J. PAUL GETTY - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 205408
J. PAUL GETTY
This handwritten letter is signed by the oil businessman who writes asking for $100 from his father to pay for improvements done to his car
Autograph letter signed: "Paul", 3p, 5x6¾. No place, no date. On letterhead imprinted "J.P.G.", he writes to "Dear Papa", regarding work he is having done on his car and his need for funds to pay the bill, stating his case, in part: "I have not had my car for over two weeks...In order to pay the Western Auto-Body and Mfg. Co. I will need $100, which is contract price. The car is due to be finished Friday and I should like to get it the moment it is finished for mother and I need it very much. You would be surprised how lost one feels when they are deprived of a motor...I wish you would wire $100 to me as soon as you get this letter. This will pay my allowance for two months, and I will figure on working a little and making some money to tide me over the two months...." In 1916, Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) and his father, George, had incorporated the Getty Oil Company, an early precursor to the great conglomerate. His multistate operation went international in 1949, when he completed a deal to lease oil fields in Saudi Arabia. During the Depression Era, he had bought extensive quantities of stock and in 1956 he gained control of Pacific Western, which he renamed Getty Oil, ending a 19-year stock battle with Standard Oil. The significantly larger Getty Oil Company became the world's largest privately owned business and made the enterprising Getty a billionaire. Although he was one of the world's richest men, Getty had a legendary reputation for miserliness. However, he shared his multimillion dollar collection of art and antiquities with the public by establishing the J. Paul Getty Museum--the largest endowment granted to an art museum at that time. This letter was likely written before J. Paul got into the business, as his father was not known for his generosity to his son. J. Paul got only a small allowance from his father and was often forced to "pinch his pennies", a habit that characterized his later life, even though he became one of the world's richest men. Lightly creased. Ink smudged at some words, slightly foxed. Otherwise, fine condition.
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