Jean Paul Getty

American Billionaire Oilman


Name: Jean Paul Getty
Race: Human
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Gambling d8, Intimidation d8, Knowledge: Business d10, Knowledge: Economics d10, Knowledge: Political Science d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d12
Pace: 5, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5, Charisma: -2
Gear: Unarmed Strike d4 (Str), Winter Boots, Winter Gear
Special Abilities:
•Arrogant: Flaunt superiority; Seek master in battle
•Elderly: -1 Pace; Str and Vig -1 die-type and locked
•Greedy: Argues over all treasure
•Mean: Ill-tempered and disagreeable; -2 Charisma
•Overconfident: Believes he can do anything; Accepts all challenges
•Connections (British Government): Get help from inside group
•Connections (Oil Business): Get help from inside group
•Filthy Rich: Five times starting funds; Huge annual salary
•Great Luck: Net +2 Bennies each game session
•Luck: +1 Bennie each game session
•Rich: Three times starting funds; High annual salary


Getty was born to Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher and George Getty, who was in the petroleum business, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was one of the first people in the world with a fortune estimated at over one billion U.S. dollars.

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. He spent his summers between studies working on his father’s oil fields in Oklahoma. Running his own oil company in Tulsa, he made his first million by June 1916. The Nancy Taylor No. 1 Oil Well Site near Haskell, Oklahoma, was crucial to his early financial success. This oil well was the first to be drilled by J.P. Getty. However, in 1917, he announced that he was retiring to become a Los Angeles-based playboy. Although he eventually returned to business, Getty had lost his father’s respect. Just before George Franklin Getty died in 1930, he believed that Jean Paul would destroy the family company, and told him so.

After taking a few years off from the money-making grind to enjoy spending his earnings on women, Getty returned to Oklahoma in 1919. During the 1920s, he added about $3 million to his already sizable estate. His succession of marriages and divorces (three during the 1920s, five throughout his life) so distressed his father, however, that J. Paul inherited a mere $500,000 of the $10 million the senior Getty left at his death in 1930.

Shrewdly investing his resources during the Great Depression, Getty acquired Pacific Western Oil Corporation, and he began the acquisition (completed in 1953) of the Mission Corporation, which included Tidewater Oil and Skelly Oil. In 1967 the billionaire merged these holdings into Getty Oil.

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. No oil had ever been discovered there, and none appeared until four years and $30 million had been spent. From 1953 onward, Getty’s gamble produced 16,000,000 barrels (2,500,000 m3) a year, which contributed greatly to the fortune which made him one of the richest people in the world.

Getty increased the family wealth, learning to speak Arabic which enabled his unparalleled expansion into the Middle East. Getty owned the controlling interest in nearly 200 businesses, including Getty Oil. Associates identified his overall wealth at between $2 billion and $4 billion. It didn’t come easily, perhaps inspiring Getty’s widely quoted remark—"The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights."

He moved to Britain in the 1950s and became a prominent Anglophile. He lived and worked at his 16th century Tudor estate, Sutton Place near Guildford, Surrey; the traditional country house became the centre of Getty Oil and his associated companies and he used the estate to entertain his British and Arabian friends (including the British Rothschild family and numerous rulers of Middle Eastern countries). Getty lived the rest of his life in the British Isles, dying of heart failure at the age of 83 on June 6, 1976.

Jean Paul Getty

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