While writing his autobiography, J. Paul Getty—then perhaps the world's richest man—hoped it would be the final verdict on himself, on his many friends and associates, and on his times. Regrettably, it proved to be so: Getty died in 1976 as As I See It was going to press.
Now reissued with a number of additional illustrations, this lively autobiography introduces the famed tycoon to a new generation of readers. In its urbanity, wit, insight, and disconcerting candor, it comes close to re-creating the essence of the man himself.
And what a man he was! Known largely for his fabled wealth, J. Paul Getty was highly educated, competent in six languages, a world traveler, and a committed collector of art. Whether describing how he amassed his staggering fortune, discussing the prospects of democracy, listing the seven key points success-oriented men should know about women, or recounting undergraduate conversations at Oxford with his good friend David, the future King Edward of England, Getty is never less than fascinating. The cast of characters who populate his intimate anecdotes reads like a Who's Who of the twentieth century: Winston Churchill, Clara Bow, Nelson Rockefeller, Bernard Berenson, Bela Lugosi, Jacqueline Onassis, Richard Nixon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, and hundreds more. He discusses with absolute frankness his several marriages and liaisons and speaks honestly about his notorious stinginess and the often bizarre problems confronted by the impossibly wealthy. Richly detailed and immensely enjoyable, As I See It recounts the life of an American legend and the founder of the museum that bears his name.