The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes

The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes

Bryan Burrough

Language: English

Pages: 480

ISBN: 0143116827

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"What's not to enjoy about a book full of monstrous egos, unimaginable sums of money, and the punishment of greed and shortsightedness?"

Phenomenal reviews and sales greeted the hardcover publication of The Big Rich, New York Times bestselling author Bryan Burrough's spellbinding chronicle of Texas oil. Weaving together the multigenerational sagas of the industry's four wealthiest families, Burrough brings to life the men known in their day as the Big Four: Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, and Sid Richardson, all swaggering Texas oil tycoons who owned sprawling ranches and mingled with presidents and Hollywood stars. Seamlessly charting their collective rise and fall, The Big Rich is a hugely entertaining account that only a writer with Burrough's abilities-and Texas upbringing-could have written.



















in January 1960. At a gathering the night before, Marshall sent a wandering accordion player to George Halas’s table to serenade him with “Hail to the Redskins,” a pointed reminder of his intentions. Halas promptly sent the musician to Marshall’s table, where he played “The Eyes of Texas.” The next morning Clint Jr. went to Marshall’s room, introduced himself, and phoned Tom Webb. The two then performed an elaborate charade for Marshall’s benefit, Murchison begging and wheedling the silent Webb

Rangers. Schramm resisted, pointing out Dallas already had a minor-league baseball team called the Rangers. Murchison prevailed. A press release went out, announcing the name. Schramm, however, wouldn’t give up, and finally persuaded Murchison to rename the team the Dallas Cowboys. It took years for Clint Jr. to warm to the name. Five years later he issued a press release announcing the team might change its name back to the Dallas Rangers. The reaction was immediate. Murchison counted 1,148

always a deeper man than some believed; at Spanish Cay he could stare at the ocean for hours or lose himself in an engineering journal or, to the dismay of his hard-drinking pals, the poetry of Shelley or Byron. He became the kind of man who, too shy to speak clever remarks aloud, loved to put them in writing, firing off thousands of short, pithy notes, many only a single sentence. Most were warm and good-hearted, feelings he found difficult to express in person. Others were playful or teasing.

Drilling were sold off during the 1990s; Bunker sued in vain to block the Placid sale, saying it wasn’t what his father would have wanted. All told, Bunker and Herbert’s combined losses from the crash in oil prices and their boneheaded silver play have been widely estimated at about $5 billion. After years of legal wrangling, the two brothers finally sorted out their troubles with the government in 1994. Together they agreed to turn over about $140 million in fines and back taxes; part of that

Senate subcommittee later found that Murchison’s money, along with five thousand dollars contributed by Roy Cullen’s partner Jack Porter, were part of a sum not reported to the “appropriate authorities.” Instead the money had been used to help pay for a tabloid newspaper distributed throughout Maryland that carried a fake photograph of Senator Tydings posing with the American Communist leader, Earl Browder. Tydings was defeated. v Richardson’s Old Friend says Crawford chased Richardson so

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