Petty

Petty

[pet-ee]
Petty, Richard, 1937-, American auto racing driver, b. Level Cross, N.C. The son of Lee Petty, a champion stock car race driver, he won a record 200 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) races, among them a record seven Daytona 500s, in his 35-year career (1958-92). He was also the career leader in starts and money earned. "King Richard" won the Winston Cup (now the Sprint Cup), emblematic of stock car racing supremacy, seven times (1964, 1967, 1971-72, 1974-75, 1979), a record later equaled by Dale Earnhardt.
Petty, Sir William, 1623-87, English statistician and physician. He was a founder of the Royal Society and was physician general to the army of Ireland in 1652. Petty's survey of the Irish estates appropriated by Oliver Cromwell, begun in 1654 and carried out in 13 months, was the first attempt at scientific surveying on a large scale. He won favor with Charles II, was knighted (1662), and became surveyor general of Ireland. In 1673, Petty's detailed map of Ireland was completed. It is as a political economist, however, that Petty is remembered. He disapproved of the ban on bullion export, favored an Irish-British union, and contended that labor determines price. His important writings include A Treatise on Taxes and Contributions (1662) and The Political Anatomy of Ireland (1691).

See biography by E. Fitzmaurice (1895, repr. 1973).

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