Hammer’s death was confirmed to People and TMZ.
Hammer was known for his involvement with Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the company of his late grandfather, oil tycoon Armand Hammer. He also oversaw the Hammer International Foundation, the Armand Hammer Foundation, Hammer Galleries and Hammer Productions.
Prior to joining Occidental Petroleum in 1982, he worked in various roles at the investment banking firm Kidder, Peabody & Co. in New York.
Born on Sept. 8, 1955, in Los Angeles, Calif., Hammer is the son of Glenna Sue Ervin and Julian Armand Hammer. He graduated from the University of San Diego in 1978, and later earned his MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1982.
Hammer and his ex-wife Dru Ann Mobley had two children together: actor Armie Hammer, 36, and businessman Viktor Hammer, 34. He and Mobley were married for 27 years, from 1985 to 2012.
In 2021, Michael’s sister Casey Hammer told Vanity Fair that their father Julian inherited only $250,000 of their grandfather’s $40 million fortune. Michael received the majority of the estate, including two art galleries and two foundations.
In 2011, one of Hammer’s art galleries he inherited, Knoedler Gallery, was entangled in a huge art scam when hedge fund executive Pierre Lagrange sued the gallery and its former director Ann Freedman for selling him a fake Jackson Pollock painting for $17 million.
These accusations, which initially surfaced in 2009, revealed an alleged $70 million forgery ring selling counterfeit paintings since 1994.
Although Hammer was not personally accused of misconduct related to the fraud ring, testimonies during court claimed that he had been using the gallery’s fund for such personal expenses as a trip to Paris and two luxury vehicles.
The Hammer family was the focus of the Discovery+ docuseries “House of Hammer,” which revealed numerous scandals within the family’s history.