Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#548 Gordon Getty $3.70B

Random fact: Paintings by Degas, Monet, Matisse and Bonnard adorn his living room.

Overview

Getty, the son of J. Paul Getty, is an investor and music composer who sold his family's Getty Oil for more than $10 billion in 1984. He owns mutual fund liquidity provider ReFlow and is the biggest shareholder in California wine and hospitality business Plumpjack Group. He founded mutual fund Forward Funds and sold it in 2015.

As of Sept. 22, 2017:
Last change No change
YTD change +$100M (+2.8%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship United States
Age 83
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Gordon Getty's net worth of $3.70B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Getty's fortune is derived from proceeds he received from the $10 billion sale of Getty Oil, an energy company he sold eight years after his father's 1976 death. Getty received $750 million after taxes. The value of his investments has been adjusted to reflect market performance.

He owns three Napa Valley wineries -- Plumpjack, Odette, and Cade -- through Plumpjack Group. Premium Napa vineyards sell for about $450,000 an acre, according John Conover, general manager of Getty's wineries, and this price is used in the valuation.

Closely held company ReFlow isn't valued because of a lack of disclosed information and publicly traded peers. The company, which provides liquidity to mutual funds facing redemptions, is cash flow positive, Getty said in a March 2015 interview with Bloomberg News.

"Honest to God, it hasn’t been on my mind in so long," he said in the interview. "I have much more dough than I need. It’s always fun to make more, but it’s just a game!"

He declined to comment on the value of his fortune.

Biography

Birthdate: 12/20/1933
Family: Married, 7 children

Gordon Getty is a classical music composer, economic theorist, businessman and heir to the fortune started by his grandfather, George Getty, and built into a multi-billion-dollar empire by his father, J. Paul Getty.

Born in 1933 to J. Paul Getty and Ann Rork, an actress and the fourth wife of the oil baron, Gordon Getty was raised in San Francisco and attended the St. Ignatius College Prepatory School, where he met lifelong friend and business partner William Newsom. Getty studied music at the University of San Francisco, and joined the family business after graduating.

In his early twenties, Getty was assigned to the Neutral Zone, a desert between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, to learn the oil business. He was placed under house arrest after his driver hit a pipeline on the way to collect a debt owed to the company, and was never given a supervisory role again, he told the New York Times in 1984.

Getty's father died in 1976, leaving him in charge of the family's multi-billion-dollar trust, which was created in the name of his grandmother, Sarah. Eight years later, believing it was unfair that he had sole authority over the family's fortune and deciding that he didn't have a mind for administration, Getty sold Getty Oil and split the family trust with his sisters. His share was $750 million after taxes.

By then he'd already been a published classical music composer and turned most of his attention to music. He has written more than two dozen operas, cantatas and other compositions. He is the main investor in Plumpjack, which owns wineries, restaurants and a ski resort in California. Getty also writes on economic theory on the website iFalstaff.com.

Getty and his wife live in San Francisco in a home on Pacific Heights. He has seven children. Four are with his wife Ann, whom he married in 1964. One of their children, Andrew, died in Los Angeles on March 31, 2015.

Getty acknowledged in 1999 that he fathered three children in Los Angeles with another woman, Cynthia Beck.

Milestones
  • 1933 Gordon Peter Getty born in Los Angeles to J. Paul Getty and Ann Rork.
  • 1964 Marries Ann Gilbert. They will have four children together.
  • 1976 J. Paul Getty dies, leaving a multi-billion-dollar fortune in a trust.
  • 1984 Sells Getty Oil for more than $10 billion and breaks up family trust.
  • 1986 Honored as Outstanding American Composer at JF Kennedy Center for the Arts.
  • 1998 Joan and the Bells, Getty's best-known musical work, debuts.
  • 1999 Getty acknolwedges three children from an affair with Cynthia Beck.
  • 2015 Forward Funds, a mutual fund company Getty founded, is sold.