J. Paul Getty Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

J. Paul Getty Net Worth At Death

J. Paul Getty had an estimated net worth of $2 Billion at deathAmerican businessman J. Paul Getty built his fortune as president of the Getty Oil Company. His J. Paul Getty Trust funds the J. Paul Getty Museum and other artistic endeavors. He earned the majority of his income from Getty Oil Company.

In the early twentieth century, J. Paul Getty was introduced to the oil industry through his father’s investments. He took over his father’s business in 1930, and by the time he consolidated multiple businesses into the Getty Oil Company in 1967, he had been dubbed the world’s richest man. Before his death in 1976, Getty established a museum on his California property, which later became part of the J. Paul Getty Trust. His grandson, John Paul Getty III, was famously kidnapped and held for ransom in 1973, a story chronicled in the 2017 feature film All the Money in the World and the 2018 television series Trust.

To calculate the net worth of J. Paul Getty, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: J. Paul Getty
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Monthly Salary: $10 Million+
Annual Income: $100 Million+
Source of Wealth: Businessperson, Industrialist

Early Years

J. Paul Getty was born on December 15, 1892, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, former attorney George Franklin Getty, established the Minnehoma Oil Company in Oklahoma in 1903. He quickly relocated his wife, Sarah Risher Getty, and son to Oklahoma, but after a few years, they packed up and moved to Los Angeles, California.

Getty graduated from Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in 1909. He continued his education at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley before transferring to Oxford University in England. Getty earned a degree in political science and economics from Oxford in 1914.

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Oil Empire

Getty returned to the United States after graduation and began working as a wildcatter, buying and selling oil leases in Oklahoma. By 1916, Getty had made his first million dollars from a successful well, and he formed the Getty Oil Company with his father. With his new fortune, he retired to Los Angeles for a short time before returning to the oil business in 1919.

Getty and his father continued to amass wealth through drilling and lease brokering throughout the 1920s.

When George died in 1930, Getty received a $500,000 inheritance and took over as president of his father’s oil company, though his mother retained control.

In his new role, Getty set out to restructure and expand the company into a self-sufficient entity capable of drilling, refining, transporting, and selling oil. He began purchasing and controlling other companies, such as Pacific Western Oil, Skelly Oil, and Tidewater Oil. Following WWII, Getty took a chance by investing millions in the “Neutral Zone” between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. His bet paid off in 1953, when oil was discovered and began flowing at a rate of 16 million barrels per year.

Getty was named the world’s richest man by Fortune magazine in 1957. He consolidated his business interests into the Getty Oil Company ten years later, and by the mid-1970s, it was estimated that he had amassed a personal fortune of $2 to $4 billion.

Family Life and Kidnapping

Getty’s personal life was a frequent subject of tabloids both in the United States and abroad. He married and divorced five times, the first time in 1923 with Jeanette Demont, who bore him his first child, George Franklin Getty II. In 1926, he married Allene Ashby, and two years later, he married his third wife, Adolphine Helmle, with whom he had son Jean Ronald.

In 1932, Getty married actress Ann Rork and had two more sons, Eugene Paul (later John Paul Getty Jr.) and Gordon Peter. Louise “Teddy” Lynch, a singer, was Getty’s fifth and final wife. Before their divorce in 1958, they married in 1939 and had one son, Timothy.

Furthermore, the Getty family made headlines due to the misfortunes that befell his children. Timmy Getty died at the age of 12 in 1958 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor at a young age. George II died in 1973 from a pill overdose.

John Paul Getty III, the billionaire’s 16-year-old grandson, was kidnapped and held for ransom in Italy in 1973. Getty famously refused to pay the ransom, stating, “I’m not going to pay the ransom.” “I have a total of 14 grandchildren. I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren if I pay one penny.” The magnate finally agreed to a lower ransom after the kidnappers severed the teenager’s ear and mailed it as proof of their seriousness. John Paul later developed a severe drug addiction, which resulted in a stroke and forced him to spend the last three decades of his life in a wheelchair.

Art Collection, Death and Legacy

Getty began collecting art as a teenager and had amassed a sizable collection by the 1930s. By the late 1940s, he was donating a portion of his collection to the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and in 1953, he established the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust. The J. Paul Getty Museum opened the following year at his ranch house in Malibu (later part of Pacific Palisades), California. He later built a replica of a Roman villa on the property and reopened the museum in 1974.

Getty made Sutton Place, a massive 16th-century estate in Surrey, England, his permanent residence in 1959, and it became the center of his business operations. On June 6, 1976, he died of heart failure and was buried on his Malibu property.

Getty left $1.2 billion to his charitable trust upon his death. The J. Paul Getty Trust, which oversees the Getty Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute, began working to expand the museum and its contributions to the art world. It unveiled the Getty Center complex overlooking Los Angeles in 1997.

‘All the Money in the World’ and ‘Trust’

All the Money in the World, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, John Paul’s mother, and Mark Wahlberg as James Fletcher Chase, the ex-CIA operative hired to find the missing grandson, captured the attention of Hollywood in 2017.

It was originally filmed with Kevin Spacey as Getty, but when sexual harassment allegations against Spacey surfaced less than two months before its December 22 release date, Scott cut the actor from the film and began reshooting scenes with Christopher Plummer, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his impressive last-minute performance.

The kidnapping was also the subject of The Trust, which premiered on FX the following spring. Donald Sutherland played the hesitant tycoon this time, with Hilary Swank as Gail Harris, Harris Dickinson as the troubled heir, and Brendan Fraser as Chase.

Further Reading

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