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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

T. Boone Pickens Dies at 91

Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens at the 2015 Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups Symposium at U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Photo credit: Richard M. Wolff

Dallas resident T.Boone Pickens died Wednesday at age 91. Pickens made his fortune in oil but was also an advocate for clean energy reforms and a philanthropist.

Pickens, an Oklahoma Native, made his initial fortune through his independent oil company Mesa Petroleum. He advocated for shareholder profit maximization, an unusual concept at the time. After going bankrupt, Pickens funded BP capital, an energy hedge fund, in 2013.

Besides being a successful businessman, he proposed The Pickens Plan in 2008 which advocated for a shift in energy from foreign oil to domestic natural gas. Pickens believed that natural gas is cleaner and cheaper than oil.

According to CBS DFW, Pickens asked, “why would you use foreign oil in place of something like that?”

However, his environmental reforms did not stop there, he supported a climate change bill backed by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. He also planned to build the the largest windmill farm in the Texas panhandle as part of The Pickens Plan.

In 2018, the Cox School of Business honored Pickens with the Maguire Energy Institute Pioneer Award.

Pickens was also a philanthropist who donated billions to different causes. He donated $650 billion to his Alma-Mater Oklahoma State University. He also funded the renovation of the Dallas YMCA. Pickens donated $50 billion to UT Southwestern Medical Center and contributed $18 billion to the Pickens Hospice Center.

According to CBS DFW, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz issued a statement honoring Picken’s memory.

“T. Boone Pickens lived a life marked with kindness and generosity. Boone was a friend, and he was a legendary Texas entrepreneur. He was larger than life, had a passion for others, and embodied Texas values. An extraordinarily generous philanthropist and a passionate advocate for American energy independence, Boone will be remembered as a legend in the hearts of Texans and Oklahomans alike. Heidi and I send our condolences to the entire Pickens family as they grieve the loss of a loving father, grandfather, and friend. May he rest in peace.”

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