Getty Images/Dale Wilcox
Sid and Mercedes Bass at the Los Angeles Opera's Grand Opening Night Gala in 2007
In the Bass’ hometown of Fort Worth, residents refer to the brothers (Robert, Sid, Ed and Lee) colloquially, regardless of having met the family, and say things like, "Look what the Bass brothers did for Downtown" and "Thanks to the Bass brothers …"
Sid and Ed spearheaded the revitalization of Downtown Fort Worth with significant investments to areas such as Sundance Square.
Robert, the wealthiest among the brothers, founded Oak Hill Capital Partners in 1986. The firm has invested more than $8.5B across 80 private equity deals since its inception. Robert also serves as chairman of Aerion Corp., which is developing technology for supersonic business jets.
The four Bass brothers inherited an oil fortune from their father and uncle. In 2017, Sid bolstered his wealth in a big way with the sale of 275,000 acres of Permian Basin land, capable of producing about 19,000 barrels of oil per day. The take for the sale was about $6B. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, until recently the CEO of Exxon Mobil, brokered the deal. Sid became a hometown hero again in 2015 when he agreed to lend Blue Bell Creameries (a Texas brand of ice cream with a cult-like following) up to $125M to get back on its feet after a massive listeria recall. — Julia Bunch and Scott Klocksin