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Perry R. Bass, 91, a philanthropist

FORT WORTH -- Perry Richardson Bass, who turned a small fortune from his oil wildcatter uncle into a bigger fortune with a series of smart investments and then became a prominent philanthropist, died Thursday at age 91.

The family issued a statement saying Mr. Bass died peacefully at his home after a lifetime of ``remarkable accomplishment and joy."

Forbes magazine estimated Bass' net worth at $1 billion last year and ranked him No. 746 on its list of wealthiest Americans.

Like other family members, Mr. Bass did not court publicity. A spokesman for the family said recently that they had a policy of declining to discuss their investments or their history in the energy industry.

Mr. Bass was one of the last remaining links to a colorful era in Texas history, when wildcatters struck it rich in what were then some of the world's great oil fields.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Mr. Bass worked alongside his uncle, Sid Williams Richardson , who discovered big oil finds. When he died, Richardson, left several million dollars to his nephew.

Family members, especially Mr. Bass' four sons, increased their wealth through shrewd stock investments in energy, entertainment and other industries in the 1980s. Forbes ranked the sons -- Robert, Lee, Sid and Edward -- as even wealthier than their father.

The Basses also suffered setbacks. In 2001, they were forced to sell about $2 billion of their Walt Disney Co. stock to cover margin calls or loans used to buy other stock. In December, the family sold one of its last major energy holdings, pipeline operator Sid Richardson Energy Services Co. for $1.6 billion in cash.

Mr. Bass and his wife, Nancy Lee Bass , donated millions to local museums and music halls. He also served as chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

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