Ronald Burkle

CATEGORY: Billionaires

INDUSTRY: Investing

COMPANY: Yucaipa Companies

WHAT MAKES HIM HAUTE: He started his fortune by buying and selling supermarket chains and soon after created his private equity firm, Yucaipa, which invests in retail, manufacturing, and distribution. The company recently invested in the retail brand, American Apparel. The business billionaire is currently stuck in a heated dispute with Barnes & Noble, as he tries to increase his share from 19 percent to 37 percent.