herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Heir to Getty's oil fortune (47) found dead in LA mansion

Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old grandson of the late oil billionaire J Paul Getty and one of the heirs to the fortune of one of the wealthiest and best-known families in American history, was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home, police and family members said.

A woman calling to report that someone had died sent officers to the gated home on Montcalm Avenue shortly after 2.15pm on Tuesday. They found the man dead in a bathroom, police spokesman Jack Richter said.

Police didn't identify the man, but a statement from Andrew Getty's parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, confirmed it was him.

Initial reports from the scene seem to indicate that the victim died of natural causes and police are ruling out foul play.

Richter and other police officials would not immediately confirm media reports that the dead man was Getty.

Police chief Andrew Smith said the woman who had called police was cooperating with the investigation.

Coroner's vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

BILLIONAIRE

Getty is one of four sons of Gordon Getty, a San Francisco multibillionaire who is among the richest men in the United States.

Andrew Getty's grandfather J Paul Getty was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Co and was at one point named the richest living American by Fortune magazine. He had five sons and died in 1976, aged 82.

J Paul Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

Another Getty grandson, J Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager. The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending the severed organ to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

The oil heir, then 16, was freed after five months in captivity and a payment of $2.7m. He died in 2011 at age 54.

hnews@herald.ie

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