Capitalist T. Boone Pickens Wiki, Bio, Age, Career, Spouse, Children, Nationality & Net Worth


T. Boone Pickens was an American capitalist. Pickens chaired the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a very well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of November 2016, Pickens had a net worth of $500 million.

Early life

Pickens was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, the son of Grace (née Molonson) and Thomas Boone Pickens. His father worked as an oil and mineral landman (rights leaser). During World War II, his mother ran the local Office of Price Administration, rationing gasoline and other goods in three counties. Pickens was the first child born via Caesarean section in the history of Holdenville hospital.

At age 12, Pickens delivered newspapers. He quickly expanded his paper route from 28 papers to 156. Pickens later cited his boyhood job as an early introduction to “expanding quickly by acquisition”, a business practise he favoured later in life.

When the oil boom in Oklahoma ended in the late 1930s, Pickens’ family moved to Amarillo, Texas. Further, Pickens attended Texas A&M on a basketball scholarship, but he lost the scholarship and transferred to Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), where he majored in geology. Likewise, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in geology since 1951. Following his graduation, Pickens was employed by Phillips Petroleum. He worked for Phillips until 1954. Since 1956, following his period as a wildcatter, he founded the company that would later become Mesa Petroleum.


Likewise, by 1981, Mesa had grown into one of the largest independent oil companies in the world. Pickens led Mesa’s first major acquisition, a takeover of the Hugoton Production Company, which was 30 times the size of Mesa. Similarly, he then shifted his focus to acquiring other oil and gas companies by making solicited and unsolicited buyout bids and other merger and acquisition activity.

Pickens’ corporate acquisitions made him a celebrity during the 1980s, an era of vigorous and extensively reported takeover activity. Additionally, his most publicized deals included attempted buyouts of Cities Service, Gulf Oil, Phillips Petroleum, and Unocal. Further, it was during this period that Pickens led Mesa’s successful acquisitions of Pioneer Petroleum and the mid-continent assets of Tenneco.

Political activity

Since 1980, Pickens made over $5 million in political donations. He was a financial supporter of President George W Bush and contributed heavily to both his Texas and national political campaigns. Similarly, in 2004, Pickens contributed to Republican 527 groups. Additionally, including a $2 million contribution to the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth which ran a campaign asserting that Bush’s rival, John Kerry, exaggerated claims about his service in Vietnam, and $2.5 million to the Progress for America advocacy group. Since 2005, Pickens was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to Bush’s second inauguration.

Personal life

In 1949, Pickens married Lynn O’Brien. They had four children together. Furthermore, in April 1972, Pickens married Beatrice “Bea” Carr Stuart and adopted one of her daughters, Elizabeth “Liz” Cordia. They had no children together. Likewise, in November 2000, Pickens married Nelda Cain. They divorced in November 2004. They had no children together.

Since 2005, Pickens married Madeleine Paulson, the third wife and widow of the founder of Gulfstream Aerospace, Allen E. Paulson. Further, Pickens and Madeleine lived in Preston Hollow, Dallas and owned a ranch along the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle. They divorced amicably in 2012 and had no children together.


  • Full Name: Thomas Boone Pickens Jr.
  • Date of Birth: May 22, 1928
  • Birth Place: Holdenville, Oklahoma, U.S.
  • Date of Death: September 11, 2019
  • Aged: 91
  • Death Place: Dallas, Texas, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Oklahoma State University
  • Occupation: Chairman of BP Capital Management
  • Net worth: DecreaseUS$500 million (November 2016)
  • Spouse(s): Lynn O’Brien (m. 1949; div. 1971), Beatrice Carr (m. 1972; div. 1998), Nelda Cain (m. 2000; div. 2004), Madeleine Paulson (m. 2005; div. 2012), Toni Brinker (m. 2014; div. 2017)
  • Children: Pam Pickens, Michael Pickens, Elizabeth Pickens, Tom Pickens, Deborah Stovall
  • Net worth: US$500 million (November 2016)
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T. Boone Pickens