WATCH: Terry Hood Interviews Oklahoma's Own Boone Pickens
TULSA, Oklahoma - Boone Pickens, successful businessman, oil tycoon and OSU Cowboys booster, died at 91. Pickens had long struggled with strokes and suffered a serious head injury in 2017 after a fall.
A spokesperson for Pickens says he died surrounded by family in Dallas.
Fourteen years ago, I got the chance for a one-on-one interview with the legendary oilman at his corporate headquarters.
Boone Pickens was born and bred in Holdenville, Oklahoma where he was a star on the high school basketball team. He still remembered the exact day he had to leave it all behind.
"Holdenville was great for me," Pickens said.
Pickens was 16 years old, and other than his time at OSU, would never live in Oklahoma again. His family settled in Amarillo where Pickens built Mesa Petroleum, the company he used as a platform for the business deals that would make him famous. By the 1980s, he was one of the country's most flamboyant - and feared - corporate raiders.
"They did see me that way, as kind of coming in pulling six shooters - shootin' the lights out and everything else," he said. "It wasn't exactly the way I saw myself, though."
Pickens eventually became so controversial, he was forced out of his own company. But in his 70s, he began a second act with an energy commodities hedge fund that raked in hundreds of millions of dollars.
And Pickens, who saw himself as the defender of the little guy, decided to honor his Oklahoma roots by breathing new life in Cowboy football.
"We will win, and we will be competitive in the Big 12," he said.
"It's a bad bet to bet against us - I can tell you that."