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T. Boone Pickens Topic of Dallas 'Conversation'

Legendary energy industry leader, philanthropist to take spotlight at M. D. Anderson fundraiser

M. D. Anderson News Release 08/22/08

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The 19th annual A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas benefiting The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center will honor oil and gas industry entrepreneur and longtime philanthropist T. Boone Pickens.

The fundraiser luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Hilton Anatole, 2201 Stemmons Freeway, is expected to attract more than 1,000 M. D. Anderson supporters eager to listen in on a one-on-one interview with Pickens onstage at the hotel's Chantilly Ballroom.

Pickens, a life member of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors, is one of the nation's most successful business leaders. In 1956, he founded Mesa Petroleum, which grew to become the one of the largest and most well-known independent exploration and production companies in the United States. In his 70s, Pickens reinvented himself with BP Capital, a Dallas-based private energy investment firm that manages $4 billion. In July 2008, he launched the Pickens Plan (, a grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing the nation's dependence on imported oil.
Pickens' business interests include water marketing, alternative wind power, ranch development initiatives and Clean Energy, a clean transportation fuels company he founded and took public in May 2008 (the eighth entity he has helped go public).
Among his professional honors are membership in the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. In 1998, the Oil & Gas Investor named him one of the "100 Most Influential People of the Petroleum Century."

Pickens has given almost a half-billion dollars to philanthropic causes. A longtime contributor to M. D. Anderson, he established the Boone Pickens Chair for Early Cancer Prevention more than 20 years ago. In 2007, his T. Boone Pickens Foundation contributed $50 million to M. D. Anderson - the institution's largest gift to date. At the same time Pickens committed $50 million to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Pickens wants each institution to grow its gift from $50 million to $500 million during the next 25 years before it may spend the funds.

M. D. Anderson's 21-story, 730,000-square-foot T. Boone Pickens Academic Tower, named in his honor, opened in the spring of 2008.

Pickens' soon-to-be-published "The First Billion Is the Hardest" (Random House, September 2008) details his ideas on steps to regain the nation's energy independence. A book signing is planned prior to the luncheon.

Since its inception in 1990, A Conversation With a Living Legend in Dallas has raised more than $7 million for M. D. Anderson's research, patient care and educational initiatives. Co-chairs Lana and Barry Andrews lead this year's steering committee of Dallas- and Fort Worth-area members of M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors and other community leaders. The Hon. Bill Melton, former Dallas Cowboys announcer and Dallas County treasurer, will serve as master of ceremonies. Andrews Distributing Company is the event's major underwriter.

Over the years A Conversation With a Living Legend has honored Rudolph W. Giuliani, James A. Baker III, Jack Nicklaus, Colin Powell, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Nolan Ryan, Lance Armstrong, Norman Schwarzkopf, Margaret Thatcher and Cal Ripken Jr., among others. Most recently, the 2007 event featuring Emmy-winning comedian, actress and author Carol Burnett and interviewer Deborah Norville of Inside Edition raised more than $752,000 for M. D. Anderson.

Tickets start at $250 for individual seats; tables of 10 start at $3,000. For information, call 866-262-9029. 08/22/08

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center