DALLAS, Texas - Controversial corporate raider and philanthropist, oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is dead at the age of 91.
He died peacefully at his home in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday. He leaves behind 5 children and eleven grandchildren, as well as a number of great grandchildren.
Born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, the down-to-earth oil man who became one of America's greatest entrepreneurs, was known for taking over companies and stripping them, and he was successful at it. Many companies however he did not complete a takeover of, but made millions in the process.
His take-no-prisoners style contrasted with his folksy approach.
He started as a labourer and built his first stake to $2,500, which was to catapult him into the billions, the first of which was the hardest, he once said.
"He was coming into the office every day until Monday," spokesman Jay Rosser said Wednesday. "He stayed active running his own portfolio."
Pickens was a major contributor to medical research, athletic and educational initiatives, and was an advocate for increased domestic use of abundant natural gas.
Boone's family moved to Texas in the 1930s.
He was a staunch supporter of President George W.Bush, helping to fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Democratic Senator John Kerry who challenged Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
"He generously shared his success with institutions and communities across Texas and Oklahoma," former President George W. Bush said Wednesday.
"Ralph Waldo Emerson said: 'Do not go where the path might lead, but instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.' That was Boone," retired banker Alan White, one of Pickens' closest friends told The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. "Boone was always going someplace where there was no path. He left trails all of his life. Many of us had the good fortune of being able to follow along with him."
"Herb, Boone and my father were members of our society who will never be replaced," Ross Perot Jr., whose father Ross Perot Snr. died in July told the local Dallas paper on Wednesday. "They were unique, quality, driven men who had larger-than-life personalities and who made a huge, positive impact on our community and our country."
"I feel so blessed that the Lord allowed me to know a man like Boone Pickens," he said.
A memorial service has been scheduled for next Thursday at 2pm at Highland Park Methodist Church. Pickens will be buried at Karsten Creek Golf Club, home to the OSU golf team.