Four of T. Boone Pickens’ children were with his first wife, Lynn O’Brien. He and Lynn were married in 1949 and divorced in 1971. Together, they had their children Deborah, Michael, Thomas III, and Pam Pickens. In 1972, Pickens married Beatrice “Bea” Carr Stuart and adopted her daughter Elizabeth “Liz” Cordia. He was married five times in total.
In 1999, T. Boone Pickens wrote a letter to his children just before Christmas, telling them that his focus on business had led to him often leaving them behind. He wanted a chance to repair his relationships with all of them, CNN reported.
In 1988, when she was Pamela Pickens Harmon, she and her then-husband Kenneth Dwayne Harmon filed for bankruptcy, Oklahoman.com reported. They listed liabilities of $115,079 and assets of $101,130. At the time, Pamela was a receptionist for a doctor in Oklahoma and Kenneth worked in advertising and sales.
A 2002 article by CNN noted that Pam was a broker in Tulsa. She said that although she didn’t always have the best relationship with her dad when they were younger, they had worked on mending that. She told CNN at the time: “It was hard, growing up in our house. But my dad has changed. He’s more giving, and more generous with his time. And he’s remorseful for things that happened. My relationship with my father is a huge part of my life, and I get a lot of fulfillment out of it.”
In 2005, Michael Pickens was charged with two counts of securities fraud which could have lead to a $5 million fine per count and up to 20 years in prison. The SEC requested that Michael be barred from selling penny stocks, The Sun Sentinel reported at the time. He pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2006. Prosecutors said Michael sent hundr of thousands of hoax letters to investors, pretending to be a fictitious doctor with fake stock tips, Reuters reported.
T. Boone Pickens helped defend Michael against the 2006 federal charges. Michael was given a five-year probation instead of a prison sentence. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution, Reuters reported. T. Boone Pickens offered to pay the restitution, noting that Michael had made “courageous efforts” to get substance abuse treatment, including spending 17 months in a treatment facility.
Pickens, T. Boone Pickens III, Pamela, and Elizabeth sued Michael for the blog in 2013, Courthouse News reported. They claimed it was extortion and cyberbullying. Following the suit, Michael’s claims about the family were taken off of his blog. Pickens said at the time that he planned to repost them later “in edited form.”
Michael, meanwhile, sued and claimed that his dad had breached a contract and hadn’t paid him for work he had done or transferred companies to him according to a promise, Fox 4 News reported. His suit demanded $15.6 million, MRT reported.
She helped organize his 90th birthday party and told Dallas News: “Everybody who we invited said yes unless they had a graduation or a wedding or some other serious family obligation… People traveled far and wide to just come and shake his hand, look him in the eyes and say thank you. It makes me a little weepy.”
Thomas III is born to T. Boone Pickens and Lynn O’Brien. His first job was with the startup Beta Computer Systems, Inc. while he was a junior at SMU. After selling Beta, he had a series of successful acquisitions and startups totaling over $18 billion over 30 years, his bio reads. His LinkedIn notes that he specializes in creating “value in a challenging environment.”
According to his LinkedIn, he’s still CEO and Chair of Astrotech Corporation. He’s also Chair of 1st Detect, CEO of Astral Images, and the founder and CEO of Astrogenetix. (According to Biz Journals, he left his position as CEO of 1st Detect in February.)
According to LinkedIn, Astrogenetix “was created as a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation after reviewing over 1,500 experiments its predecessor company, Spacehab, processed in microgravity for NASA. At the completion of the analysis, it was determined that the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs in space held a great deal of commercial potential. Astrogenetix was formed to capture this value and has now concluded 12 spaceflights towards the discovery of vaccine targets for both salmonella and MRSA.”
In 2013, Thomas Pickens III was sued in Travis County Court and was accused of “funneling” millions of dollars from Astrotech while he was CEO, Courthouse News reported. The lawsuit was later dismissed in 2014. The suit was filed by the company’s former CFO, John Porter. The complaint read, in part: “Astrotech once traded as high as $146 per share in the mid-1990s. Since 2007, when Mr. Pickens became CEO, the company has incurred net losses each year and has lost a staggering eighty-nine percent of its market value.”
In 2014, a Texas Court of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit. Astrotech Chair and CEO Pickens III said: “We are pleased by the decision of the Texas Court of Appeals dismissing a lawsuit filed by a former employee. Our directors felt this claim was improper from the outset. Astrotech has never wavered on its commitment to introduce innovative products into strong growth industry sectors to build value for our shareholders.”