J. Paul Getty : biography
Jean Paul Getty (December 15, 1892 – June 6, 1976) was an Anglo-American industrialist.Whitman, Alden. New York Times, June 6, 1976. Retrieved September 6, 2008. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American,List of 76 said to hold above 75 millions. New York Times, October 28, 1957. whilst the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world’s richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion (approximately $ billion in ).Norris & Ross McWhirter, Guinness Book of Records, London, 1966, p.229 At his death, he was worth more than $2 billion (approximately $ billion in ).Lenzner, Robert. The great Getty: the life and loves of J. Paul Getty, richest man in the world. New York: Crown Publishers, 1985. ISBN 0-517-56222-7 A book published in 1996 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived, based on his wealth as a percentage of the gross national product. Despite his wealth, Getty was known for being a miser.
Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities; his collection formed the basis of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, and over $661 million (approximately $ billion in ) of his estate was left to the museum after his death. He established the J. Paul Getty Trust in 1953. The trust is the world’s wealthiest art institution, and operates the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute.Edward Wyatt, "Getty Fees and Budget Reassessed," The New York TImes, April 30, 2009, p. C1.
- Getty, J. Paul. The history of the bigger oil business of George F.S. F. and J. Paul Getty from 1903 to 1939. Los Angeles?, 1941.
- Getty, J. Paul. Europe in the Eighteenth Century. [Santa Monica, Calif.]: privately printed, 1949.
- Le Vane, Ethel, and J. Paul Getty. Collector’s Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe. London: W.H. Allen, 1955.
- Getty, J. Paul. My Life and Fortunes. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1963.
- Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting. New York: Hawthorn Books, 1965.
- Getty, J. Paul. How to be Rich. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1965.
- Getty, J. Paul. The Golden Age. New York: Trident Press, 1968.
- Getty, J. Paul. How to be a Successful Executive. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1971.
- Getty, J. Paul. As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1976. ISBN 0-13-049593-X
On July 10, 1973 in Rome, kidnappers abducted 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and, over the telephone, demanded $17 million for his safe return. However, "the family suspected a ploy by the rebellious teenager to extract money from his miserly grandfather." Telegraph, April 17, 2003. John Paul Getty, Jr. asked his father for the money, but was refused. BBC News, June 13, 2001.
In November 1973 an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear arrived at a daily newspaper. The second demand had been delayed three weeks by an Italian postal strike. The demand threatened that Paul would be further mutilated unless the victim’s paid $3.2 million: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits."
When the kidnappers finally reduced their demands to $3 million, Getty senior agreed to pay no more than $2.2 million—the maximum that would be tax deductible. He lent his son the remaining $800,000 at 4% interest. Paul III was found alive in southern Italy shortly after the ransom was paid. After his release Paul III called his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom but Getty refused to come to the phone. Nine people were later arrested for the kidnapping, but only two were convicted. The New York Times, February 7, 2011. 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.