Claytie : The Roller-coaster Life of a Texas Wildcatter

3.5 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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The native son of a distinguished West Texas family and a 1954 graduate of Texas A&M whose career and personal pursuits have ranged from farmer to insurance salesman to wildcatter, pipeline entrepreneur, rancher, banker, real estate mogul, big game hunter, conservationist, philanthropist, front-running gubernatorial candidate, and oil tycoon, Clayton W. Williams Jr. is by all measures one of a kind. He has repeatedly been on the "Forbes" list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, yet more than once Claytie has also been on the verge of bankruptcy. This authorized biography captures the dimensions of his fascinating life: his determined work ethic and honesty; his passionate interests and rough-hewn style; his devotion to wife and constant companion Modesta and family; his all-in wildcatter bets and integrity-above-all payoff of debts; his patented gaffes in the "wildest, woolliest Texas governor's race ever" and their spotlighted consequences for the state and nation; and running through it all, both unrestrained celebrations and knees-on-the-ground repentance. His many notable successes, his most admirable traits, as well as his most outrageous flaws are all portrayed in this book, often in Claytie's own words or in the extensive comments, revealing anecdotes, and first-person accounts of others, supplemented by family and business documents, as well as contemporary journalistic records. This book tells it all, revealing one distinctive maverick who has left his boot prints all across Texas for 75 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 33.02mm | 771.1g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • 72 b&w photos, index
  • 1585446343
  • 9781585446346

Review quote

"Claytie is quite the colorful man whose personality is bigger than the Permian Basin he hails from. George and I are both friends and fans of his." "Clayton Williams lives life on a grand scale in this fast-moving, readable biography. Anyone interested in Texas history, petroleum history, or political history should enjoy this book." "Clayton Williams' passion for making friends, making money, and making music is legendary. I've always admired Clayton. He's a genuine American--as tough as a boot but with a heart as big as Texas." "Claytie Williams is a living symbol of the mythical larger-than-life Texan, sometimes down but never out, willing to back his judgment on a Hail Mary pass, win, lose, or draw. He is one of the most affable people I have ever met." "In losing the 1990 Texas gubernatorial race to Ann Richards, Claytie Williams shot himself in the foot more times than a centipede with a machine gun. But Mike Cochran's biography also introduces us to the philanthropic, loyal, honest, and sometimes soft-hearted side of this boom-or-bust oilpatch kingpin. Claytie's life might be a movie--except that it was already made in the 1950s as 'Giant' with James Dean playing the Claytie role."show more

About Mike Cochran

MIKE COCHRAN has covered many memorable news stories in Texas, often with the Associated Press, during the past four decades, such as the JFK assassination, the U.S. space program, and most statewide political campaigns, and he has earned several journalistic awards in the process. He is the author of three previous more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 6% (1)
4 44% (7)
3 44% (7)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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