First Arnie, Now T. Boone. Who is next? By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading.


There are certain things that you know will never happen and one of them was the death of the golfer Arnold Palmer who unfortunately died on September 25,2016. Arnie made the modern game of Golf. Jack Nicklaus may have been the better player, but it was the charismatic Palmer who set golf off in America in the early 1960’s and served as the King until his death more than 50 years later.

T. Boone Pickens was another giant whose star shone in the oil business. He was born in Holdenville Oklahoma on May 22, 1928 to a father who worked in the oil business and a mother who ran the local Office of Price Administration. By age of twelve he was delivering newspapers and quickly expanded his business from 28 customers to 156. He would say later in life that this experience introduced him to the business practice of “expanding quickly by acquisition’.

When the oil boom ended in the late 1930’s his family moved to Amarillo. Pickens started out his university career at Texas A&M as a basketball player, but when he lost his scholarship he transferred to Oklahoma A & M which is now Oklahoma State University. He graduated in 1951 with a degree in Geology and took a job with Phillips Petroleum. He worked at Phillips for three years but decided to leave the business to become a wildcatter. He remained in the oil fields until he started his new company, Mesa Petroleum in 1954.

The rest is history. By 1981 Mesa had grown into one of the largest independent oil companies in the world. He used Mesa to launch many hostile takeovers that marked the rest of his career. He was famous for his folksy manner and his philanthropy as he was one of the men that began to donate 50% of their assets. He eventually gave Oklahoma State University $625 million dollars and the football stadium is named after him. He died on Wednesday September 11, 2019, and a little piece of the world went with him.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz


Financial Markets and Political Commentary


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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.