THE RICHEST AMERICAN: J. Paul Getty by Ralph Hewins


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This methodical, fact-jammed biography represents what is supposedly the true life of American oil billionaire J. Paul Getty. Externally it achieves its purpose. The author, with biographies of Count Bernadotte and Calouste Gulbenkian behind him, has labored long in the Getty archives. He has had access to private papers and diary, as well as to the diary of Getty Sr., founder of what is now one of the half dozen largest fortunes in the world. All this information is skillfully assembled, made more than informative. But it cannot be called objective. For Getty's deeper self---his five marriages, fears and phobias, his compulsion to get more and more money, etc.---are never fully explained, are apologized for, or glossed over. Neither are his political views or behind-the-scenes methods brought fully to light. The book remains, however, one of the first full portrayals of Getty, and as such has value to the student of the current scene.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1959
Publisher: Dutton