Great Getty

Robert Lenzner, Author Random House Value Publishing $4.99 (283p) ISBN 978-0-517-56222-2
Obscure until 1957, when Fortune magazine declared him America's richest man, Getty (18921976) is seen in this readable and well-researched biography as a complex, self-contradictory figure of eccentricities, obsessions and excesses. Born in Minneapolis, the only child of strict parents, Getty made his fortune (over $2 billion at his death) from Oklahoma crude oil during World War II. He prided himself on being a shrewd, bargain-hunting businessman: ""I buy when other people are selling.'' Lenzner, a Boston Globe correspondent, covers not only the rise of Getty Oil, but Getty's bizarre personal life. A ``cold, aloof, miserly'' man, he was puritanical in his preoccupation with work, hedonistic in his rampant womanizing, remote and unfriendly toward his family. Based on previously unexamined documents and over 100 interviews, the book is operatic with feuds, affairs and tragedies. Photos. BOMC alternate. (March 14)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-451-14699-1
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55800-025-4
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