The Shocking Amount Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and 14 Other Filthy Rich Americans Are Worth
Ultra-rich billionaires: Chances are you know several, if only by name. Richard Branson. Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. They are financial wizards and tech geniuses, and they all have one thing in common: fortunes worth billions upon billions of dollars. To give you an idea of the level of wealth we’re dealing with, Tesla founder Elon Musk and his estimated $19.8 billion fortune are nowhere to be found. You also won’t see Donald Trump (but you will find one of the notable people who is richer than him).
We based our list on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and it’s important to note the numbers are always in flux. For instance, strong Black Friday numbers shot Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over $100 billion for a time before his net worth dropped down again.
Bezos is the richest American and has more money than Ukraine. We’ll take a look at him and the billionaires behind him.
No. 1 on the rich list right now: Jeff Bezos
- Estimated net worth: $109 billion
The man who founded Amazon claims the title as richest man in the world (though he would find himself in the middle of the pack on the list of the secretly wealthy). Since Amazon’s success can hardly be contained — it needs to open a second headquarters — Bezos has a great shot at amassing a trillion-dollar fortune in the not-too-distant future. As it stands now, he has more money than Ukraine.
Now that we’ve covered the richest man in the United States and the world, let’s count down the next 14 rich people lining up behind Bezos.
Next: A former track star turned apparel mogul
14. Phil Knight
- Estimated net worth: $26.5 billion
Phil Knight ran track at the University of Oregon (and still gives freely to the school), but you know him better as the founder of Nike. The company is comfortably in the top 100 on the Fortune 500, though Knight is largely removed from the day-to-day business.
Next: Your sweet tooth helped make these siblings rich.
13. Jacqueline Mars and John Mars
John Mars and younger sister Jacqueline Mars own equal stakes in Mars Inc., and you surely know some of its products: M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, Combos, Dove chocolate, and Snickers are among them. The company also owns Wrigley chewing gum and makes pet products, such as Iams, Pedigree, and Whiskas.
Next: This guy stands at the intersection of tech and basketball.
12. Steve Ballmer
- Estimated net worth: $33.2 billion
The one-time CEO of Microsoft remains the largest shareholder in the company, and it wasn’t so long ago he diversified his holdings. In 2014, Steve Ballmer purchased the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.
Next: A casino magnate makes an appearance on our list.
11. Sheldon Adelson
- Estimated net worth: $35.8 billion
As chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson is directly involved in running some of the most notable casino properties in the world. In addition to operating The Palazzo and The Venetian in Las Vegas, the company has casinos in Israel, Macau, and Singapore. And that’s how you accumulate billions of dollars in your bank account.
Next: It’s a family affair for the next few entries on our list.
10. Alice Walton
- Estimated net worth: $44.8 billion
Alice Walton owes her fortune to the family business. As the youngest child of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton, her $45 billion comes in the form of company holdings. Her billions of dollars are nothing to sneeze at, but as we’ll soon see, she’s on the low end of the totem pole at the family dinner table.
Next: Let’s meet Walton No. 2 on this list.
9. Jim Walton
- Estimated net worth: $45.5 billion
The middle of three surviving children of Sam and Helen Walton (his older brother John is dead), Jim Walton is worth close to $46 billion. He resigned from Walmart’s board in 2016 and is the chairman of Arvest Bank, which is controlled by the Walton family, according to Forbes.
Next: The richest Walton of all is …
8. Rob Walton
- Estimated net worth: $46.1 billion
The oldest of the three Walton siblings on this list, Rob Walton served as the chairman of the board from 1992 to 2015. He still sits on the board for Walmart but is also involved in other endeavors.
Next: The sibling theme continues, but these brothers aren’t Waltons.
7. Charles Koch and David Koch
You can hardly mention one Koch brother without also discussing the other. Charles and David Koch both own 42% of Koch International, a multinational company based in Kansas, that has made them rich. But you might know them more for their conservative political views than anything else.
Next: He helped fashion the internet as we know it.
6. Sergey Brin
- Estimated net worth: $49.3 billion
Want to know how influential Sergey Brin is? Just Google it. He, along with the man we’ll meet in a minute, founded Google in 1998. What started out as a search engine now includes numerous products, such as software, computers, phones, and other hardware. His current title is president of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.
Next: Let’s meet the other half of Google’s founding duo.
5. Larry Page
- Estimated net worth: $50.6 billion
Larry Page and Brin, the man we just met on our list, started Google in a California garage in 1998. It’s now one of the most valuable and profitable companies on Earth. He is the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and is rich to the tune of roughly $50 billion.
Next: No college degree? No problem for this guy.
4. Larry Ellison
- Estimated net worth: $53.8 billion
Larry Ellison dropped out of the University of Illinois. He dropped out again after enrolling at the University of Chicago, and he never got a college degree. It hasn’t impacted his bank account in the least. The founder of software company Oracle is in the top five of richest people in the U.S. and is one of the most wealthy in the world. He also has something in common with the next three people on the list: He is committed to giving away much of his fortune through The Giving Pledge.
Next: A dorm room dream pays off big time for our next rich person.
3. Mark Zuckerberg
- Estimated net worth: $70.8 billion
You know you and your company have made it big if they make a movie about it. That’s what happened with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. (Its debatable accuracy is another story). Zuckerberg never finished at Harvard, but it clearly has not hindered his success as he’s No. 4 on the United States rich list.
Next: Let’s meet the sagest investor of our time.
2. Warren Buffett
- Estimated net worth: $84.7 billion
The name Warren Buffett is synonymous with smart investing strategies and being rich. Years of giving great financial advice (and practicing what he preaches) have paid off for him. He is the chairman, CEO, and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, which is No. 2 on the Fortune 500. Good thing he didn’t retire early like he thought he might.
Next: Philanthropy defines our next rich man.
1. Bill Gates
- Estimated net worth: $90 billion
No. 1 on this list, which is actually No. 2 overall, goes to the co-founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates now spends most of his time giving money to various charitable causes, but when he was still guiding the ship at Microsoft he was one of the best business leaders ever.
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