In the 1970s Hunt and his brother Nelson Bunker Hunt acquired 195 million ounces of silver, worth nearly $10 billion at the peak. When the price of silver collapsed 80% in 1980 the brothers lost their fortune in the silver trading scandal called Silver Thursday; together they lost a billion dollars. William Herbert Hunt went bankrupt in 1990, but came back to power[clarification needed] years later.
In 2012, Hunt sold a minor portion of Petro-Hunt's assets in the Williston Basin to Halcon Resources for $1.45 billion, lifting his net wealth to an estimated $3 billion. Petro-Hunt continues to operate in the Williston Basin and across the US.
Hunt lives in Dallas, Texas, and has five children.