A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for today” (3/26)
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/26)
“If you are not coffee, chocolate, or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away” (3/26)
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Entry from November 08, 2012
“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights”

The Bible includes the sayings “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Psalms 37:11) and “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). “The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the/its mineral rights” has been credited to J. Paul Getty (1892-1976), founder of Getty Oil Company. Entertainment columnist Earl Wilson wrote in his syndicated newspaper column in April 1972, “Remember the words of a very wise man, J. Paul Getty: ‘The meek shall inherit the earth—but NOT the mineral rights.’”

Getty probably said this, but similar versions of the proverb are older. “When the meek inherit the earth they’ll probably find that somebody else has arranged for the oil leases and mineral rights” was cited in print in 1924. “Were they willing to sign over all mineral rights in advance, we dare say the meek could inherit the earth right now” was printed in many newspapers in June 1951.


Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 65:
Bible
“The meek shall inherit the earth.”
Psalms 37:11
Pg. 69:
Bible
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
Matthew 5:5
Pg. 350:
Robert A. Heinlein
U.S. science fiction writer, 1907-1988
“Maybe Jesus was right when he said that the meek shall inherit the earth—but they inherit very small plots, about six feet by three.”
Time Enough for Love “Variations on a Theme VI” (1973)
Pg. 354:
John M. Henry
Nationality/Occupation unknown, fl. 1962
“Probably the meek really will inherit the earth, they won’t have the nerve to refuse.”
Quoted in Reader’s Digest, May 1962

Wikipedia: J. Paul Getty
Jean Paul Getty (December 15, 1892 – June 6, 1976) was an Anglo-American industrialist. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American, whilst the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world’s richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion.
(...)
Getty increased the family wealth, learning to speak Arabic which enabled his unparalleled expansion into the Middle East. Getty owned the controlling interest in nearly 200 businesses, including Getty Oil. Associates identified his overall wealth at between $2 billion and $4 billion. It didn’t come easily, perhaps inspiring Getty’s widely quoted remark—"The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.”

24 April 1924, Titusville (PA) Herald, “Editorial Comment,” pg. 4, col. 3:
When the meek inherit the earth they’ll probably find that somebody else has arranged for the oil leases and mineral rights.—Little Rock Arkansas Gazette.

Google News Archive
8 June 1924, Prescott (AZ) Evening Courier, “Hassayampa Yamps” by the Old Cattleman and his Grapevine Friends, pg. 4, col. 4:
WHEN THE MEEK INHERIT the earth they’ll probably find that somebody else has arranged for the oil leases and mineral rights.

Google News Archive
19 June 1951, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “Whamdoodles,” Green Sheet, pg. 1, col. 2:
Were they willing to sign over all mineral rights in advance, we dare say the meek could inherit the earth right now.

24 April 1972, Middlesboro (KY) Daily News, Earl Wilson entertainment column, pg. 4, col. 4:
Remember the words of a very wise man, J. Paul Getty: “The meek shall inherit the earth—but NOT the mineral rights.”

Google News Archive
18 October 1978, The Bulletin (Bend, OR), “Staying Ahead” by Jane Bryant Quinn, pg. 7, col. 5:
The difference between rich and poor is sharply caught by Getty’s Reminder, that the meek shall inherit the earth but not its mineral rights.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, November 08, 2012 • Permalink