Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. (born May 22, 1928), known as T. Boone Pickens, is an American business magnate and financier. Pickens chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. With an estimated current net worth of about $1.4 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 328th-richest person in America and ranked 879th in the world.
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 practice he favored later in life.
When the oil boom in Oklahoma ended in the late 1930s, Pickens' family moved to Amarillo, Texas. Pickens never served in the military but instead attended...