John Paul Getty III, Oil Billionaire’s Famous Kidnapped Boy in 1973, Dies at 54

By on Feb 10, 2011 in Current Events, Health, Opinion, United States, World Comments

John Paul Getty III
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Great wealth does not always mean happiness. This is proven by the life of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of the billionaire oil tycoon. After three decades of being condemned in a wheelchair, the troubled life of Getty III ended in February 5, 2011 in Buckinghamshire, England. His son, actor Balthazar Getty confirmed the news last Tuesday.

The Getty Family had long been the center of limelight not only because of their wealth but also because of the controversies that surrounded their family. The patriarch of the family, J. Paul Getty was considered as the world’s richest man in his lifetime, after his successful gamble in the oil industry.

Born in 1956, J. Paul Getty III‘s life captured worldwide attention when he was kidnapped at the age of 16. He was held for five months in a cave in Northern Italy and his captors cut off his ears after his grandfather refused to pay the hefty ransom of $2.7 million. It was only after the reported mutilation that his family gave in to the demands of the captors.

Just eight years after the incident, when he was 24, he suffered from a stroke brought about by his self-induced drug overdose. Since 1981 and until the time of his death, he remained in a paralyzed state – spoon-fed, requiring round-the-clock care and unable to walk and communicate properly.

Vast wealth is not the only constant companion of the Getty Family. Drug-related woes surrounded them, as well. Getty’s father, J. Paul Getty II suffered several years of drug addiction while his stepmother ended her life in drug overdose.

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