A Corporate Raider And An Energy Expert
THE OKLAHOMA BUSINESSMAN, THE SWISS PHOTOGRPAHER, AND THE COP TURNED ROCKER
T. Boone Pickens was the Oklahoma energy magnate who made and lost several fortunes, and also made a name as a corporate raider in the 1980s. He founded Mesa Petroleum and attempted to buy out much larger oil companies, usually unsuccessfully. His efforts did result in chastened boardrooms in many of those companies. He was also the largest single contributor to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater. Robert Frank was the Swiss photographer who came to the United States after World War II and photography and photographic subjects were handled. In the 1950s and 60s, he did much of his work with the Beat poets. Eddie Money was the son of a New York policeman who turned to rock and roll, and became one of the most successful solo artists of the 1980s.
Thomas Boone Pickens Jr. (May 22, 1928 – September 11, 2019) was an American business magnate and financier. Pickens chaired the hedge fund BP Capital Management. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of November 2016, Pickens had a net worth of $500 million.
When the oil boom in Oklahoma ended in the late 1930s, Pickens’ family moved to Amarillo, Texas. Pickens attended Texas A&M on a basketball scholarship, but he lost the scholarship and transferred to Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), where he majored in geology. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in geology in 1951. Following his graduation, Pickens was employed by Phillips Petroleum. He worked for Phillips until 1954. In 1956, following his period as a wildcatter, he founded the company that would later become Mesa Petroleum
Pickens was a major financial contributor to his alma mater, the Stillwater campus of Oklahoma State University (OSU). Through his contributions, Pickens spearheaded an initiative to create an athletic village just north of the existing campus. In order to do so, hundreds of houses were acquired by the OSU administration, one via eminent domain, and demolished using Pickens’ contributions.
Robert Frank (November 9, 1924 – September 9, 2019) was a Swiss photographer and documentary filmmaker, who became an American binational. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. Critic Sean O’Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said The Americans “changed the nature of photography, what it could say and how it could say it. [ … ] it remains perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century.” Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage.
Edward Joseph Mahoney (March 21, 1949 – September 13, 2019), known professionally as Eddie Money, was an American rock singer and songwriter who had success in the 1970s and 1980s with 11 Top 40 songs including “Baby Hold On”, “Two Tickets to Paradise”, “Think I’m in Love”, “Shakin'”, “Take Me Home Tonight”, “I Wanna Go Back”, “Walk on Water”, and “The Love in Your Eyes”. Money was known as a working-class rocker with a husky voice. In 1987, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “Take Me Home Tonight”.