Richard Bass

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Richard Bass
BornRichard Daniel Bass
(1929-12-21)December 21, 1929
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedJuly 26, 2015(2015-07-26) (aged 85)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupationbusinessman, mountaineer
Known forfirst documented person to climb the "Seven Summits"
Spouse(s)Rita Crocker (divorced)
Marian Martin (divorced)
Alice Wosham
Children2 sons, 2 daughters
Parent(s)Harry W. Bass, Sr.
Wilma Schuessler
RelativesHarry W. Bass, Jr. (brother)

Richard Daniel "Dick" Bass (December 21, 1929 – July 26, 2015) was an American businessman, rancher and mountaineer. He was the owner of Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah and the first man to climb the "Seven Summits", the tallest mountain on each continent.

With his successful 1985 ascent he became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, aged 55.[1] He climbed with David Breashears and Nepalese sherpa Ang Phurba, surpassing the record by five years set in April of that year by Englishman Chris Bonington.[2][3] Bass's record stood until 1993 when it was broken by 60 year old Ramon Blanco.[4]

Early life[edit]

Richard Bass was born on December 21, 1929 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[5][6][7] His father, Harry W. Bass, Sr., was a co-founder of the Goliad Corporation and the Goliad Oil and Gas Corporation.[8] He had a brother, Harry W. Bass, Jr..[6][8] Bass moved with his family to Texas in 1932.

Bass was educated at Texas Country Day School and then the Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas.[5][6] He enrolled at Yale University at 16 and graduated in 1950 with a degree in geology.[5] After completing some graduate work at the University of Texas, Bass served two years with the U.S. Navy on board the aircraft carrier USS Essex during the Korean War.[5][9]

Career[edit]

Bass returned to Texas in 1953 to join in the running of the family oil and gas business and ranching operations.[10] He was the owner of ranches in Central Texas.[6]

During the 1960s, Dick invested $10,000 in the development of the ski resort in Vail, Colorado.[9] He also built the largest private residence in Vail, later inviting President Gerald Ford to winter there with his family.[8][9] He served on the Board of Directors of Vail Associates, Inc from 1966 to 1971.[7][9]

Bass opened the Snowbird Ski Resort with investor Ted Johnson in 1971.[7] He was its sole proprietor until he sold his stake in May 2014.[7]

Mountaineering[edit]

Seven Summits
Denali (6,194 m)
Denali
(6,194 m)
Mont Blanc (4,810 m)
Mont Blanc
(4,810 m)
Elbrus (5,642 m)
Elbrus
(5,642 m)
Everest (8,848 m)
Everest
(8,848 m)
Kilimanjaro (5,895 m)
Kilimanjaro
(5,895 m)
Aconcagua (6,961 m)
Aconcagua
(6,961 m)
Vinson (4,892 m)
Vinson
(4,892 m)
Kosciuszko (2,228 m)
Kosciuszko
(2,228 m)
Puncak Jaya (4,884 m)
Puncak Jaya
(4,884 m)
Map of the Seven Summits (actually nine, depending on definition).

Together with Frank Wells, one-time president of The Walt Disney Company, Bass decided to pursue the adventure challenge of summiting the high point on each of the seven continents: Denali, North America; Aconcagua, South America; Mt. Elbrus, Europe; Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa; Vinson Massif, Antarctica; Mount Kosciuszko, Australia; and Mt. Everest, Asia.[5]

The pair successfully completed all but Everest, being rebuffed there in a first attempt. Later, on his third attempt, Bass became the first person to achieve all Seven Summits on April 30, 1985. At the time, he was also the oldest person to have climbed Everest. Wells chose to forego further attempts at Everest and later died in a 1994 helicopter accident while returning from a ski trip in Nevada. [6] He later co-wrote the book Seven Summits describing his achievement.[5][6][5]

Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air argues that Bass's ascent of Mount Everest pulled the mountain into a "postmodern era" wherein commercial guided expeditions became big business and encouraged climbers with limited experience to pay large sums of money to these enterprises in order to ascend Everest.

Personal life[edit]

Bass was married three times,[5] first to Rita Crocker.[5] After their divorce he married Marian Martin,[5] which also ended in divorce. He then married Alice Wosham.[5] He had two sons, Jim and Richard Jr. (also known as Dan), and twin daughters, Bonnie Bass Smith and Barbara Bass Moroney.[5]

Death[edit]

Bass died on July 26, 2015 in Dallas, Texas from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.[5][6][7] His funeral was held at the St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on July 31, 2015 in Dallas.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ STALL, BILL (1985-05-02). "Conquers Mt. Everest to Fulfill Dream : Millionaire First to Climb Summits of All Continents". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  2. ^ STALL, BILL (1985-05-02). "Conquers Mt. Everest to Fulfill Dream : Millionaire First to Climb Summits of All Continents". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  3. ^ "Everest Bound Kettle Falls Man Seeks To Be One Of The Oldest Ever To Reach The Top Of The World". Spokesman.com. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  4. ^ "Everest Bound Kettle Falls Man Seeks To Be One Of The Oldest Ever To Reach The Top Of The World". Spokesman.com. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Weber, Bruce (July 30, 2015). "Richard D. Bass, Ski Resort Developer Who Climbed Tallest Peaks, Dies at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Peppard, Alan; Granberry, Michael. "Dallas exec and mountain climber Dick Bass dies at 85". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Tholen Rosenlof, Celeste (July 27, 2015). "Snowbird co-founder dies in Dallas home". KSL. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Heinsen, Lindsay (February 1979). "Owning a Piece Of the Rockies: How Harry Bass got to be king of the mountain". D Magazine. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d Wyrick, Randy (July 27, 2015). "Vail pioneer Dick Bass dies in Dallas". Vail Daily. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Everest History.com - Dick Bass Bio

External links[edit]