Jean Paul Getty, Sr.

Jean Paul Getty, Sr.

Male 1892 - 1976  (83 years)    Has 2 ancestors and 44 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Jean Paul Getty 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born 15 Dec 1892  Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Jun 1976 
    Person ID I445149  Geneagraphie
    Links To This person is also Jean Paul Getty at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 

    Father George Franklin Getty,   b. 1852,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Sarah McPherson Risher,   b. 19 Jan 1853,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F176402  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Jeanette Tremont,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1923 
    Divorced 1925 
    +1. George Franklin Getty,   b. 1925,   d. 1973  (Age 48 years)
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 
    Family ID F176383  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Allene Ashby,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1926 
    Divorced 1928 
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 
    Family ID F176384  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Adolphine Hemle,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1928 
    Divorced 1932 
    +1. Jean Ronald Getty
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 
    Family ID F176385  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Ann Rork,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1932 
    Divorced 1935 
    +1. Jean Paul Getty, Jr.,   b. 7 Sep 1932,   d. 18 Apr 2003, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years)
    +2. Living
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 
    Family ID F176381  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 5 Theodora Lynch,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Aft 1935 
     1. Timothy Ware Getty
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2003 
    Family ID F176386  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 15 Dec 1892 - Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos

  • Notes 
    • founding father of the Getty clan. He inherited his father's oil business, and invested money from it into the stock market, which generated immense affluence. Although he cultivated friendships with English royalty and its aristocracy, one of his possessions was a pay phone for his guests at Sutton Place, his London home worth $17 million.

      Los Angeles, California, where young Getty attended private school before
      graduating from Polytechnic High School in 1909. After a European tour he attended the
      University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley; he spent his
      summers working on his father's oil rigs as a "roustabout." In 1912 Getty enrolled in Oxford
      University in England, from which he received a degree in economics and political science in

      In 1914 Getty arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, determined to strike it rich as a wildcat oil
      producer. Although he operated independently of his father's Minnehoma Oil Company, his
      father's loans and financial backing enabled him to begin buying and selling oil leases in the
      red-bed area of Oklahoma. Getty saw himself as a modern oil man, relying on geological data
      and not simply on the instinct of the experienced veterans, but he also thrived on the
      excitement, gamble, risks, and high stakes of the oil business. Getty's own first successful well
      came in in 1916, and by the fall of that year he had made his first million dollars as a wildcatter
      and lease broker.

      For the next two years Getty "retired" to the life of a wealthy playboy in Los Angeles, but he
      returned to the oil business in 1919. During the 1920s he and his father continued to be
      enormously successful both in drilling their own wells and in buying and selling oil leases, and
      Getty became more active in California than in Oklahoma. He amassed a personal fortune of
      over three million dollars and acquired a third interest in what was to become the Getty Oil

      After his father's death in 1930 Paul Getty became the president of the George Getty Oil
      Company (successor to Minnehoma Oil), but his mother inherited the controlling interest, as his
      father had been upset with his son's profligate personal life. During the 1930s Getty followed
      several paths to both short-term and long-term success. His wells continued to produce, and
      profits poured in. He also bought a controlling interest in the Pacific Western Oil Corporation,
      one of the ten largest oil companies in California. After a series of agreements with his mother
      he obtained the controlling interest in the George Getty Oil Company, and he began real estate
      dealings, including the purchase of the Hotel Pierre in New York City.

      The Getty Oil Company

      Getty's ambition was to build up an independent, self-contained oil business involving refining,
      transporting, and selling oil as well as exploration and drilling. To that end he began in the
      1930s to gain control of the Tidewater Oil Company. Getty pursued that goal in a series of
      complicated maneuvers, which involved tilting with the giant Standard Oil of New Jersey, until
      in the 1950s he had control of Tidewater, Skelly Oil, and the Mission Corporation. In 1967
      these companies merged into the Getty Oil Company, the foundation of Getty's fortune. Getty
      had a majority or controlling interest in Getty Oil and its nearly 200 affiliated and subsidiary
      firms, and he remained its president until his death in 1976.

      At the outbreak of World War II, Getty, a yachtsman, volunteered for service in the Navy, but
      his offer was rejected. At the request of Naval officers, however, he took over personal
      management of Spartan Aircraft, a Skelly and Getty subsidiary. The corporation manufactured
      trainers and airplane parts, and it later converted to the profitable production of mobile homes.

      After the war Getty took a lucrative gamble on oil rights in the Middle East. In 1949 he
      secured the oil rights in Saudi Arabia's half of the Neutral Zone, a barren tract between Saudi
      Arabia and Kuwait. He made major concessions to King Saud, which shocked the large oil
      companies, but after three years and a $30 million investment, Getty found the huge oil
      deposits that helped make him a billionaire.

      In his business career, Getty continued to invest and reinvest; his fortune consisted not of cash,
      but stocks, corporate assets, and real estate. A loner, he saw himself as a solitary knight in
      fierce battle with the giant "Seven Sisters" oil firms, and that competitive urge fueled his desire
      to build a larger and larger fortune.

      A "Public" Personal Life

      In 1957 Fortune magazine published a list of the richest men in America. Getty's name headed
      the list, and the resultant publicity turned the reclusive Getty into an object of public fascination
      and legend. Getty complained about the fame, the requests for money, and the assumption that
      he would pick up every restaurant check, but he also furthered his own legends: he wrote
      articles on such topics as "How To Be Rich" and pretended to poverty by wearing rumpled
      suits and threadbare sweaters. The public was fascinated by Getty's wealth and extravagance
      and also by his reputed stinginess. After 1959 he stopped living out of hotel rooms and
      established his home and offices at Sutton Place, a 16th-century, 700-acre manor outside
      London. The huge estate, with its gardens, pools, trout stream, and priceless furnishings, was
      also a near garrison, with elaborate security arrangements. Giant Alsatian dogs had the run of
      the estate, and there were also two caged lions, Nero and Teresa. Numerous stories circulated
      about Getty's penny-pinching; the most famous incident was the installation of a pay telephone
      on the Sutton Place grounds. Getty offered various explanations, but the public preferred to
      see the phone booth as a symbol of his stinginess.

      The public also seemed to like to read into Getty's life the lesson that money does not buy
      happiness. Getty was married five times: to Jeannette Dumont (1923), Allene Ashby (1925),
      Adolphine Helmle (1928), Ann Rork (1932), and Louisa Lynch (1939); each marriage ended
      in divorce. He had five sons, two of whom predeceased him, and his relationship with each of
      them was difficult. His grandson, J. Paul Getty III, was kidnapped in Italy in 1973. Although he
      was returned for a ransom, part of his ear had been cut off. Getty was a celebrity, and public
      interest, fueled by envy and admiration, focused on Getty's tragedies as well as his billions.

      Besides oil, Getty's major interest was art. He began serious collecting in the 1930s--European
      paintings, furniture, Greek and Roman sculptures, 18th-century tapestries, silver, and fine
      Persian carpets, including the 16th-century Ardabil carpet from Tabriz. He housed his
      collection at Sutton Place and at his ranch house at Malibu, California, one wing of which he
      opened as the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1954. In 1969 construction began on a new Getty
      Museum, also on his Malibu property. The huge building is a replica of an ancient Roman villa
      found near the ruins of Pompeii, and the extensive Getty collection was moved there after his

      Jean Paul Getty died at Sutton Place on June 6, 1976. He is buried on his Malibu estate.

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