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date: 05 August 2020

Getty, J. Paullocked

(15 December 1892–06 June 1976)
  • Larry Schweikart


Getty, J. Paul (15 December 1892–06 June 1976), petroleum entrepreneur, was born Jean Paul Getty in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of George Franklin Getty, an attorney and oil investor, and Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher. Getty’s father invested in oil in Bartlesville, Indian Territory (now Okla.), with the company incorporated as the Minnehoma Oil Company. The business struck oil in 1903, and young Getty accompanied his father to Indian Territory, during which time he developed a fascination for the oil industry. Getty attended Emerson Grammar School in Minneapolis and then, after the family moved, attended Harvard Military Academy in Los Angeles while working in his father’s oil fields during summer vacations. Other oil strikes at Tulsa and Glenn Pool added to the family’s wealth, but Getty’s father moved to California more for the climate and personal reasons than for business. Getty graduated from high school in 1909 and agreed to work for his father, saying he wanted to “start at the bottom.” He entered the University of Southern California to study political science and economics and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley in 1911, only to resign from his courses without graduating that year. He then studied at Oxford, sat for a noncollegiate diploma in economics and political science in June 1913, and graduated. After graduation he traveled in Europe and then returned to the United States....

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