Author(s): Russell Miller
The tormented saga of the Getty family reads like the script for Dynasty, interweaving boardroom battles, sex, money, drugs, power, crime, tragedy, and family intrigue. At the center stands the figure of John Paul Getty, the grandfather, an eccentric oil billionaire believed to have been the richest man in the world. Married and divorced five times, he had five sons, and yet was cheated of his dearest ambition-to found an oil dynasty. His angelic youngest son died at age twelve after years of illness. Of the remaining four sons, three proved to be hopeless businessmen and, one by one, dropped out of Getty Oil. Only one had the talent to take the helm of the family business, and he was groomed for the part. And then he killed himself. With his cherished hopes of a family dynasty crushed, John Paul built a magnificent museum as a monument for all time to his success. But money tainted even his philanthropy; the Getty Museum has become feared for its wealth and ability to pillage the art market. In the maneuvering that followed John Paul's death, Getty Oil was sold; Texaco acquired it for $9.9 billion, the biggest corporate takeover in history.
Award-winning journalist and writer Russell Miller has broken the embargo of silence that has surrounded the Gettys to bring us the extraordinary and often disturbing story of a unique American family. From the pioneering days in the Oklahoma oil fields to the bitter struggles over Getty Oil, we follow the rise and fall of three generations-all apparently cursed with the Midas touch.
Russell Miller is a prize-winning journalist and the author of eleven previous books. He was born in east London in 1938 and began his career in journalism at the age of sixteen. While under contract to the Sunday Times Magazine he won four press awards and was voted Writer of the Year by the Society of British Magazine Editors. His book Magnum, on the legendary photo agency, was described by John Simpson as 'the best book on photo-journalism I have ever read', and his oral histories of D-Day, Nothing Less than Victory, and SOE, behind the lines were widely acclaimed, both in Britain and in the United States.