Oklahoma State University donor T. Boone Pickens has died.

Pickens was 91 years old. He was a self-made tycoon and chaired BP Capital Management. 

The long-time Dallas resident, who had battled back from a series of strokes and further head injuries sustained in a 2017 fall, died of natural causes surrounded by friends and family on September 11, 2019, according to spokesman Jay Rosser.

 

Pickens was born in Holdenville, Oklahoma, and attended Oklahoma State University.

He donated millions to the university, and the school's football stadium was named after him. 

OSU president Burns Hargis released the following statement after news broke concerning Pickens's death: 

“All of us in the Oklahoma State University family are deeply saddened by the passing of Boone Pickens. At the same time, we join in celebrating his incredible life. He was the ultimate Cowboy. It is impossible to calculate his full impact on Oklahoma State. His historic gifts to academics and athletics not only transformed the university, they inspired thousands of others to join in the transformation. OSU will not be the same without the legendary Boone Pickens, but his mark on our university will last forever.”

Pickens made his first millions in oil, burnishing an image as a maverick, unafraid to take on giants in the oil patch. Even his name seemed to fit, like central casting’s idea of what an oilman should be named.

Starting in the 1980s, he became known for launching hostile corporate takeover bids that often resulted in a huge payoff. His fortune soared into the billions.

Pickens flirted with the idea of marketing water from West Texas to the state’s metropolitan areas. In a break from his past, he also developed wind farms.

Plans for memorial services in Dallas, Texas is pending. OSU announced a public "Celebration of Life" ceremony will be held for Pickens at 3 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Gallagher-Iba Arena. 

He is survived by his five children — Deborah Pickens Stovall, Pam Pickens Grace, Michael Pickens, Tom Pickens and Liz Pickens Cordia— and 11 grandchildren and an increasing number of great-grandchildren.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter released the following statement: 

Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement on the passing of Oklahoma legend T. Boone Pickens.

“T. Boone Pickens, a legendary Oklahoman, embodied the American dream and what can be accomplished through hard work and dedication. Although he was known as an incredibly successful, self-made businessman and entrepreneur, one of the most impressive things I witnessed in my years of knowing him was his profound sense of generosity. Boone’s seemingly limitless charity over the years to different philanthropic endeavors will have a lasting impact on our state, and serve as an inspiration to future generations.

“While we mourn his passing today, let us always remember his gregarious personality, intellect and indelible impression he left on Oklahoma. My wife Cheryl and I offer our deepest condolences to the entire Pickens family."

Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents Chairman Tucker Link released the following statement:

“On behalf of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, we remember today the remarkable life of our alumnus Boone Pickens. His eternal optimism, kindness and competitiveness inspired us always to reach higher. He never forgot his roots and his love for Oklahoma State University was incalculable. We will be forever thankful to Boone Pickens for his big ideas, bold vision and unshakable spirit. There is no question that Boone Pickens put the ‘Bright’ in America’s Brightest Orange.”

 

The Petroleum Alliance Of Oklahoma released the following statement: 

“Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry mourns the loss of an Oklahoma native son and a true pioneer in our industry. As a proud graduate of Oklahoma State who got his first job at Phillips Petroleum, T. Boone’s Oklahoma roots run deep. He served as a mentor and friend to many Oklahomans, and his visionary leadership will be sorely missed.”