John Paul Getty III, grandson of wealthy oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, has passed away. He was 54.
Always in the public eye due to his family stature and rebellious nature, Getty became the direct focus of international attention when in 1973 a group of criminals abducted the then-16-year-old. Getty's grandfather eventually paid a ransom of $2.9 million, but only after the kidnappers severed one of the boy's ears.
On Saturday, after a lengthy battle with illness, Getty passed away in Buckinghamshire, England.
Surge Desk offers five facts on the late John Paul Getty III.
His son Balthazar Getty confirmed the news Tuesday, although no official cause has been determined.
J. Paul Getty III passed away in England over the weekend, according to several British newspaper reports.
Getty's son, actor Balthazar Getty, confirmed the news Tuesday that his father died Saturday in Buckinghamshire.
So far, no official cause of death has been determined. In the early 1980s, a drug overdose left Getty partially paralyzed. He spent six weeks in a coma and was wheelchair-bound (and unable to speak) since then.
The oil heir was known as the "Golden Hippie" by UK press for his to his bohemian lifestyle and bright red hair.
His father, J. Paul Getty, became one of the worlds's first billionaires after the success of his Getty Oil Company. Three years before the elder Getty passed in 1976, a 16-year-old Getty was kidnapped in Italy. Famously, when the Getty family refused to pay the criminals ransom money, kidnappers clipped the then young man's ear and mailed it to an Italian newspaper.
More recently, Getty lived with his mother in Brentwood in the 1990s. The past few years the red head spent most of his time in Ireland and Italy.