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What Is Oil Magnate-Turned-Classical Composer Gordon Getty's Net Worth?

Gordon Getty orchestrated the sale of his father's Getty Oil Company for $10.1 billion
Gordon Getty | Getty Images | Photo by Kim Kulish
Gordon Getty | Getty Images | Photo by Kim Kulish
Name  Gordon Getty
Net worth $2.1 billion
Annual income N/A
Salary N/A
Sources of income Business ventures, music, Getty Oil Trust
DOB 20 December 1933
Age 89 years
Gender  Male
Nationality United States of America
Profession Businessman, investor, philanthropist,  classical music composer

Gordon Getty at
Gordon Getty at "The White Election" performance | Getty Images | Photo by Rob Kim

Businessman, investor, philanthropist, and classical music composer Gordon Getty has an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion as of December 12, according to Forbes. Gordon Getty is the fourth child of once the richest person in the world, J. Paul Getty. After his father’s passing, it was Gordon Getty who assumed control of his trust and orchestrated the sale of the family’s oil empire.

Business Ventures

Getty joined his father’s oil business and was assigned to a neutral area in the Middle East. After his father died in 1976, he sold the oil empire and went on to pursue his business aspirations. He founded the company ReFlow in 2002. The company specialized in the temporary purchase of shares in mutual funds.

Career in Music

Getty is a classical musician and he has created piano works, orchestral works, choral works, cantata, and opera, among other categories. His piano works include "Ancestor Suite," "Andantino," and "Scherzo Pensieroso," while his operas include "Plump Jack," "Joan and the Bells," and "Usher House”.


Sale of Getty Oil

Getty became the sole trustee of the Getty Oil Trust after his father’s death in 1976. Getty Oil was the largest independent oil company in the United States in 1980s, but it was facing tough competition from other large oil companies. In 1984, Texaco approached the company with an offer to buy the company for $10.1 billion. While the company’s board of directors rejected the offer, Getty himself was in favor of selling.

Gordon Getty, shown at work | Getty Images
Gordon Getty, shown at work | Getty Images

He then orchestrated the sale of Getty Oil to Texaco by replacing the board of directors and negotiating a deal with Texaco that gave him and his family a significant stake in the new company.

The deal was finalized in 1984 and Getty Oil's shareholders received a large payout, with Getty becoming one of the richest men in the world. However, due to the sale, employees of the company were laid off and it led to a long legal standoff between Getty and Texaco.

Further in 1985, Getty orchestrated the breakup of the Getty Oil trust into six separate trusts to protect his family's wealth and to avoid legal challenges. To date, the trusts exist and control a significant amount of wealth.

Getty owns three Napa Valley wineries, Plumpjack, Odette, and Cade through the Plumpjack Group. The premium Napa vineyards sell for about $450,000 an acre, according to John Conover, general manager of Getty's wineries, Bloomberg reported.

Getty married publisher Ann Gilbert in Las Vegas in 1964. They had four children, including businessman and filmmaker Andrew, who passed away in 2015. Getty also has three daughters from his long-running affair with Cynthia Beck.

Gordon Getty walking with his wife, Ann | Getty Images | Photo by Hulton Archive
Gordon Getty walking with his wife, Ann | Getty Images | Photo by Hulton Archive


Getty has donated over $200 million to his philanthropic foundation, since 2008. The foundation supports music, performing arts, and museum projects and it has underwritten productions of the San Francisco Opera and the Russian National Orchestra.

1986 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts award for Outstanding American Composer

2003 Gold Baton: League of American Orchestras

2015 University of San Francisco: Alumnus of the Year

How old is Gordon Getty?

Gordan Getty is 89 years old.

How did Gordon Getty make his money?

Most of Gordon Getty's fortune is derived from proceeds he received from the $10 billion sale of Getty Oil.

Who runs the Getty Empire now?

In 2022, Katherine E. Fleming assumed her post as president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

How many kids did J. Paul Getty have?

J. Paul Getty had five children.

What is Gordon Getty's Net Worth?

Gordon Getty has an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion as of December 12, according to Forbes.