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Becoming One of the Richest, This is a Source of Treasure and Tragedy That Ever Befell the Getty Family


 In the Forbes list of the richest people in the world each year the names that often come out are Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault or Elon Musk. However, there is one name that is often associated with the title of the richest family, namely Getty. You may hear its name more often as one of the paid photo syndication sites. But if you don't know, Getty is a legendary family that has dominated the oil business since the 1910s. Not only successful, this family is also often involved in cases and scandals.

What is the history, business and scandal that surrounds this most legendary family like? Here's a summary.

The Figure of Jean Paul Getty and the Founding of Getty Oil



Jean Paul Getty was born on December 15, 1892 to George Getty and Sarah Catherine McPherson. In 1914, George gave Jean Paul 10 thousand USD to develop the family's petroleum business. In 1915 he managed to increase production capacity by 40 percent and eventually made him a millionaire at the age of 23 years.

In 1953 he officially acquired a number of oil companies such as Pacific Western Oil Corporation, Tidewater Oil and Skelly Oil and in 1967 officially united them all in a company called Getty Oil. Forbes notes that Getty Oil's success stemmed from its partnerships with the Middle East in the 1960s and 1970s.


Personal life

Jean Paul Getty was married five times and all of them ended in divorce. He has five children namely George F. Getty II, Jean Ronald Getty, John Paul Getty Jr., Gordon Peter Getty and Timothy Ware Getty.


'Frugal' Lifestyle

Despite his success, Getty is known for his frugal lifestyle. He is known to be diligent in washing his own clothes rather than paying for laundry. Then make savings and reuse stationery. Refinery29 reports that when Jean Paul Getty was about to watch a dog show in London, he was willing to wait until the afternoon to get a cheaper price that even the original ticket price did not reach 1 pound sterling.



Kidnapping Case

On July 10, 1973, an Italian mafia organization called the Ndrangheta kidnapped Jean Paul's grandson, namely John Paul Getty III who was only 16 years old and demanded a ransom of 17 million USD or equivalent to 100 million USD today.


Jean Paul Getty refused to pay the ransom and told the media that if he did he would have to pay the other 13 grandchildren when they were kidnapped. The situation gets even more serious when the kidnappers deliver John's ear pieces to the family.


The kidnappers also lowered the ransom of up to 3 million USD but Jean Paul was only willing to pay as much as 2.2 million USD. The remaining 800,000 USD will be calculated as a loan with an interest rate of up to 4 percent to his son, John Paul Getty Jr.


This story was once adapted to the big screen with the title All the Money in the World (2017) which featured veteran actor Christopher Plummer as the billionaire.


After the death of Jean Paul Getty

Jean Paul Getty died on June 6, 1976 at the age of 83 from heart failure. He bequeathed his fortune as much as 700 million dollars to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. And left only 500 USD to his two sons J. Paul Getty Jr. and Gordon Peter Getty. In 1984, Gordon Getty, with his ownership stake, sold the Getty Oil company to Texaco for 10.13 billion USD.


Getty's name resurfaced when Mark Getty, Jean Paul's grandson, founded Getty Images in 1995. It became one of the largest photo syndication companies.


Young generation


Forbes notes that now the Getty family is at number 56 in the list of the richest people in the world. Now a number of young people from this generation are known to prefer to pursue arts and entertainment. Like Balthazar Getty, son of John Paul Getty III, became an actor. Then August Getty is known as a designer. And Ivy Getty who chose to be an artist and model.

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