There’s One Simple Reason Why T. Boone Pickens Has Never Tasted Coffee

He just wanted to grow up tall.

T. Boone Pickens, chief executive officer of BP Capital Management LP, during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York,, Oct. 9, 2014. (Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oil and gas mogul, told Business Insider this week that he owes a lot to his grandmother’s advice — but that she was wrong about coffee.

“One thing she was wrong on — if I didn’t drink coffee or smoke cigars like my dad — those would both stunt my growth — I would be 6 feet tall,” Pickens said. “I never had a cup of coffee to this day. Never tasted coffee. I never smoked a cigar either.”

Pickens, now 86 years old, is 5 foot 10.

“I went to [my grandmother] when I was 20 and I said, ‘I didn’t drink coffee and I never smoked a cigar either and I’m not going to be 6 feet tall,'” he said. “She said, ‘Sonny, if you had, you might not be 5 feet tall.'”

Still, Pickens’ grandmother’s health advice has gotten him this far, and the business magnate reportedly keeps up a daily workout routine he’s said makes the U.S. president’s exercise look “pitiful” by comparison.

Pickens also said that he values his grandmother’s guidance on issues of honesty, sharing the story of how when he was a young boy, he found a man’s wallet on the street and when he returned it to him, the man gave him a $1 reward — but Pickens’ grandmother made him return the dollar because he hadn’t “earned” it.

“Everything she told me as far as advice was concerned pretty well played out like she said it would,” Pickens told Business Insider. “You know, work hard, you get results. Always, if you tell somebody you’re going to do something, always do it. Things like that.”

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