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"On this Day in American History"



Jean Paul Getty III, the grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, five months after his kidnapping by an Italian gang. J. Paul Getty, who became the richest man in the world in 1957, had initially refused to pay his 16-year-old grandson’s $17 million ransom but finally agreed to cooperate after the boy’s severed right ear was sent to a newspaper in Rome. He eventually secured his grandson’s release by paying just $2.7 million, the maximum amount that he claimed he was able to raise. Born in Minneapolis in 1892, Getty inherited a small oil company from his father. Through his autocratic rule and skillful manipulation of the stock market, Getty soon shaped Getty Oil into a massive financial empire. By 1968, Getty’s fortune exceeded $1 billion. However, the world’s wealthiest man did not live an ideal life. He is remembered as an eccentric billionaire who married and divorced five times and had serious relationship problems with most of his five sons. In the final 25 years of his life, Getty lived near London, England, in an estate surrounded by double barbed-wire fences and protected by plainclothes guards and more than 20 German shepherd attack dogs. He was also a notorious miser–his installation of a payphone for guests in his English mansion is a famous example. Three years after failing to pay his grandson’s ransom in a timely manner, J. Paul Getty died at the age of 83. His children and former wives fought bitterly over the inheritance of his fortune in court, but ultimately the bulk of his billions went to the J. Paul Getty Museum “for the diffusion of artistic and general knowledge.” Today, the Getty Museum, based in Los Angeles, is the most richly endowed museum on earth.

Comment....... I remember this primarily because it was Italian gangsters that did this.. I'm Italian and at the time I thought I was cool... Actually I felt sorry for this kid being scared out of his wits like he was.. They cut off his left ear and sent it to an Italian newspaper... That was not necessary..

Note..... Nine of the kidnappers were apprehended, including a carpenter, an hospital orderly, an ex-con and an olive-oil dealer from Calabria, as well as high-ranking members of the 'Ndrangheta — a Mafia-type organization in Calabria — such as Girolamo Piromalli and Saverio Mammoliti. Two were convicted and sent to prison, the others, including the 'Ndrangheta bosses, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of the ransom money was never recovered. In 1977, Getty had an operation to rebuild the ear that had been cut off by his kidnappers.
John Paul Getty III was an alcoholic and drug addict. In 1981, he imbibed a Valium, methadone and alcohol cocktail which caused liver failure and a stroke, leaving him a quadriplegic and nearly blind. He never fully recovered and remained severely handicapped for the rest of his life. By 1987, however, a daily regime of exercise, physiotherapy and speech therapy during which he reportedly showed "extraordinary willpower," helped him regain some degree of autonomy. He could again visit concerts and cinema, and was even able to ski, when strapped to a metal frame. He died in 2011 at age 54.
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