Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • It's one of the wealthiest families in the world- and the most tragic.

  • Reminiscent of some ancient Mesopotamian curse, tragedy has struck the Getty family generation

  • after generation, leading many to wonder if the rumors about a cursed bloodline are true.

  • Or, if perhaps this of most wealthy families, really did make a deal with the devil- who's

  • been collecting his dues for over a hundred years.

  • It all started with George Getty, grandson of an immigrant peasant.

  • George would be forced to start working at a very young age when his father died unexpectedly

  • in 1861.

  • With a helping hand from an uncle, young George was able to put himself through school, earning

  • a Bachelor of Science from Ohio Northern University.

  • Shortly after, George married and put himself through law school.

  • Sadly, tragedy would soon strike for the first time in the Getty family, when George's first

  • child died from typhoid.

  • Two years later he'd have his second child and heir, J Paul Getty.

  • In 1904 George moved the family to Oklahoma, giving up the law to become an oilman.

  • In short order he'd made several million dollars, and moved the family to Los Angeles.

  • In 1913, J Paul Getty would get his chance to shine, as he received a small loan from

  • his father at age 21 to use for investing in oil wells.

  • In just two years J Paul had mirrored his father's success, making his first million

  • dollars.

  • J Paul however was not quite his father's son.

  • Where George had been a disciplined businessman, J Paul had grown up spoiled, and as an adult

  • became a playboy.

  • He was famous for his partying lifestyle, amassing a total of five failed marriages

  • and four children.

  • Nonetheless, success followed the Gettys, though George refused to leave J Paul with

  • full control over the family oil company.

  • George would die in 1930, and leave controlling interest in the family firm to his wife rather

  • than his son.

  • By now the company was worth up to $230 million dollars in 1930's money, and the decision

  • left J Paul rather sore with his recently deceased father.

  • Despite a playboy lifestyle that saw him pit lovers and mistresses against each other for

  • his entertainment, J Paul helped grow the family business.

  • During the Depression he used the family's vast wealth to snatch up failing oil companies,

  • betting on a future economic rebound.

  • When that rebound came, Getty Oil Company was challenging the most powerful oil companies

  • in the world.

  • Getty Oil had been late to stake claims in the lucrative oil fields of the middle east,

  • however J Paul would get a chance to reverse those fortunes when in 1948 he won a 60 year

  • concession to drill in Saudi Arabia.

  • J Paul's son, George II, would be put in charge of the endeavor to find oil in the Saudi desert,

  • and in 1953 George II struck black gold, exponentially growing the family's fortune.

  • By 1957, J Paul Getty was believed to be a billionaire, with an estimated net worth of

  • $700 million to $1 billion.

  • Now too famous to roam from hotel to hotel as was his preferred lifestyle, J Paul bought

  • the Sutton Place estate outside of London, and turned it into a party villa despite his

  • 65 years of age.

  • Yet fortune was about to turn for the Getty family.

  • They'd still be rich, but they'd suffer heartbreaking tragedy lasting to the still living generations.

  • J Paul Getty may have been a brilliant businessman, but he was a terrible father.

  • A philanderer, J Paul didn't bother to hide the fact that he was cheating while married,

  • and treated his children with sarcasm and disdain.

  • This poor parenting would directly lead to the personal tragedies his own children would

  • suffer.

  • J Paul Getty Jr- or just Jr from here on out- seemed at first to overcome his father's poor

  • parenting and hereditary vices.

  • He married a longtime girlfriend in 1956 and had four kids, then moved to Italy and was

  • being groomed to become an heir to Getty Oil and run its European division.

  • However, philandering may have been in the Getty blood, as in 1964 Jr. divorced his wife

  • and started shacking up with Talitha Pol, an infamous philanderer herself.

  • Talitha's influence on Jr. was stark, as she introduced the once-promising career man to

  • the popular bohemian lifestyle of the 1960s.

  • Delving deep into sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Jr. developed a fierce drug addiction.

  • The happy, drug-fueled couple produced a son, which they named- and we're not making this

  • up- Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty.

  • And that's the story of why you don't do drugs.

  • Shortly after the birth, Talitha pulled a J Paul Getty on J Paul Getty Jr. and left

  • him, moving to London and taking on multiple lovers.

  • Jr. eventually convinced Talitha to come back to him, and the couple lived happily ever

  • after.

  • Until Talitha died of a heroin overdose just a few short years later.

  • George Franklin Getty II, J Paul Getty's oldest son, was by far the most successful of J Paul's

  • sons, working as executive vice-president at Getty Oil and as director at Bank of America

  • and Douglas Aircraft.

  • Despite these stunning accomplishments, J Paul never once praised his eldest son, and

  • instead continued the same disdain and sarcasm that was signature to his relationship with

  • his children when they were young.

  • J Paul would routinely send George Franklin personal memos that were sarcastic and highly

  • critical, serving only to remind him that his overbearing father was always watching,

  • and always critical.

  • Falling into a deep depression, George Franklin came home from work one day and retrieved

  • a shotgun, firing it into the air.

  • Alarmed, his second wife came rushing to find out what was going on, only for George Franklin

  • to stab himself in the chest with a barbeque knife.

  • With police on the way, he locked himself in a room where he ingested a bottle of pills.

  • He'd be dead less than 24 hours later.

  • J Paul III, J Paul Getty's grandson, took after his father, J Paul Getty Jr, and dived

  • head first into the world of drugs and rock and roll.

  • Garnering the attention of a criminal outfit, J Paul III got himself kidnapped, though at

  • first the family thought it was a hoax that J Paul III put on himself in order to get

  • more family money.

  • Soon it would become apparent that the kidnapping was no hoax, and the gang asked for $17 million

  • in ransom.

  • J Paul however refused to pay the ransom, and it wasn't until the gang cut off one of

  • J Paul III's ears that he finally agreed to a ransom 1/8th the original figure.

  • Then he sent a bill, with interest, to his son J Paul Jr. for the ransom amount.

  • Having learned literally nothing, J Paul III went straight back to sex, drugs and rock

  • and roll, only to suffer a massive stroke in 1981 due to a dangerous mix of drugs and

  • alcohol.

  • This would confine him to a wheelchair for the rest of his short life, finally dying

  • at the age of 54.

  • In the years that followed J Paul Getty would die, leading to fierce inter-family fighting

  • over the fortune he had left behind.

  • Or at least, what he had actually left to his children, as most of his fortune was instead

  • left to the Getty Center in Los Angeles, one of the world's premier art installations.

  • Gordon Getty, another of J Paul's sons, became a beloved figure in San Francisco for his

  • charitable giving.

  • Compared to the rest of his family, Gordon was a respectable man- until in 1999 it was

  • discovered that he had an entire second, and very secret family in Los Angeles.

  • The last member of the Getty family- or at least the latest member- to suffer from the

  • Getty curse would be J Paul's grandson, Andrew Getty.

  • He would be discovered dead in his Beverly Hills home in 2015, naked from the waist down

  • and surrounded by a pool of blood.

  • The Los Angeles county coroner ruled that the cause of death was heart disease and heavy

  • drug use.

  • We're guessing that the heart disease Andrew Getty had was an exploding heart, as there

  • are few other ways to account for the blood pool that Andrew was found in.

  • Seeing as Getty family private investigators had beaten the cops to the scene though, we

  • suspect that the real cause of death was not drug abuse or an exploding heart, but something

  • more sinister.

  • However, rich people are above the law and despite their many ups and downs, the Gettys

  • are still very much rich.

  • The world now waits with bated breath for the Getty curse to strike again, though in

  • hindsight we're pretty sure that the only curse that haunts the Getty family is one

  • of excess, horrible parenting, and terrible life decisions.

  • The Gettys have en masse made such terrible life decisions that calling their deaths a

  • curse is equivalent to running headfirst into oncoming traffic and calling it a tragic,

  • unavoidable pedestrian accident.

  • Now go find out other ways rich people are better than you with How Rich Was Cleopatra

  • And Other Pharaohs.

  • Or click this other video instead!

It's one of the wealthiest families in the world- and the most tragic.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 getty paul george family oil jr

The Deadly Curse of the Billionaire Family

  • 1 0
    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/20
Video vocabulary