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The Forbes 400: The Richest People in America

Forbes released their list of the 400 richest people in America. Read on to see who made the top 10, how much they are worth and where they got their incredible wealth from.

10. Alice Walton | Worth: $20.9 billion | Age: 61 | Lives in: Forth Worth, Texas

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton graduated from Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas and now runs a horse ranch in central Texas. She is set to open her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in November. The museum will include works donated by Walton herself and the Walton Family Foundation. Wal-Mart shares are up 3% over the past year. Walton is number 10 on the Forbes 400 list, 85 on the Forbes Powerful Women list and 21 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

9. Jim Walton | Worth: $21.1 billion | Age: 63 | Lives in: Bentonville, Arkansas

Alice Walton’s brother and Wal-Mart heir Jim Walton is Chairman and CEO of his family’s Arvest Bank. Today, Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion and employs more than 2.1 million people across 28 countries. Jim Walton received over $300 million in dividend payouts and serves as chairman of Community Publishers, which operates newspapers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Jim Walton is number 9 on the Forbes 400 list and 20 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

8. Sheldon Adelson | Worth: $21.5 billion | Age: 78 | Lives in: Las Vegas, Nevada

Self-made billionaire, Sheldon Adelson is known as the casino king. His fortune is up $7 billion since last year as his strong position in the casino-crazy Asian markets has pushed stock of Las Vegas Sands up roughly 50% to a recent $48. Nearly 90% of its operating profit comes from Asia as the thriving Marina Bay Sands casino opened in Singapore last year. Adelson also has three resorts in Macau through his majority-owned subsidiary Sands China. Adelson is known for giving back, once saying, “The richer I get, the more money goes to cancer research.” Adelson is a cabdriver’s son who created the computer industry’s marquee event, Comdex, in the mid-1980s. He later sold it to Japan’s Softbank for $862 million in 1995 and later built the $1.5 billion Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Convention Center in 1997 in Las Vegas. In 2008, Adelson opened the $1.9 billion Palazzo resort. He is ranked number 8 on the Forbes 400 list and 16 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

7. George Soros | Worth: 22 billion | Age: 81 | Lives in: Katonah, New York

George Soros made his billions from hedge funds and received his Bachelors degree from the London School of Economics. He is divorced and has five children. In July he announced that he is turning his fund into a family office, returning just under $1 billion of his $25.5 billion assets to outside investors. Soros has given away more than $8 billion since 1979 to human rights, public health and education groups. In 2010, he pledged $100 million to Human Rights Watch and he has also given away $150 million to Roma Rights. He is number 7 on the Forbes 400 list and 46 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

6. Christy Walton | $24.5 billion | Age: 56 | Lives in: Jackson, Wyoming

Christy Walton is the world’s richest woman and Wal-Mart widow who inherited her wealth when husband John Walton died in an airplane accident near his home in Wyoming in 2005.  She is number 6 on the Forbes 400 list and 10 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

4. David Koch | Worth: $25 billion | Age: 71 | Lives in: New York, New York

David Koch is New York City’s richest resident and together with his brother, Charles, continues to bankroll the conservative insurgency. Koch gets his vast wealth from his $42% stake in Koch Industries, America’s second largest private company with more than $100 billion in sales. The business has investments in pipelines, refineries, fertilizer, fibers and polymers, forest and consumer products and chemical technology. David is best known for his philanthropic as well as political activities, and he sits on many boards including that of the American Museum of Natural History. He is married with three children. He is tied (with his brother) for number 4 on the Forbes 400 list and is 18 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

4. Charles Koch | Worth: $25 billion | Age: 75 | Lives in: Wichita, Kansas

Charles Koch is the chief executive of Koch Industries, America’s second largest private company. His father, Fred Koch, invented a method of turning heavy oil into gasoline. Charles and his brothers (David, Frederick and William) inherited Koch Industries after their father’s death. Charles puts 90% of earning back into the 67,000-employee company, which has helped to fund $43 billion in acquisitions and capital expenditures since 2003. Charles is married with two children. His is number 4 on the Forbes 400 list and is 18 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

3. Larry Ellison | Worth: $33 billion | Age: 67 | Lives in: Woodside, California

Larry Ellison is the co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corporation, a major enterprise software company. Oracle has recently been in court battling German software firm SAP over alleged software theft and rival HP over Ellison’s hiring of its former chief Mark Hurd. But Oracle stock remains unaffected, up 15% from a year ago. After quietly donating millions to medicine and education, Ellison joined the Giving Pledge at Buffet’s behest in 2010. He is divorced with two children. Ellison is number 3 on the Forbes 400 and is number 5 on Forbes Billionaires list.

2. Warren Buffet | Worth: $39 billion | Age: 81 | Lives in: Omaha, New England

Warren Buffett is the second richest man in America. In August he penned an opinion piece in the New York Times arguing that tycoons need to pay more taxes. Meanwhile, shares of his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, have fallen 10% since last August. Along with Bill Gates and Larry Ellison, Buffett continues to push the Giving Pledge, wrangling new tycoons to agree to ultimately give away 50% of their fortunes. Buffett is married and has three children. He is number 2 on the Forbes 400 list, 33 on the Forbes Powerful People list and is number 3 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

1. Bill Gates | Worth: $59 billion | Age: 55 | Lives in: Medina, Washington

Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates’ top mission is to end polio, which still exists in four countries and requires $1 billion a year for vaccinations. His foundation contributes $200 million each year and all together Gates has given away $28 billion to causes. Just one-fourth of his net worth is still held in Microsoft, the rest is in private equity, global stocks, bonds and private companies. Gates is married and has three children. Gates is a Harvard drop out. He is number 1 on the Forbes 400 list, 10 on the Forbes Powerful People list and 2 on the Forbes Billionaires list.

Source: Forbes

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014