Just more than a year after marrying Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall died Saturday. He was 90.
Marshall, who earlier this year fought pneumonia, was hospitalized at Park Plaza Hospital in Houston. Officials there confirmed Marshall’s death but would not release any details.
A battle had already been brewing over Marshall’s estate, which reportedly has been valued at $550 million.
Smith and Marshall’s son, Pierce Marshall, went to court in February to decide the guardianship of the fortune. The money wound up being put in a trust and Smith was largely cut off from the funds.
Shortly after, Smith went on a tabloid television show to complain about her financial woes. She professed her love for Marshall and said she had performed “wife duties.”
The couple was married June 27, 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. Smith has maintained she did not marry for money.
“I’m very much in love with my husband. And he’s very much in love with me,” Smith said in New York magazine’s Aug. 15, 1994, issue.
Smith, initially of Mexia, Tex., was Playboy’s 1993 playmate of the year.
Marshall, who was 63 when Smith was born, was the head of oil-based Koch Industries, which is part of a family fortune worth at least $400 million.
In 1991, Marshall was included in Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest people in the nation.