Now 80 years old, T. Boone Pickens is a legendary figure in the business world. Known as the "Oracle of Oil" because of his uncanny ability to predict the direction of fuel prices, he built Mesa Petroleum, one of the largest independent oil companies in the United States, from a $2,500 investment.
In the 1980s, Pickens became a household name when he executed a series of unsolicited buyout bids for undervalued oil companies, in the process reinventing the notion of shareholders' rights. Even his failures were successful in that they forced risk-averse managers to reconsider the way they did business. From a businessman who is extraordinarily humble yet considered one of the world’s most visionary, The First Billion Is the Hardest is both a riveting account of a life spent pulling off improbable triumphs and a report back from the front of the global energy and natural-resource wars – of vital interest to anyone who has a stake in America's future.
Pickens is the very active strategic and managerial force behind BP Capital, one of America's most successful energy-investment companies. Currently, he ranks among the world's richest men. He lives with his wife, Madeleine, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and at his ranch in the Texas Panhandle.