Tributes and Condolences

Following are tributes and statements about the passing of T. Boone Pickens.

Click here to share your own memories or leave a condolence message for his family.

“T. Boone Pickens became a household name across the country because he was bold, imaginative, and daring. He was successful – and more importantly, he generously shared his success with institutions and communities across Texas and Oklahoma. He loved the outdoors, his country, and his friends and family, and Laura and I send our condolences.”

— President George W. Bush

“Although born in Oklahoma, Texas has always considered T. Boone Pickens to be one of our own. He was a passionate man who always stood by his principles on his path to success. T. Boone Pickens’ commitment to establishing American energy independence will have a lasting impact on the state of Texas, and the United States of America. Throughout his life and career, he generously gave to charitable causes to advance education, medical research, and humanitarian needs. I ask that all Texans join Cecilia and me in remembering the legacy of T. Boone Pickens, and keep him and his family in their prayers.”

— Texas Governor Greg Abbott

“I will sorely miss his friendship and his great wit. He was a stand-up guy from the old school. I wish there were more like him today. He and I agreed on corporate governance…we shared the same values on shareholders’ rights.”

— Carl Icahn

“They grow big personalities in Texas, but none could top Boone. I never was with him that it wasn’t fun.”

— Warren Buffett

“All of us in the Oklahoma State University family are deeply saddened by the passing of Boone Pickens. At the same time, we join in celebrating his incredible life. He was the ultimate Cowboy. It is impossible to calculate his full impact on Oklahoma State. His historic gifts to academics and athletics not only transformed the university, they inspired thousands of others to join in the transformation. OSU will not be the same without the legendary Boone Pickens, but his mark on our university will last forever.”

— Burns Hargis, Oklahoma State University President

“The greatest Cowboy of them all has taken his last ride. It will never be the same again. We could never thank him enough for all that he did for our university. He gave us everything he had and all that he asked in return was that we play by the rules and dream big. He was living proof that anything is possible if you’re wearing orange. ‘Great ride Cowboy, great ride!'”

— Mike Holder, Oklahoma State Athletic Director

“Mr. Pickens is a big part of our success and we’re all thankful for the lasting impact he’s had on Oklahoma State, both athletically and academically. It would have been difficult for us to climb as high we have without him. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has had a greater impact on a university than Mr. Pickens has had at Oklahoma State. He’ll be missed, but his legacy here will live on for a long time to come.”

— Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Football Coach

“Oklahoma has lost a legend with the passing of Mr. T. Boone Pickens. T. Boone Pickens’ love and pride for Oklahoma overflowed through his contribution to job creation and economic growth and his generous philanthropy to Oklahoma’s finest institutions. I considered him a friend and mentor, and his strong legacy will long be remembered and celebrated by Oklahomans.”

— Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

“As an Oklahoma son with a pioneering spirit, Boone was both plain speaking and impactful. Perhaps some might say he and Will Rogers are two of the greatest Oklahomans to ever live. Will Rogers once said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” T. Boone Pickens shared this wisdom but delivered it with a little more backwoods flavor. He said, “If you’re going to run with the big dogs, you have to get out from under the porch.” And much like Will Rogers, Boone had strong words of advice for today’s politicians. He said, “A plan without action is not a plan, it’s a speech.” Even as he wrote his final words before leaving this earth, Boone reminded us, “don’t look to government to solve problems. The strength of this country is in its people.” He couldn’t have been more right.”

— Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt

“Today, with deep sorrow, the Reagan Foundation mourns the loss of legendary Texas oil and gas executive T. Boone Pickens, who was a close, personal friend of President and Mrs. Reagan’s. Mr. Pickens was an exemplary leader, not only in the global energy and transportation sectors of the United States, but in everything he did. For President Reagan, he provided important leadership in the 1980 and 1984 election campaigns and provided wise counsel and unparalleled devotion to the missions of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. His extraordinary generosity to the Reagan Foundation resulted in the building of its one-of-a-kind Air Force One Pavilion, a gift which spoke volumes to the strength of the friendship that President and Mrs. Reagan had shared with Boone over the years. For our country, Mr. Pickens served as a mentor for entrepreneurs, was actively involved in important political and civic causes, and made significant contributions to educational institutions across the United States to support programs that will help ensure a brighter future for our children. Mr. Pickens’s legacy of achievement, leadership and philanthropy will inspire Americans for generations to come. Our heartfelt prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends at this sad time.”

— Fred Ryan, Chairman of the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

“Herb Kelleher, Boone and my father were members of our society who will never be replaced. They were unique, quality, driven men who had larger-than-life personalities and who made a huge, positive impact on our community and our country. I feel so blessed that the Lord allowed me to know a man like Boone Pickens.”

— Ross Perot Jr.

“Nobody has done what Boone did. He wanted to enjoy the fun of giving away money, and seeing what happened with it. Scholarships. Football stadiums. Engineering schools. Hospitals.”

— Steve Taylor, retired Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court

“I am saddened to learn about the death of a Dallas icon, T. Boone Pickens. While he might have been an Oklahoma boy, he’ll always be remembered as a Texas legend. He was a larger-than-life figure, a titan in business, and a generous philanthropist. Here in Dallas, he donated millions of dollars to the YMCA, Jubilee Park, UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Baylor Health Care System’s cancer center, the Perot Museum and many other causes that have made an immeasurable impact on our City. I’m incredibly grateful for his many contributions to Dallas. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

— Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson

“T. Boone Pickens was a Texas-sized legend who left a permanent impact on the world of American energy as we know it. He was a bold visionary who long championed a diverse energy mix from renewable power to oil and gas, and understood that American energy security is critical to our national security. Most of all, he was a wonderful and philanthropic person who gave generously to causes he believed in. Countless lives have been changed because of him, including mine, and I am lucky to have called him a friend. Anita and I send our deepest condolences to his loved ones who have experienced a great loss today.”

— Rick Perry, Energy Secretary and former Texas governor

“T. Boone Pickens lived a life marked with kindness and generosity. Boone was a friend, and he was a legendary Texas entrepreneur. He was larger than life, had a passion for others, and embodied Texas values. An extraordinarily generous philanthropist and a passionate advocate for American energy independence, Boone will be remembered as a legend in the hearts of Texans and Oklahomans alike. Heidi and I send our condolences to the entire Pickens family as they grieve the loss of a loving father, grandfather, and friend. May he rest in peace.”

— Senator Ted Cruz

“T. Boone Pickens is a Texas legend and a pioneering entrepreneur whose fierce entrepreneurial spirit changed the course of business history in America. But more than that, he was my friend. He took me under his wing and taught me the facts about the oil and gas industry and many truths about life itself. When I was first elected lieutenant governor, he kindly agreed to chair my Energy Policy Advisory Board. T. Boone made a “Texas-sized” contribution to our state and our country. I witnessed firsthand his legendary sense of humor many times. He was one of a kind and I will miss him greatly. Please join Jan and I in praying for his family and friends.”

— Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

“As a product of the YMCA, and a beneficiary of T. Boone Pickens’s generosity and commitment to the Y, I want to extend my sympathies to the entire Pickens family. North Texas has lost a giant.”

— Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas

“An incredible loss for the nation today. T. Boone Pickens was a dedicated supporter of the community throughout his life. Encouraging Americans to honor his legacy by supporting the principles of the #PickensPlan for energy independence.”

— George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner

“My good friend Boone Pickens had died at 91. As I said on his birthday, Boone Pickens is one of the smartest businessmen I have ever known. He has the courage of a ‘Riverboat Gambler’ and the wisdom of King Solomon.” #RIPBoone!”

— Kent Hance, Chancellor Emeritus, Texas Tech University System

“Today, a lot of constituency lost a great friend. Boone was a personal friend and confidant of mine. He was inspirational. He was a man of sports. His love for competing, frankly, was unmatched.”

— Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys owner

“He instilled in me a work ethic and confidence to go for it. ‘If you don’t have good work ethic, forget it. Then you just have to get lucky,’ he would say to me. I was the lucky one to have known and loved Boone. He gave me a shot when most people wouldn’t call me back. I miss him terribly today and my heart aches, but the mark he leaves behind will never be forgotten. He was truly one in a trillion.”

— Meredith Land, KXAS-TV NBC5 anchor

“It’s not often you can call an American icon, ‘friend’, but that’s the privilege I had with Boone Pickens. We enjoyed chasing quail, telling stories and debating sports. I’ll never forget the fun we had and the life lessons I learned from you. #RIPBoone.”

— Pete Delkus, WFAA-TV

“Words cannot express the sadness the Clean Energy family and myself feel at the loss of our co-founder, leader and friend. I worked closely with Boone for 32 years, and he became a father-like-figure and true mentor to me.”

— Andrew Littlefair, President and CEO of Clean Energy

“The impact he’s had on the program was immense. It’s a tough day…that guy from the day I stepped foot on Oklahoma State, I’m thankful for what he did. The impact he had on Oklahoma State will never be forgotten. Our stadium is named after him. We would not be where we are without him.”

— Blake Jarwin

“Boy, did he ever turn out to be right about energy independence. People would laugh, they were laughing about it. They never thought we’d get there. And we got there.”

— Jim Cramer,

“As a self-made billionaire and titan of philanthropy, T. Boone Pickens embodied the American Dream. Truly one of the most influential Oklahomans in our state’s history, he leaves behind an incredible legacy that stretches far beyond the borders of Oklahoma. While it is right to be saddened by his loss, it is also right to pause and celebrate all he has done for Oklahoma and the entire country. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and many loved ones. He will be dearly missed.”

— Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04)

“We’re going to miss Boone. It makes me very sad. He had a life to celebrate. He was involved in so many things. He is a great Oklahoman. He exemplifies the very thing I got involved in this industry for, that was the legacy of giving and generosity by so many highly successful people.”

— Harold Hamm

“Mr. Pickens was one of the first business leaders that was willing to invest in the Engler College of Business and West Texas A&M University. He created one of the first professorships at the University, and hundreds of students have benefited from the scholarship fund he established. We are grateful for his friendship, generosity, and the opportunity to be part of his legacy via the professorships and scholarships.”

— Dr. Neil Terry, Dean of the Engler College of Business

“T. Boone Pickens was a smart investor. He understood investing in higher education for kids from the Texas Panhandle, and we are thankful for that.”

— John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System

“Boone Pickens embodied J.A. Hill’s definition of a pioneer when he was president of the College in 1935. ‘The pioneer, wherever found, is self-reliant of necessity. Likewise, he was courageous because he was habitually meeting situations from which he cannot run away. He was tenacious and determined because it takes such qualities to rest victory from the forces which everywhere opposed him. He was resourceful because he was compelled to invent most of the means and instruments that he used in his daily work. The pioneer develops those fine qualities of life that make them stand out as a useful and constructive citizen.’ Pickens had the wisdom, foresight and pioneering spirit to connect West Texas State University to a larger system of universities. He approached three different systems when he chaired the Board of Regents. The Texas A&M University System responded positively and forever changed the course of our University and the Texas Panhandle. For his leadership and vision, we are forever grateful.”

— Walter V. Wendler, President of West Texas A&M University

“T. Boone Pickens is the epitome of an American success story. He came from humble beginnings to become one of the country’s most lucrative entrepreneurs. Maybe even more impressive was his commitment to philanthropy, donating more than $1 billion in his lifetime. We were honored to have him serve on the National Football Foundation’s Board of Directors, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family.”

— National Football Foundation Chairman Archie Manning

“I had the privilege of knowing Boone as a friend for many years, and he was truly one of a kind. His success in the energy business allowed him to become an avid philanthropist, and his impact in both arenas will be felt for generations to come. We were proud to have him on our Board of Directors and he was more than deserving of our Distinguished American Award in 2008. He will be greatly missed.”

— National Football Foundation President & CEO Steve Hatchell