Legendary wildcatter Boone Pickens takes a Texas-sized fall

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

Famed oilfield wildcatter, financier and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens is addressing health issues after a "Texas-sized fall" put him in the hospital last week.

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In a posting to LinkedIn, the 89-year-old Pickens said he is still mentally strong but that as far as his life goes, "I clearly am in the fourth quarter."

Pickens fell in the early morning hours of July 11 and was admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, spokesman Jay Rosser said Friday. He was released from the hospital Monday and is in daily physical and speech therapy, while still engaged with the office of his Dallas investment firm, BP Capital, and his various business entities, Rosser said.

Pickens said he suffered several strokes over the Christmas holiday. He said he's regained 90 percent of his speech through aggressive therapy and determination.

"Many of those who face adversity like this at 89 choose to hide it," he wrote. "My life has always been an open book. Some chapters of my life have been great. Others not so much."

Pickens built one of the country's biggest independent oil companies, Mesa Petroleum, before moving on to BP Capital and founding clean transportation fuels company Clean Energy.

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He rose to national prominence in the 1980s when he led a series of takeover attempts, targeting Phillips Petroleum, Unocal and Gulf Oil, among other companies.

He's also given away more than $1 billion to philanthropic causes, according to BP Capital's website.

Pickens said he remains upbeat about the future.

"That's the way to approach life. Be the eternal optimist who is excited to see what the next decade will bring," he said.