In 2018, Pickens closed his hedge fund – BP Capital Management – due to deteriorating health. Earlier, Pickens headed an independent oil and gas company – Mesa Petroleum – for more than 30 years.Born in 1928 in Holdenville, Oklahoma, Pickens’ family moved to Texas in the late 1930s. In 1951, he gained a geology degree from Oklahoma State University, after which Pickens started working for Phillips Petroleum. Three years later, he started his own oil and gas firm – which later emerged as Mesa Petroleum, which was ranked among the largest independent oil companies in the world, at a time.
During his career, Pickens drove many takeover endeavours on bigger enterprises like Gulf Oil Corp, Unocal Corp, Phillips Petroleum, etc. While these attempts failed, his actions resulted in restructuring of the oil and gas landscape.Gulf Oil Corp merged with Chevron in a multi-billion dollar deal. Pickens made millions of dollars during this industry reforming. According to Forbes, Pickens had a fortune of more than $3bn in 2008.
Pickens has been a philanthropist throughout his career. His philanthropic activities resulted in about $300mn in giving in the 2005-2006 period, and more than $1bn during his career.Pickens is survived by five children and 11 grandchildren.
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