummer was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
The kidnapping is also dramatized in the series Trust. The first episode aired on March 25, 2018 on FX. The series is directed by Danny Boyle, and Donald Sutherland plays Getty.