The Dallas Oak Cliff Lions Club has selected T. Boone Pickens, founder and chairman of BP Capital Management, a top energy-oriented investment fund, to receive its 2008-2009 Annual Humanitarian Award.
The award was presented during the club’s weekly luncheon meeting recently at Weiss Auditorium of DallasMethodistMedicalCenter.
Pickens joins a distinguished list of 30 past Humanitarians of the Year since the award’s inception in 1978.
Among past recipients are Tom Landry, H. Ross Perot, Dr. J. L. LaManna, Lillian Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Dr. Charles Sprague, Ebby Halliday Acers, Raymond Nasher, Ruth Altshuler, Liz Minyard, J. McDonald Williams, Chris Semos, Lamar Hunt, Paul M. Bass Jr., Dr. Wright LassiterJr. and Peter Stewart.
“Mr. Pickens’ professional activities, his contributions to the nation, philanthropy and service symbolize the ideals of Lionism,” said Humanitarian Committee Chair Ruben Esquivel.“His dedication to community, profession, God and mankind exemplify the Lions’ motto, ‘We Serve’.”
Pickens, a Dallas resident, is known nationally as an expert in the oil and gas industry. He founded Mesa Petroleum in 1956, beginning a career there that spanned four decades and led the firm to become one of the largest and best known independent exploration and production companies in the United States.
More recently, he has been pursuing other energy-related business interests, ranging from Mesa Water, which deals in water marketing, to Mesa Power, which plans the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, to Clean Energy, which advances the use of natural gas as a cleaner-burning and more cost-effective transportation fuel.
In July of last year, Pickens launched and funded a grass roots television campaign to reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil.
His latest book, “The First Billion is the Hardest,” details what the nation must do to become energy independent. His earlier autobiography, “Boone,” was on the New York Times’ best seller list for 15 weeks.
In 1951, Pickens received a degree in geology from what is now OklahomaStateUniversity and that university has been the recipient of much of his philanthropy over the years, receiving $250 million. To recognize his contributions, the university in 2003 renamed its football stadium the Boone Pickens Stadium and in 1989 it dedicated the T. Boone Pickens School of Geology.
Throughout his life, Pickens has donated more than $600 million to worthwhile causes. His T. Boone Pickens Foundation, founded in late 2006, gave away more than $200 million in 2007. The foundation is dedicated to improving lives through grants supporting education, medical research, athletics and corporate wellness, at-risk youth, the entrepreneurial process, and conservation and wildlife initiatives.
Among the beneficiaries have been the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, the American Red Cross for hurricane disaster relief, Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, and the Oklahoma Heritage Association,
In 2006 Pickens was a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award as a person who has overcome adversity and humble beginnings to achieve success. He also received the Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award in 2007 and the 2008 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award from Texas Woman’s University. Pickens also was selected for the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2005 and was named to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2003.
He has served on the America Red Cross Chairman’s Advisory Board and as an advisor for the National Campaign for a Drug Free America.
Pickens also has served as a board member for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc., as board trustee for the CooperAerobicsCenter, as chairman of the Board of Visitors and a member of the Board of Visitors of the M.D.AndersonCancerCenter, and as a life member and chairman of the Texas Research League.
Pickens and his wife, Madeleine Ann, have five children and 13 grandchildren.