John Gilbert Getty, a grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty and heir to the estimated $5billion family fortune, has died at the age of 52 in the latest in a long line of tragedies to befall the family.
The family last night confirmed the passing of the Getty heir, who died in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, and paid tribute to an ‘awesome’ father and musician who leaves behind a daughter and two brothers.
The nature of his death is not yet clear, with an autopsy yet to take place, but foul play is not suspected.
‘With a heavy heart, Gordon Getty announces the death of his son, John Gilbert Getty,’ said a spokesperson for his composer father.
John Gilbert Getty, 52, passed away on Friday in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas
His daughter, Ivy Getty, posted a loving tribute to her father along with some photos of the pair
Oil multi-millionaire and art collector, J. Paul Getty (1892 – 1976) pictured left with a glass of wine around 1960. The Getty family fortune is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion. He was the grandfather of John Gilbert Getty, who died on Friday. Gordon Getty (right) announced the death of his son, John Gilbert Getty
Ivy Getty, picture right, posted pictures of her father in a tribute to him on her Instagram page
Tragic history of the Getty family ‘curse’
ABDUCTION DRAMA: J. Paul Getty III, the grandson of the family patriarch, was sensationally kidnapped in Rome in 1973, aged 16.
When his notoriously tight-fisted grandfather refused to pay ransom, the abductors cut off the boy’s ear and mailed it to his family. Getty eventually relented and paid a $3million ransom.
The teenager survived but began using drugs and suffered a debilitating stroke in his 20s. He died aged 54.
CHILD DEATH: The oil baron’s youngest child, Timothy Ware Getty, suffered a brain tumour aged six and died at the age of 12 in 1958.
Getty’s then-wife Teddy, a former nightclub singer, later wrote in a memoir that the tycoon had admonished her over the boy’s expensive medical bills.
They divorced soon after Timothy’s death, but Teddy lived until 2017 when she died aged 103. Getty’s oldest son, George, died in 1973.
HEROIN DEATH: Talitha Pol, a Dutch actress who married J. Paul Getty Jr in 1966, died of a heroin overdose five years later in 1971.
Pol had lived her own jet-setting life and was the subject of a famous photo with her husband on a Marrakech rooftop in 1969.
SECOND FAMILY: Gordon Getty had his own brush with scandal in 1999 when the father of four sons with his wife, Ann, acknowledged he had a second family in Los Angeles that included three daughters.
The acknowledgement came after the daughters filed court papers to change their last names to Getty.
FOUND DEAD AT HOME: Andrew Getty, another grandson of the oil tycoon, was found dead by his girlfriend at his Hollywood Hills mansion in 2015. He was 47.
Coroners found he had died of an accidental intestinal haemorrhage and also had a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system.
‘John leaves behind his daughter, Ivy Getty, whom he loved beyond measure, and his brothers Peter and Billy. His brother, Andrew, predeceased John. John’s mother, Ann Gilbert Getty, passed this September.’
‘John was a talented musician who loved rock and roll. He will be deeply missed.’
Ivy, his 25-year-old daughter, shared a moving tribute post on social media over the weekend, coupled with a number of photos where she is pictured with her father.
‘My father was awesome- coolest man to ever land on this planet and I will forever be the proudest daughter,’ she wrote.
‘Love you so much Dad….life is cruel sometimes…. I have not one, but two guardian angels watching over me now…here are some of my favorite pictures of him (and selfishly a couple of us).’
Ivy Getty continued to memorialize her father in her Instagram stories on Monday.
She shared numerous photos interspersed with fun facts about her father. She wrote, ‘My dad would absolutely love if I shared photos of him and talked about how much he meant to me so I am doing that.’
Getty noted that Fiji water was her dad’s favorite water, Whispering Angel was his favorite rosé and that ‘he loved ice cream and putting it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before consumption. He wanted to eat it (or really drink it like a soup).’
Ivy told how her father split his time between London and Los Angeles and praised his guitar skills.
She wrote, “He was an absolute beast at any instrument but his favorite was guitar. He held all the chords totally different that anyone else because he taught himself.’
A number of members of the Getty family also posted their condolences onto the postings.
August Getty, son of Ariadne Getty, the granddaughter of the late family patriarch, wrote: ‘Two beautiful angels, I love you so much.’
August’s sister Nats Getty wrote: ‘Love you Ivy.’
Although there are no signs of foul play in John Gilbert Getty’s death, drugs have plagued the family for decades leading some to speak of a ‘Getty curse’.
Gordon Getty lost two brothers, one to a drug overdose, the other to cancer and a sister-in-law died from a heroin overdose.
Ivy is pictured here with her father when she was a little girl
Ivy Getty is pictured with her parents including John, left, who passed away on Friday
Ivy Getty continued to memorialize her father in her Instagram stories on Monday
Ivy Getty, 25, called her father, ‘the most important man in my life’
He has also seen a nephew confined to a wheelchair due to a drug-induced stroke and a niece contract HIV.
John’s brother, Andrew Rork Getty, was found dead in his Los Angeles home in 2014 at the age of 47 according to People.
His father, Gordon who was a classical musician and philanthropist, helped facilitate the sale of his father’s business, Getty Oil, after the billionaire died in 1973.
At one time, he was the sole benefactor of the Getty family’s $4.1 billion trust before he split it up into six separate trusts.
Gordon is currently said to be worth $2.1 billion, according to Forbes.
John Gilbert Getty is pictured in a photo from his daughter’s Instagram page