Hugh Liedtke

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Person.png Hugh Liedtke  Rdf-icon.png
(lawyer, Businessman)
Born February 10, 1922
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died March 28, 2003 (Age 81)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard Business School, University of Texas School of Law
Spouse Betty Lyn Dirickson
Founder of Zapata Petroleum

Hugh Liedtke was brother of Bill Liedtke.


Hugh and his brother Bill co-founded the Zapata Corporation in 1953 together with George H. W. Bush and University of Texas contemporary John Overbey.[1] This was nominally a profit-making enterprise but actually worked as a cover for intelligence agency operations, providing an explanation for a lot of foreign travel and a vehicle for transfer of money.[2]


In the 1960s the Liedtke brothers acquired control of the South Penn Oil Company and merged it with Zapata to form a new company they called Pennzoil.[3] They acquired the United Gas Pipeline Company, which was nearly eight times the size of Pennzoil and along with several other companies and merged them into it. In 1966, the Liedtkes captured United Gas.[4]

After refusing an offer of $2 billion, in 1988 his legal team convinced a jury that Texaco had illegally usurped his handshake deal to acquire an interest in the Getty Oil Company. He was awarded $3 billion from Texaco in a legal battle.[4]


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  2. Family of Secrets
  3. "J. Hugh Liedtke". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. a b

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