J. Howard Marshall II Biography & Net Worth


J. Howard Marshall II Biography & Net Worth

Popular Name: J. Howard Marshall II
Real Name: James Howard Marshall II
Birth Date: January 24, 1905
Birth Place:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Age: Died August 4, 1995 (aged 90)
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Eleanor Pierce ​(m. 1931; div. 1961)​
Bettye Bohannon ​(m. 1961; died 1991)​
Anna Nicole Smith ​(m. 1994)
Children: 2
Profession: Businessman, Investor, Entrepreneur, Lawyer
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $2 Billion
Last Updated: 2021

James Howard Marshall II, who simply goes by J. Howard Marshall, was an American business mogul, lawyer, academic, and government official who was actively involved with and invested in the oil industry via government, academic, and commercial endeavors. He owned 16 percent of the popular Koch Industries.

In the last 14 months of his life, Marshall was most famous and regularly talked about due to his marriage to an American model and celebrity named Anna Nicole Smith. He was involved in multiple endeavors and business dealings which were all contributory factors to his income flow. This article is dedicated to the life, careers, and accomplishments of this famed billionaire businessman who has passed away since 1995 at age 90.

 Early Life: Childhood & Education

Born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States, on January 24, 1905, and raised a Quaker, J. Howard Marshall II attended a private high school called George School, in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and then attended Haverford College for his higher education, studying liberal, arts, and graduating in 1926.

While at George School and Haverford, Marshall played soccer for the school team, captained the debate teams, and played competitive tennis as a student of tennis professional Bill Tilden. He advanced to Yale Law School from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1931. At Yale, he studied with law and economics innovator Walton Hale Hamilton and served as case editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Professional Life: Business, Academic & Administrative Careers

Upon graduation, from 1931 to 1933, Marshall worked at Yale Law School as an Assistant Dean and taught courses in business and finance. He also published articles about legal realism, working with collaborators like Norman Meyers and William O. Douglas who later became a Supreme Court Justice. Following this job, Marshall joined the Department of the Interior as the Assistant Solicitor when Harold L. Ickes was head of the agency. He was the author of the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935 as well as the Code of Fair Competition for the Petroleum Industry, the former of which sought to regulate the movement of oil between states with the intention of safeguarding the industry against illegal goods and prevent falling prices.

In 1935, Marshall left his work as a government official to become the special counsel to Kenneth R. Kingsbury, the president of Standard Oil of California. He soon became a partner at Pillsbury Madison Sutro, serving as the company’s outside counsel. In the early 40s, he returned to Washington, DC briefly as Solicitor of the Petroleum Administration for War, working in the development of energy policy during the Second World War Afterward, he progressed to Ashland, Kentucky, where he joined Ashland Oil and Refining Company as its Vice Chairman and President.

Marshall drafted the order that created the National Petroleum Council, a consultative committee representing oil and gas industry views to the United States Secretary of Energy. The Council was launched in 1946 at the demand of President Harry S. Truman. Later, in 1952, Marshall became the Executive Vice President at Signal Oil & Gas. Nine years later, he became President of Union Texas Petroleum. Among his other posts, he was a director of Coastal Corporation and was Executive Vice President of Allied Chemical, now known as Honeywell.

One of his most significant business ventures took off in 1952 when he co-established the Great Northern Oil Company. Three years after it was started, the company built a refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota that was capable of refining heavy crude oil from Canada. Later, in 1959, just seven years after the founding of this company, Fred Koch acquired a 35 percent interest in the company for the sum of $5 million. When Union Oil attempted to take control of the company, Marshall and Koch blocked the move, wishing that their assets remained in private hands.

Charles Koch bought out Union Oil in 1969. Having a similar business viewpoint as Marshall, he subsequently exchanged a stake in his Koch Industries for Marshall’s remaining shares in Great Northern Oil. Decades later, these shares in the Koch company would be worth several billions of dollars.

In 1974, Marshall gave each of his two sons, E. Pierce and Howard III what amounted to 4% stakes in Koch Industries. Upon giving his children the shares, he purportedly said to them, “these are the crown jewels. Take care of them”.

Koch Industries was founded and owned by Fred C. Koch who had four sons, David, Fred Jr., William, and Charles. In 1980, the four brothers started to fight over control of Koch Industries. James Howard Marshall III sided with William and Fred. Howard II and his other son E. Pierce sided with David and Charles. In 1983, David and Charles proved triumphant in the battle. In the aftermath, Marshall demanded that his son, Marshall III, returned the 4% stake that he had gifted him in 1974. Howard III agreed to give it back for the sum of $8 million. Today, that 4% stake would be worth billions of dollars. Even still, Marshall was infuriated that his son would dare sell back the shares and consequently cut him out of his will.

Personal Life: Family, Relationships, Children

J. Howard Marshall II Net Worth
James Howard Marshall II

Marshall and Eleanor Pierce got married in 1931, and they had two children, sons E. Pierce and J. Howard Marshall III before their divorce in 1961. Subsequently, he got married to his second wife Bettye Bohannon. In 1982, when Bettye had Alzheimer’s disease, Marshall met another woman, Diane Walker at a nightclub, and said to marry her if his wife doesn’t recover from the disease. Over the course of several years, he gifted Walker about $15 million worth of jewelry and gifted. In 1991, Walker died from complications following a facelift surgery, and Bettye passed away from Alzheimer’s.

At the age of 89 in 1994, Marshall wedded American model and television star Anna Nicole Smith. She was 26 years at this time and the marriage lasted until Marshall passed away in 1995.

Because he cut both his wife Anna and his second son James Howard Marshall III of his will, his estate was subject to a long process of lawsuit, ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court in both “Stern v. Marshall” and “Marshall v. Marshall”.

 J. Howard Marshall II Net Worth: Salary, Earnings, Income Sources

As maintained in the opener of this publication, James Howard Marshall II, who simply goes by J. Howard Marshall, was an American billionaire businessman, academic, lawyer, and government official, who through his many endeavors in commercial and federal sectors, invested heavily in the booming oil business among several other ventures which all stood as his income-generating sources. He parlayed huge sums and invested very early in Koch Industries, and in return, his stake ultimately turned to tens of billions of dollars in the future.

J. Howard Marshall II had a net worth of $2 billion at the time of his passing in 1995. The cause of his death was pneumonia.

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