The legendary hedge fund manager died Wednesday after struggling to recover from multiple strokes. After founding Mesa Petroleum in 1956, the Oklahoma native built a reputation for buying much larger companies on his way to becoming a billionaire. Pickens eventually shifted toward renewable energy, believing that drilling for oil wasn’t worth the damage to the planet.
How will he be remembered? As a man of contradictions: The Republican philanthropist donated to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, yet he also supported John Kerry’s climate plan after the Democrat lost to Bush in the 2004 election.