T. Boone Pickens, the oil wildcatter with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, on Thursday said his health is fading after several strokes, but he’s still “mentally strong.”
He wrote a post on the social network LinkedIn titled “Embracing (or Accepting Mortality” that said he plans to keep working, CNBC reported.
"Just a year ago I felt immortal, wearing my age with pride, even joking about it," Pickens wrote. "But things have changed for me since the strokes. I clearly am in the fourth quarter, and the clock is ticking and my health is in decline, much as it is with others in my stage of life."
Pickens, 89, was known during the 1980s as a corporate raider who made takeover attempts of energy companies. More recently, he has managed Dallas-based hedge funds and pushed plans to develop energy sources including natural gas, wind and solar. He led the Swift Boat campaign that questioned the war record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004, according to Forbes magazine. President George W. Bush won re-election that year.
Pickens was injured last week in what he described as a “Texas-sized fall” that has contributed to difficulties with speech. After having several strokes in December, he was able to recover about 90 percent of his speaking ability following therapy.
"Just as I exercise my body daily I will exercise my brain and continue with rigorous speech therapy to regain what I can. I am always up for a good challenge," he said. "I remain excited every day, engaged and thrilled in the office and on the road. I thrive on that activity, and I'm going to stick to it, no matter the setback," he said.
He also said he's not feeling morbid even as he confronts his mortality.
"Truth is, when you’re in the oil business like I’ve been all my life, you drill your fair share of dry holes, but you never lose your optimism," he said. "There’s a story I tell about the geologist who fell off a 10-story building. When he blew past the fifth floor he thought to himself, 'So far so good'."
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