Andrew Getty, the grandson of famous oil mogul J. Paul Getty, was found dead in his Los Angeles home yesterday. The 47-year-old man was on the bathroom floor, partially nude, surrounded by a pool of blood. Though a full investigation was launched, police acting in accord with medical personnel believe the death to be caused by a medical condition, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Captain William Hayes, of the Los Angeles Police Department, said it was known that Getty suffered from an illness.
“He had a whole plethora of medical issues. We believe it is a natural-caused death.”
In a related report by the Inquisitr, police responded to a 911 call by an unidentified woman around two o’clock Tuesday morning, finding the Getty heir had passed away. Although Andrew Getty had recently filed for a restraining order against an unknown woman, the lady who was present at the time of death is cooperating with authorities and is not a person of interest in the case.
This is not the first tragic death in the Getty family. Since J. Paul Getty made his fortune in the oil business, it seems that misfortune has plagued the Getty family. Perhaps the most tragic is the 1958 death of his son, Timothy, who passed away during brain tumor surgery at the age of 12. Getty, on a business trip, was not present at the funeral.
The Los Angeles Times further reports that in 1973, one of his grandsons was kidnapped for ransom. J. Paul Getty III was just a teenager at this time, living away from his parents in Rome, and was abducted in July. His mother quickly received a ransom note for $17 million, but it was believed to be false, and simply a teenage prank to extort money from the family.
“Dear Mummy. Since Monday I have fallen into the hands of kidnappers. Don’t let me be killed.”
She turned to her son’s father for help, but he refused to pay the bill, as did his grandfather. In a public statement, J. Paul Getty addressed the issue of his grandson’s ransom.
“If I pay one penny now, I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.”
So J. Paul Getty III spent several months with his captors, who turned out to be very real and had ties to the mafia. They cut off the boy’s right ear and a lock of his hair and mailed it to a newspaper. Finally, the Getty family paid just a fraction of the original ransom amount, most of it having been borrowed from the family patriarch at four percent interest. After his release, the victimized child called his grandfather to thank him for paying the ransom, but J. Paul Getty refused to take his call.
J. Paul Getty was a hard man who may have loved his money more than his own family. According to the Washington Post, each of his five marriages ended in divorce, and he was a miserly penny pincher who installed a pay phone in his home. J. Paul Getty was not the charitable type, as is apparent in the following quote.
“If I were convinced that by giving away my fortune I could make a real contribution toward solving the problems of world poverty, I’d give away 99.5 percent of all I have immediately. But a hard-eyed appraisal of the situation convinces me this is not the case.”
An art collector, J. Paul Getty chose instead to give his money toward the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Sadly, it seems art may have been the only true love in this billionaire’s life.
[Image via La Prima Pagina]