Jean Paul Getty III Is Found In Italy - 12/15/1973

History |


On this day in 1973, Jean Paul Getty III the grandson of one of America's billionaire J. Paul Getty is found alive near Naples, five months after he was abducted by an Italian gang. Billionaire J. Paul Getty, who became the richest man on the planet in 1957, declined to pay his 16-year-old grandson's $17 million ransom but finally agreed after the kid's right ear was sent to a newspaper agency in Rome. Finally, Getty's grandson was released after his grandfather paid a sum of $2.7 million claiming that was all he could raise.  

Jean Paul Getty was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1892, to Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher and George Getty who work in the oil industry. He studied at the University of Southern California, Berkeley and later acquired a diploma in Economics and Political Science from the University of Oxford. After his death of his father, Getty inherited the oil company his father left behind. 

Within a few years of Getty's control of the firm, Getty Oil turned into a financial empire because of the aggressive tactics and smart manipulation of the stock market Getty used. By 1968, Getty's net worth had surpassed $1 billion. However, the world's wealthiest man did not live an exemplary life. Apart from being frugal, he is known to be an eccentric billionaire who married and divorced five times and could not establish a cordial relationship with all his five sons.

In the last stage of Getty's life, he lived near London England, in a mansion surrounded by doubled barbwire fences under the protection of casually dressed security guards and more than 20 German shepherd assault dogs. In addition, he was famously known to be a very stingy man particularly when he installed a payphone for his visitors in his estate because the mansion was receiving too many guests, who took the advantage of the phone in the building to make unnecessary calls, which the house had to pay for. Jean Paul Getty died at the age of 83, three years after he failed to pay the ransom for the release of his grandson. 

After his death, both his children and his divorced wives battled severely over the remains of his fortune in court. Being an avid collector of art and antiquities, the greater part of his inheritance was donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum "for the diffusion of art and general learning." Today, the Getty Museum, situated in Los Angeles, is the world's wealthiest art center on earth.

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