The death of Andrew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, marks another tragic turn for the family.Here is a QA about the Getty family’s triumphs and setbacks, assembled from the Los Angeles Times archives. Who was J. Paul Getty?He was an American oil magnate whose fortune built the J. Paul Getty Museum. The Getty family is known for his philanthropic efforts, but J. Paul Getty was also the kind of miser who installed a pay phone in his mansion.The elder Getty headed a family that seemed plagued by illnesses, addictions and other disasters. Getty, who died in 1976, founded Getty Oil Co. and was often cited as one of the world’s richest men. He learned to speak Arabic in order to better negotiate business deals in the Middle East.The Gettys donated their Hancock Park mansion for use as the home for the Los Angeles mayor and also donated heavily to the arts. What are some of the problems that have befallen the family?J. Paul Getty’s fifth son — his only child with his fifth wife — died of a brain tumor in 1958 at age 12. Another son died of a suspected suicide in 1973.That same year, grandson J. Paul Getty III — Andrew Getty’s cousin — was kidnapped in Italy and held for ransom for more than five months.lRelated L.A. NowGuitarist for Scott Weiland’s new band dies a day before album debutSee all related And in 1999, J. Paul Getty’s son Gordon Getty, Andrew’s father, confirmed that he had a second family living in Los Angeles after the three daughters born to him by another woman filed court documents requesting that their last name be
changed to Getty.The revelation that the well-known composer and philanthropist had a second family — while remaining married to his wife, Ann — became tabloid fodder, but it was something of an open secret in elite social circles.How did the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III play out?!– Andrew Getty, heir to fortune, found dead Getty family heir Andrew Getty was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home. Investigators say it appears the 47-year-old died of natural causes or an accident. Getty family heir Andrew Getty was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home. Investigators say it appears the 47-year-old died of natural causes or an accident. See more videos –He was abducted by several men and driven 200 miles to a hiding place in the mountains of Calabria. A ransom demand was delivered a week later. His mother, former actress Gail Harris, sought help from her son’s father, J. Paul Getty Jr., and grandfather, but they viewed his disappearance as a money-making scheme by an unruly teenager.As time dragged on, the Getty patriarch’s stony rejections of her pleas continued. “I have 14 grandchildren,” he told reporters, “and if I pay one penny ransom, I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.” According to biographer Robert Lenzner, the eldest Getty refused to talk to Harris or his son and communicated through intermediaries.