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December 09 , 2007

Armand Hammer: An Oil Baron Of Many Contradictions


Biographical profile of Armand Hammer, a man whose upbringing, opulent lifestyle and financial success are irreconcilable. Hammer was probably the world's greatest spinmeister. He not only managed to convince the American public that he earned millions by supplying medical supplies to the Soviet Union following the October Revolution, he even convinced J. Edgar Hoover that his time there during the Lenin reign was benign and meritorious. None of it was true. Award-winning author Daniel Alef describes Hammer's ascent in the oil industry; his use of uncanny business instincts, vision and his wife's capital to build Occidental Petroleum into a major multinational corporation. Hammer had an instinct for befriending the right people including future presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. To assure an enduring legacy, Hammer assembled one of the great art collections of the 20th century. And his ego was as monumental as his art collection, even renaming the Leicester Codex (Leonardo Da Vinci's works) the "Hammer Codex" in a further attempt to memorialize his name forever. His success in business and in the American oil industry is unquestionable. His flawed character, questionable ethics and dysfunctional family life, both in the Soviet Union and the U.S. are equally indisputable. [1,232-word Titans of Fortune article]
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