T. Boone Pickens in 2016. Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

T. Boone Pickens, who made billions investing in oil and gas, died Wednesday of natural causes at age 91, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Where it stands: "Pickens wasn't a billionaire when he died, with his last reported net worth standing at a mere $500 million. That's because he'd given away more than $1 billion to philanthropic and educational causes."

My thought bubble: He was my first-ever interview in energy more than a decade ago, and we spoke many times over the years. One of the first stories he told me centered on how it’s the first billion dollars that is the hardest to make — right after he wrote a book bearing that title.

  • Another time at a conference, I ordered an Arnold Palmer to drink as we were talking, and he told me about golfing with the legendary Arnold Palmer. "Pickens was known for mixing humor with the most serious of topics," the Morning News obituary said. We were probably talking about something serious, but I don’t remember that part.

One level deeper: In 2008, "Pickens launched his self-funded, $100 million grass-roots campaign aimed at reducing America's crippling addiction to OPEC oil by boosting U.S. adopting wind, solar and especially natural gas," per the Morning News. He eventually dropped his efforts with wind and focused more on natural gas.

Go deeper: Read the whole 22-page Dallas Morning News obituary

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Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized in June after fall

Chief Justice John Roberts overseeing the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized overnight after a fall on June 21, a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Speculation regarding justices' health — given their lifetime appointments — always runs rampant, and this incident may have not been made public if the Post hadn't "received a tip."

Congress vs. tech's gang of four

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CEOs of tech's four leading giants will defend their industry's growing concentration of power from critics on both right and left who view them as monopolists when they testify, most likely virtually, before Congress on July 27.

Why it matters: The joint appearance by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Sundar Pichai will mark a historic collision between the leaders of an industry that has changed the world and political leaders who believe those changes have harmed democracy and individual rights.

2020 attention tracker: The Trump policy trap

Data: Newswhip; Graphic: Axios Visuals — Note: Hover over the graphic on desktop to see weekly articles and interactions for candidates and issues.

The three topics generating the most intense interest online are the coronavirus, racial injustice and foreign policy, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios — and all are issues that are working against President Trump right now.

Why it matters: Storylines in Trump's populist sweet spot that carried the news cycle for much of his presidency — immigration, trade, a strong economy — have fallen away during the pandemic.