Oil tycoon Pickens dies at age 91
OKLAHOMA CITY — T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.
Pickens was surrounded by friends and family when he died of natural causes under hospice care at his Dallas home, spokesman Jay Rosser said. Pickens suffered a series of strokes in 2017 and was hospitalized that July after what he called a “Texas-sized fall.”
An only child who grew up in a small railroad town in Oklahoma, Pickens followed his father into the oil and gas business. After just three years, he formed his own company and built a reputation as a maverick, unafraid to compete against oil-industry giants.
In the 1980s, Pickens switched from drilling for oil to plumbing for riches on Wall Street. He led bids to take over big oil companies including Gulf, Phillips and Unocal, castigating their executives as looking out only for themselves while ignoring the shareholders.
Even when Pickens and other so-called corporate raiders failed to gain control of their targets, they scored huge payoffs by selling their shares back to the company and dropping their hostile takeover bids.
Later in his career, Pickens championed renewable energy including wind power. He argued that the United States needed to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. He sought out politicians to support his “Pickens Plan,” which envisioned an armada of wind turbines across the middle of the country that could generate enough power to free up natural gas for use in vehicles.
Singer-songwriter Johnstone dies
HOUSTON — Daniel Johnston, a quirky folk singer-songwriter and visual artist whose offbeat career and struggles with mental illness brought him a cult following and inspired a documentary film, has died at age 58.
According to a statement issued by his family, Johnston died of natural causes Wednesday morning at his Houston-area home. His brother, Dick Johnston, says Daniel had been plagued for years with health issues.
Musicians such as Kurt Cobain and Tom Waits, as well as "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, are among those who have expressed a fondness for Johnston's work.
Johnston's struggles with manic depression formed the heart of the Oscar-nominated 2005 documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston." His songs often contained innocent pleas for love and bore titles such as "Life in Vain," ''True Love Will Find You in the End" and "Walking the Cow."