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T. Boone Pickens passes away at 91


T. Boone Pickens, the former oil executive and philanthropist, has died at age 91, The Associated Press reported.

Spokesman Jay Rosser confirmed his death to the news outlet Wednesday.

Pickens, who was described as the "Oracle of Oil," ran Mesa Petroleum, the one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in the country, CNBC reported.

Known for his corporate raider strategies, Pickens overtook other oil companies and gained billions in wealth, The Associated Press reported. Pickens later founded BP Capital Management, a hedge fund that zeroed in on energy and handled billions of dollars until Pickens shut it down in January 2018, according to CNBC.

A Republican supporter, Pickens gave to George W. Bush in the Texas gubernatorial and presidential races. Bush on Wednesday sent his condolences to Pickens’ family, calling the businessman “bold, imaginative and daring.”

Pickens also donated more than $1 billion to Oklahoma State University over his lifetime, according to CNBC.

A health and fitness advocate who famously challenged President Barack Obama to a 1 hour workout, he suffered a series of strokes and 2017, but was able to battle back. Pickens also influenced the Trump administration – having had numerous discussions with Trump during his campaign regarding energy policy.

Pickens was a self-made oil mogul, who had a lasting influence on Wall Street, too. He was one of the first businessmen to push for shareholder rights, advocating for executives to be compensated with stock, as reported by The New York Times.

Pickens worked for Phillips Petroleum early in his career. He founded Mesa Petroleum in the 1950s.

Statement from OSU President Burns Hargis:

“All of us in the Oklahoma State University family are deeply saddened by the passing of Boone Pickens. At the same time, we join in celebrating his incredible life. He was the ultimate Cowboy. It is impossible to calculate his full impact on Oklahoma State. His historic gifts to academics and athletics not only transformed the university, they inspired thousands of others to join in the transformation. OSU will not be the same without the legendary Boone Pickens, but his mark on our university will last forever.”

Statement from the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents

"On behalf of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, we remember today the remarkable life of our alumnus Boone Pickens. His eternal optimism, kindness, and competitiveness inspired us always to reach higher. He never forgot his roots and his love for Oklahoma State University was incalculable. We will be forever thankful to Boone Pickens for his big ideas, bold vision, and unshakable spirit. There is no question that Boone Pickens put the “Bright” in America’s Brightest Orange"

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