OC’s Wealthiest 2023: Anne Catherine Getty Earhart & Caroline Marie Getty

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ANNE CATHERINE GETTY EARHART
HEIRESS, PHILANTHROPIST

CAROLINE MARIE GETTY
HEIRESS, PHILANTHROPIST

THE MONEY: Sisters who are the granddaughters of late oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

FAMILY HISTORY: Their grandfather made his first million in 1916 in Oklahoma oil and became a billionaire from work in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the 1940s and 1950s. Other holdings included aircraft maker Spartan.
Some news reports at the time said he was the world’s wealthiest man. The sisters were born in the 1950s to J. Paul’s eldest son, George Franklin Getty II.

THE NUMBERS: J. Paul died in 1976, leaving $700 million to fund the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and a family fortune disputed for nine years by dozens of descendants. It included 40% of Getty Oil; a family trust in 1984 sold that for $4 billion to Texaco. The museum also got a boost, selling its 12% holdings as part of Texaco’s takeover. Anne and Caroline each received about $750 million from the will and $400 million apiece from the Texaco deal.

KEY METRIC: The Business Journal has boosted the very private duo’s wealth up a little more than 3% to $1.65 billion, in line with what sources say would be an average return last year for modest trust fund investing.

QUOTE: “I knew when I inherited a large sum of money, that some good should come of it,” Earhart said in 2019, when she was presented the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The group estimates her philanthropy has helped preserve 4.5 million square miles of ocean.

Saving the Ocean

The sisters stay out of the public eye and give to environmental and left-of-center political causes. Some of Anne Earhart’s giving flows through the Marisla Foundation in Laguna Beach, for her daughter Sara’s middle name.
Last year, Earhart was given an Environmentalist of the Year award from the Surf Industry Members Association (SIMA) during its 33rd Annual Waterman’s Ball held in Laguna Beach.
Here are the association’s remarks on Earhart for the award:
“The ocean played an integral role in shaping the trajectory of Anne Earhart’s life. She spent her childhood visiting SoCal beaches and exploring the coast. Then, on a trip to Baja, California, she experienced a life-changing encounter with friendly gray whales. The breathtaking display planted the seeds for Anne’s life’s calling and indelibly marked the beginning of her journey to environmental philanthropy.
“Her commitment to environmental causes gradually shaped the Marisla Foundation into a conservation powerhouse. Today, it provides substantial and consistent funding to more than 600 nonprofits, the majority with missions focused on addressing global environmental challenges.
“Reflecting Anne’s lifelong love of the ocean, Marisla has emerged as a particularly effective leader in marine conservation, working strategically to strengthen biodiversity and ecosystems and mitigate pollution and overfishing impacts.
“Every year, Marisla Foundation supports more than 150 organizations working to protect healthy coasts and oceans. Through her efforts, she is helping to preserve beach access and stop water pollution and development impacts at some of the world’s most epic surf spots, including in Mexico, Chile, Hawaii, and, of course, in her home state of California.
“Because saving the world’s oceans is too monumental an undertaking for a single foundation, Marisla has forged dynamic partnerships with other foundations committed to that cause.
“Together with partners, Marisla created Oceana, the first major nonprofit committed to the restoration and protection of the world’s oceans. Thus far, Ms. Earhart’s philanthropy has helped preserve 4.5 million square miles (and counting) of the ocean.
“This extraordinary range of accomplishments places Anne Earhart prominently within the ranks of today’s great conservationists. And to this day, she finds her greatest joy in a simple day at the beach with her family and grandson, 6-year-old Finn.”

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