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.

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everything he had. Big Clint stayed out of it. “If he makes a mistake,” he said, “he’ll learn from it.”5 Tecon survived the Panama Canal job, and under Clint’s leadership busied itself building subdivisions and highways across the country. His brother John, meanwhile, more comfortable with banking and finance, spent the early 1950s under the guidance of one of Big Clint’s men buying insurance companies. To Atlantic Life, a seventy-one-million-dollar insuror Big Clint had bought in 1941, John

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

to be involved in it.” “Well, you’ll have to prove it to me,” Hunt said. “I owe my life to Paul Rothermel. There is just no way he could be involved.”2 In the ensuing weeks Tom Hunt burrowed deeper into HLH’s finances, but the complexity of the scheme he suspected was simply beyond his ability to unravel. Worse, Rothermel and Currington complained incessantly to H.L., who eventually told Tom to stay out of HLH operations and limit his investigation to paperwork. Tom appealed to Bunker and

cash, Richardson forced him to sell out. “When Sid got the chance,” the observer is quoted saying, “he screwed the guy who got him into business.” The Reston account makes no mention of Marsh’s tax problems. Moreover, as Marsh’s private papers show, Richardson and Marsh continued an amiable correspondence for years afterward. If Richardson really did “screw” Charles Marsh, and there’s no documentation to support this assertion, Marsh apparently held no grudge. In later years Marsh regained his

he lost everything, including what little money he had put away. According to family lore, Hunt only saved his farm at a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans, during which he managed to turn his last hundred dollars into one hundred thousand dollars. He kept his land, but much of it was now hamstrung with bank liens, and when the recession he expected finally hit in 1920, the price of both cotton and land went into free fall. For the first time Hunt began to question his style of living. He

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