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Buffett, Icahn remember the late T. Boone Pickens for 'great wit' and inimitable Texas personality

Key Points
  • "They grow big personalities in Texas, but none could top Boone," billionaire investor Warren Buffett tells CNBC about the late oilman T. Boone Pickens.
  • "I will sorely miss his friendship and his great wit," hedge fund founder Carl Icahn tells CNBC.
T. Boone Pickens, BP Capital Management
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Magnates and friends of T. Boone Pickens remembered him fondly in comments to CNBC following his passing.

Pickens died Wednesday of natural causes at age 91.

"They grow big personalities in Texas, but none could top Boone," billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC's Becky Quick on Thursday. "I never was with him that it wasn't fun."

A fellow hedge fund founder, Carl Icahn, similarly remembered Pickens' wit and charm, describing their similar approaches to how they thought companies should be run. Pickens, like Icahn, developed a reputation as a "corporate raider" in the 1980s, buying up shares in struggling companies and attempting to turn them around.

"We shared the same values on shareholders' rights," Icahn to CNBC's Patti Domm.

"I will sorely miss his friendship and his great wit. He was a standup guy from the old school. I wish there were more like him today," Icahn added.

Born in Oklahoma, Pickens attended what is now Oklahoma State University and plying his trade as a wildcatter across states where the oil and gas industry was booming. Pickens donated over $1 billion during his lifetime, a fact noted by former President George W. Bush.

"T. Boone Pickens became a household name across the country because he was bold, imaginative, and daring. He was successful – and more importantly, he generously shared his success with institutions and communities across Texas and Oklahoma," Bush said in a statement.

"He loved the outdoors, his country, and his friends and family, and Laura and I send our condolences," Bush added.