The title to Clint Eastwood's film, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," would have been more apt on the dust jacket of a Jean Paul Getty biography. J. Paul Getty, one of America's first billionaires and the richest man in the world, was a consummate businessman who built an empire and left a remarkable antiquities and art collection as his legacy. But he also was a womanizer, a miser, stingy with his closest friends and a dysfunctional parent.
The defining moment of his life took place in Minneapolis in 1890, two years before his birth. His sister, Gertrude Lois, 12, George and Sarah Getty's only child died of Typhoid fever. The parents never fully recovered and were unprepared for J. Paul's arrival. There was no parental affection. There were no birthday parties, no Christmas trees. George and Sarah refused to let him play with other children lest he contract a contagious disease. It was a lonely and chilly childhood.