Thomas Boone Pickens Jr. died due to natural causes on Wednesday at his home in Dallas at the age of 91. Jay Rosser, Pickens’ spokesman and longtime chief of staff, confirmed the news of his death.
The swashbuckling Texas energy entrepreneur had a few episodes of strokes and head injuries after falling in 2017.
In January 2018, he announced his retirement from the energy industry because of his poor health. He posted a letter on LinkedIn stating, “It’s no secret the past year has not been good to me. It’s time to start making new plans and setting new priorities.”
Pickens was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, in 1928. His family moved to Texas in the late 1930s, according to BBC.
He earned a geology degree in 1951 and entered the oil and gas industry. He worked for Phillips Petroleum for around three years. In 1954, he started his own venture by borrowing $2,500. Along with two other investors, he established an oil and gas firm, Mesa Petroleum.
The energy tycoon started a campaign in 2008 to help the American energy industry to lessen its oil dependence from OPEC nations.
According to Forbes, Pickens was convinced to get his brain scanned after he donated $11 million to the University of Texas Center for Brain Health.
Pickens went on to get his brain scanned and allowed Forbes to print his MRI images in the magazine. Astonishingly, the scans revealed that he had a “brain about 30 years younger than his physical age,” wrote Forbes Staff Writer Christopher Helman. Pickens’ doctor Denise Park said, “I was truly astonished. His brain activated in places that young brains activate.” Responding to his scan results, Perkins said, “I’d rather surround myself with sharp young minds than play golf and gin rummy all day.”