J. Paul Getty

Born Dec 15, 1892

Jean Paul Getty was an Anglo-American industrialist. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American, whilst the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world's richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion. At his death, he was worth more than $2 billion.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of J. Paul Getty.


1892 Birth Born on December 15, 1892.


1914 21 Years Old He enrolled at the University of Southern California, then at University of California, Berkeley before graduating in 1914 from Magdalen College, Oxford, with degrees in economics and political science. … Read More
1916 23 Years Old Running his own oil company in Tulsa, he made his first million by June 1916. … Read More
1917 24 Years Old However, in 1917, he announced that he was retiring to become a Los Angeles-based playboy. … Read More
1919 26 Years Old After taking a few years off from the money-making grind to enjoy spending his earnings on women, Getty returned to Oklahoma in 1919. … Read More


1930 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Just before George Franklin Getty died in 1930, he believed that Jean Paul would destroy the family company, and told him so.


1949 56 Years Old Beginning in 1949, Getty paid Ibn Saud $9.5 million in cash and $1 million a year for a 60-year concession to a tract of barren land near the border of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. … Read More


1953 60 Years Old From 1953 onward, Getty's gamble produced a year, which contributed greatly to the fortune which made him one of the richest people in the world. … Read More
1963 70 Years Old Getty placed dial-locks on all the regular telephones, limiting their use to authorised staff, and the coin-box telephone was installed for others. When speaking in a televised interview with Alan Whicker in February 1963, Getty said that he thought guests would want to use a payphone.
1973 80 Years Old On July 10, 1973 in Rome, 16 year old John Paul Getty III was kidnapped and a ransom of $17 million was demanded over the phone for his safe return. … Read More
1976 83 Years Old 1 More Event
Getty lived the rest of his life in the British Isles, dying of heart failure at the age of 83 on June 6, 1976. … Read More
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