Noted businessman and former billionaire T. Boone Pickens, whose philanthropy included hundreds of millions of dollars donated toward the athletic program at his alma mater Oklahoma State, died Wednesday at age 91.
Pickens was one of the foremost entrepreneurs of his generation, making his fortune through a variety of business, energy and oil ventures. But in recent years he was most well-known for his support of OSU, where the football stadium bears his name and where Pickens sent more than $500 million in charitable donations toward academic and athletic causes. That included the golf program, as Pickens tweeted regret over the weekend that he was missing the OSU Cowboy Golf Pro-Am for the first time in 46 years.
"The greatest Cowboy of them all has taken his last ride," said Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder. "It will never be the same again. We could never thank him enough for all that he did for our university. He gave us everything he had, and all that he asked for in return was that we play by the rules and dream big."
Pickens died of natural causes and, according to a Dallas Morning-News report, will be buried at Karsten Creek Golf Club, home to the Oklahoma State golf teams. He was a member at Augusta National Golf Club since 1982, and according to his obituary he gave up the game shortly after making an eagle on the famed 11th hole in 2007 at age 78.
In total, Pickens made more than $1 billion in charitable donations during his life and reportedly planned to donate 90 percent of his net worth to charity upon his death.
"I like making money. I like giving money away," Pickens said. "Giving money is not as fun as making it, but it's a close second."