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American spirit

A controversial genius, consummate risk-taker and pioneer of the US shale patch, Aubrey McClendon, died on 2 March

To some critics, he epitomised American corporate excess and poor governance. To others, he was the man who helped usher in the renaissance of US oil, with ramifications far beyond his home state of Oklahoma. Aubrey McClendon, formerly head of Chesapeake Energy, who died in a car crash aged 56 on 2 March, a day after being indicted by the US Department of Justice for breaking antitrust laws, was fracking’s rock star – charismatic, flamboyant and possessing a huge tolerance for risk.Most recently, he was chief executive of American Energy Partners, a firm managing shale assets in the US which had broadened into plays in Australia and Argentina. But McClendon made his name with Chesapeake, a c

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