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Marvin Davis

Marvin DavisAKA Marvin H. Davis

Born: 31-Aug-1925
Birthplace: Newark, NJ
Died: 25-Sep-2004
Location of death: Beverly Hills, CA
Cause of death: Illness
Remains: Buried, Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Philanthropist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Oil magnate, former owner of 20th Century Fox

Marvin Davis (pictured here dwarfing pal Henry Kissinger) made his money at the helm of his father Jack's Davis Oil Company. When OPEC put the squeeze on the US in the 70's reducing foreign oil imports, Davis profited enormously from cheap leases he had obtained in the Rockies, Texas and Louisiana. During this period the number of domestic exploratory drillings Davis Oil pursued were only outmatched by Royal Dutch Shell, Amoco and Exxon.

In 1981 Davis split the bill with Marc Rich to complete a leveraged buyout of 20th Century Fox but sold the company to Rupert Murdoch four years later. Both men also donated heavily to the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, with Davis later forging ahead alone to do major fundraising for Hillary Clinton, Rich being something of persona non grata by that time.

Davis made something of a reputation for himself as a philanthropist as his numerous obituaries sought to make evident. However with a net worth of near five billion dollars at the time of his death he clearly did not manage to get rid of it all. Or maybe he did. After his death his eldest daughter New York socialite Patricia Raynes filed suit in federal court claiming that he had raided a trust fund set up for her by her grandparents of hundreds of millions of dollars and that he was actually in massive debt at the time of his death. Perhaps Forbes had it all wrong.

Father: Jack Davis (British immigrant, founder of Davis Oil Company)
Mother: Jean Spitzer
Sister: Joan Chorney
Wife: Barbara Levine Davis
Daughter: Patricia Ann Davis Raynes
Son: John Davis
Daughter: Nancy Davis Rickel (mother of Brandon Davis, godmother to Nicole Richie)
Son: Gregg Davis (president of Davis Petroleum)
Daughter: Dana Davis

    University: New York University (1947)

    Davis Oil Company
    20th Century Fox Owner (1981-85)
    Pebble Beach Company Owner (-1990)
    Aspen Skiing Company Owner
    Bill Bradley for President
    Effective Government Committee
    New Leadership for America PAC
    English Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Obesity, Diabetes


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