Why Famous: An American oil and gas tycoon and corporate raider who rose to prominence in the 1980s for his attempts to overtake major American oil companies.
Pickens had founded his own oil company Mesa Petroleum in 1956. He advocated for the rights of the individual shareholder and helped set up the United Shareholders Association, an organization that forced major American companies to acknowledge the power of the shareholder, with long-term consequences for corporate America. When Pickens' fortunes fell during the 1990s, he was forced out of Mesa.
However, by the new millennium Pickens was riding high again as head of a successful commodities firm. He became a major supporter of the Republican party, especially George W. Bush and helped organize the attacks on the Vietnam war record of Democratic candidate John Kerry. Pickens was also an advocate for alternative energy sources, such as natural gas and wind energy and pushed for a move away from US dependence on OPEC oil-producing countries.
- 2008-07-08 American businessman T. Boone Pickens announces his "Pickens Plan", an energy policy that moves away from imported oil
- T. Boone Pickens, the ‘Oracle of Oil,’ corporate raider and billionaire philanthropist, dies at 91 - CNBC