“Prior to being in banking, I was in law enforcement for seven years,” Trey said, “and I have more respect for some of the common criminals I arrested than for Robert Sakowitz.” Oscar has no regrets about his celebrated battle with Sakowitz. Soon Wyatt told the hostages over the loudspeaker, “Welcome home, but don’t cheer too loud until we get over the Mediterranean Sea. You call them guests, but nonetheless they are people held against their will. President, the average person in the U.S. or elsewhere knows little of Kuwait and even less about the emir,” Connally told him, “but they are outraged when they know Americans are being held here as hostages. “Now we’re pulling his chestnuts out of the fire with the lives of our own troops, while the rich young Kuwaitis ride out the war dancing in the discos of London,” said Wyatt. He mortgaged his 1949 Ford to raise $800 to form his first producing company, which he named the Hardly Able Oil Company. Money and contacts give Wyatt and powerful international businessmen like him the freedom to roam, exerting influence in private. “Do you think,” White asked Wyatt, “that you could tone down your criticism of the president?” After all, the president enjoyed an 80 percent approval rating in most polls. If they wanted to be entertained, they should have hired a comedian.”. In 1960 Wyatt formed Lo-Vaca Gas Gathering (named for two South Texas counties, Live Oak and Lavaca) as a wholly owned Coastal subsidiary that would be the intrastate supplier of natural gas to public utilities. Around noon on Saturday, December 8, Wyatt got a telephone call in his hotel suite from an Iraqi government official. Wyatt paced up and down the tarmac at Baghdad airport. “Nothing has changed in the oil business in the last one hundred years,” Wyatt said. “I decided, to hell with it, I’m going anyway.”, Wyatt needed a human shield of his own—someone who could handle the media while Wyatt did the negotiating. After the initial introductions, they launched into their carefully rehearsed speeches. Since they had no contact with the U.S. embassy and were there at the displeasure of the president, Connally and Wyatt were careful not to violate U.S. sanctions. In the latter days of the air war, Wyatt was relentless in his behind-the-scenes efforts to stop the fighting in the Persian Gulf before it became a ground war. She laughed off the suggestion, telling the press that the rumor was preposterous—the prince was far fonder of his yacht than of her. “All I will tell you is that I am a patriot and have always been willing to use my commercial relationships around the world to benefit my country.”, His own personal financial portfolio reflects his stature as an X factor international businessman. He wore a rumpled black suit and spoke in a brutish, unapologetic cadence, longing for his audience to like him but perfectly prepared to make them madder than hell. However, it was his willingness to fight that allowed him to survive both the seventies, when his business gambles almost caused Coastal to go bust, and the eighties, when he emerged from the worst decade in the history of Texas oil as one of the richest and most influential oilmen left in the state. “My first impression of him was that he was tough, efficient, rigid—the kind of guy who was willing to go to the wall for what he believed in.” In short, someone a lot like Oscar Wyatt. After years of public displeasure, Wyatt found himself basking in public adoration. It was a chilly but sunny morning. Before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait last August, Wyatt had been negotiating with Iraq and other countries to sell 50 percent of Coastal’s oil-refining and marketing business. “When we first got married,” Lynn Wyatt said, “every bad dream Oscar had was about the war. Douglas was once under the spell of the late New Age guru Frederick von Mierers, who, according to Vanity Fair, believed that he was from the star Arcturus and that the vibrations from precious gems protected the wearer from “falling into delusions.”, The most publicly painful part of Lynn and Oscar Wyatt’s marriage occurred in 1986, when Oscar sued her brother, Robert Sakowitz, claiming that Sakowitz had driven the upscale chain of specialty stores founded by his grandfather into bankruptcy. “As many of you know, Governor Connally and I went to Baghdad last month to talk Saddam Hussein into releasing the hostages,” a grim-faced Wyatt told his audience. “That just tells the other guy you’re afraid of him, and you wind up suffering more than he does.”, During breakfast the telephone rang, and his secretary told him that he had a call from Amman, Jordan.