J. Howard Marshall: Wikis


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James Howard Marshall II

J. Howard Marshall II in 1954
Born January 24, 1905(1905-01-24)
Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died August 4, 1995 (aged 90)
Harris County, Texas, United States
Occupation Businessman, Magnate, Professor, Attorney, US Government Official
Spouse(s) Anna Nicole Smith (m. 1994–1995) «start: (1994)–end+1: (1996)»"Marriage: Anna Nicole Smith to J. Howard Marshall" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Howard_Marshall)
Bettye Bohannon (m. 1961–1991) «start: (1961)–end+1: (1992)»"Marriage: Bettye Bohannon to J. Howard Marshall" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Howard_Marshall)
Eleanor M. Pierce (m. 1931–1961) «start: (1931)–end+1: (1962)»"Marriage: Eleanor M. Pierce to J. Howard Marshall" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Howard_Marshall)
Children J. Howard Marshall III
E. Pierce Marshall

James Howard Marshall II (January 24, 1905 – August 4, 1995) was a wealthy magnate, American oil business executive, university professor, attorney and US Government official. His life spanned more than nine decades and almost the entire history of the oil industry, from the early years when uncontrolled production depleted valuable fields and natural gas was burned at the well head, to the decades of energy shortages and the Arab Oil Embargo.[1] Marshall was married to Anna Nicole Smith during the last 14 months of his life. His estate became the subject of protracted litigation which remains ongoing, part of which was reviewed by the Supreme Court in Marshall v. Marshall.


Early years

Born January 24, 1905 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, J. Howard Marshall II attended George School, a private Quaker high school in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and then studied liberal arts at Haverford College, also a Quaker institution, graduating in 1926. While there he edited the school newspaper and played soccer and tennis. He went on to Yale Law School, graduating in 1931 Magna cum laude. At Yale, he studied with the law and economics pioneer Walton Hale Hamilton, who would strongly influence his future work.[2][3]


Upon graduation he served from 1931 to 1933 as an Assistant Dean at Yale Law School and his teaching schedule during these years has been definitively documented.[4] At the same time, he was producing scholarship as a member of the influential legal realist school of thought, working with future Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas on an article entitled A Factual Study of Bankruptcy Administration and Some Suggestions.[5] However, his most influential works, done with Norman Meyers, were two articles entitled Legal Planning of Petroleum Production.[6]These pioneering studies offered an alternative to the then-current practices of controlled production among the oil industry, which were leading to dramatic boom/bust cycles, and gained the interest of the government, especially since the legal minds behind the New Deal were staunch legal realists.

In 1933, he left Yale to become the Assistant Solicitor at the Department of Interior under Harold L. Ickes. During his first tour at Interior, he authored the Connally Hot Oil Act of 1935 in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). Specifically, it revived the portion of the original legislation that regulated the flow of oil between states. Ostensibly enacted to protect the industry from "contraband oil" in order to stabilize falling prices.

In 1935, he left government service to become the special counsel to the president (Ken Kingsbury) of Standard Oil of California (now Chevron) in San Francisco, and began his long career as an oilman. Another two years later he became a partner at the firm Pillsbury Madison Sutro (now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), which was the company's outside counsel. It was at Standard of California that he began a life long business association and friendship with his mentor Ralph Davies. In 1942, he was called back to Washington during the war as Solicitor of the Petroleum Administration for War, helping develop America's energy policy during the war, and later as a member of the Committee on Reparations. In 1944, after developing a relationship with Paul Blazier, he became President of Ashland Oil and Refining Co. (now Marathon Oil)[7]. Later positions included Executive Vice President at Signal Oil & Gas under Sam Mosher, President of Union Texas Petroleum and Executive Vice President of Allied Signal (all now Honeywell, Union Texas Petroleum Holdings was later sold to ARCO and merged into BP),until his semi-retirement in 1969. Marshall remained active in the energy industry through many personal endeavors with Great Northern Oil Company, Koch Industries, Coastal Corp (now El Paso Corporation), Independent Refinery, International Oil and Gas, various exploration syndicates and culminating in 1984, when he founded Marshall Petroleum. Throughout many of his endeavours, Marshall turned most of his business associations into friendships; including J.R. Parten, Fred Koch and his sons, Oscar Wyatt and E.O. Buck.

Koch Industries

Marshall turned his investment in Great Northern Oil Co. with Fred Koch during the 1950s into a 16% stake in Koch Industries, now the nation's second largest privately held company[8]. When his eldest son J. Howard Marshall III sided with Fred Koch's sons Bill and Fredrick and other collateral family members in a failed attempt to take over Koch Industries from Charles and David Koch, he stripped the eldest son of his inheritance. Conversely, during the same dispute, the late E. Pierce Marshall sided with his father, Charles Koch and David Koch.


He married Eleanor Pierce in 1931 and divorced in 1961. His second marriage, to Bettye Bohannon, lasted from 1961 until her death in 1991. In 1994, at the age of 89, he married 26-year-old celebrity Anna Nicole Smith. Their marriage lasted thirteen months until his death.

Death and ensuing lawsuits

Following Marshall's death, Anna Nicole Smith (who died on February 8, 2007) became involved in a court battle with her former stepson, E. Pierce Marshall (who died on June 20, 2006). J. Howard's will and trust did not include Anna Nicole or J. Howard's other son, James Howard Marshall III. Much of the estate has been tied up in state and federal courts as Anna Nicole and J. Howard III sought to overturn the will and trust. In 2001, they both lost their cases during a six-month Texas state court jury trial, upholding Marshall's will and trust.[9] Smith then declared bankruptcy in California and was awarded $474 million as a sanction for alleged misconduct.[10] In 2002, the bankruptcy judgment was vacated and her award was reduced to $88 million in a Federal District Court in California.[11] In December 2004, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court decision under the probate exception, ruling that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction over state probate matters. The 9th Circuit decision also affirmed the primacy of Texas Probate decision which determined that no misconduct had taken place and that Smith was not one of J. Howard Marshall's heirs.[12] However, on 1 May 2006, the Supreme Court in Marshall v. Marshall reversed the ninth circuit's decision regarding the probate exception, allowing Smith another opportunity to pursue her claims in federal court. The case has been remanded to the 9th Circuit for adjudication of the remaining appellate issues not previously reached.[13][14] On June 25, 2009 the same three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the remaining appellate issues in the case and submitted the case for consideration and final adjudication.[15]


  1. ^ "J. Howard Marshall II, Done in Oil: An Autobiography of J. Howard Marshall II (College Station : Texas A & M University Press, 1994)". http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/1994/marshall.htm.  
  2. ^ Ibid
  3. ^ "More Than Anna Nicole Smith's Husband: The Oil-Soaked Life of J. Howard Marshall". U.S. News and World Report. 2009-03-02. http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2009/3/2/more-than-anna-nicole-smiths-husband-the-oil-soaked-life-of-j-howard-marshall.html.  
  4. ^ "ZiefBrief tracks down elusive teaching schedule". 2007-03-13. http://ziefbrief.typepad.com/ziefbrief/2007/03/anna_nicole_smi.html.  
  5. ^ 32 Columbia L. Rev. 59 (1932)
  6. ^ 41 Yale L. J. 33 (1931-1932); 42 Yale L. J. 702 (1932-1933)
  7. ^ Otto J. Scott, The Exception: The History of Ashland Oil, McGraw Hill, 1968
  8. ^ [http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/21/privates08_Americas-Largest-Private-Companies_Rank.html America's Largest Private Companies
  9. ^ Marshall v. MacIntyre (In re Estate of Marshall), prob. juris. noted, no. 276,815-402 (2001)
  10. ^ Marshall v. Marshall (In re Marshall), 253 B.R. 550 (Bankr. C.D. Cal. 2000)
  11. ^ Marshall v. Marshall, 275 B.R. 5 (C.D. Cal. 2002)
  12. ^ Marshall v. Marshall, 392 F. 3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2004)
  13. ^ Marshall v. Marshall, 547 U.S. 293 (2006)
  14. ^ "A Modern-Day Bleak House". American Spectator. 2009-03-05. http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03/05/the-legal-inheritance-of-anna.  
  15. ^ Marshall v. Marshall 9th Circuit Second Oral Argument on Remand. 2009-06-25. http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_subpage.php?pk_id=0000003654.  

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