T. Boone Pickens remembered fondly by Calgary friends
The larger-than-life businessman earned his fame and fortune in the 1970s and 1980s through his Mesa Petroleum Co., one of the largest independent U.S. producers of oil and gas, and his Dallas-based BP Capital LLC.
But before that, Pickens — whose net worth was US$3 billion in 2007 according to Forbes magazine, though that had fallen to US$950 million in 2013 — spent several years in Calgary in the late 1950s and 1960s. Even after he left and his career and celebrity status skyrocketed, he stayed in touch with some of his old Calgary friends.
Jeff Hotchkiss, the son of Calgary philanthropist and business leader Harley Hotchkiss, said Thursday he was sorry to hear of Pickens’ death. Pickens and Harley Hotchkiss had been close friends, and Pickens kept in touch with the rest of the Hotchkiss family even after Harley’s death in 2011. Over the decades, Pickens regularly visited the Hotchkiss family in Calgary and they made several visits to his Texas ranch.
“He and my dad were buddies for a good reason. They loved a good laugh, they loved a good adventure,” Hotchkiss said. “Boone with that southern drawl, he had all those funny expressions. You could just listen to him for hours, with all his experiences and the way he talked. It was great fun for all of us.”