Obituary of the Day: Billie Sol Estes

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New York Times obituaries editor, Bill McDonald, discusses one person's life featured on today's obit page. Today: Texas con man Billie Sol Estes.

From the Obituary of Billie Sol Estes

The rise and fall of Billie Sol Estes was one of the sensations of the postwar era: the saga of a good-ol’-boy con man who created a $150 million empire of real and illusory farming enterprises that capitalized on his contacts in Washington and the gullibility and greed of farmers, banks and agriculture businesses.

He was a Bible-thumping preacher who gave barbecues for governors and senators, rode his bike to work in Pecos, Tex., and his airplane to Washington, and was named one of America’s 10 outstanding young men of 1953 by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. Later, autographed photos of John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and others lined his walls.

-- Read the full obituary here.


Bill McDonald

Comments [3]

Joe from nearby

Hasn't Texas done enough to wreck this country thus far?

May. 15 2013 11:59 AM
Bo from Granville, NY

I am sure I am not the only person who finds the obituaries to be the most entertaining and interesting reading in the Times. After the crossword puzzle it is the most important part of my read every day. My mother called them "the Irish Sports Page".

May. 15 2013 11:50 AM

This was a real person? I thought he was just a Don Imus joke.

May. 15 2013 11:50 AM

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