John Kluge

CATEGORY: Billionaires
COMPANY: Metromedia

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: This 95-year-old Palm Beach resident was ranked as richest man in America in 1989 but lost that title to Bill Gates three years later. His vast fortune comes from Metromedia, Inc., which proved during the 1960s and 1970s that independent television stations could compete against network giants. That caught the attention of Rupert Murdoch, who purchased Metromedia’s stations in the mid-1980s for around $2 billion. Under the same Metromedia name, Kluge went on to invest in restaurants, technology, and telecommunication ventures, which amassed him quite the impressive fortune. He believes in paying it forward and donated $400 million to Columbia University in 2007, which is the fourth-largest gift of all time to an educational institution.

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