Who are the richest families in the country today, and how did they make their mountains of money? It seems that some of them struck gold recently, but many are names you might recognize from those favorite products and services that have been around forever — some since your grandmother’s childhood. And maybe you never thought there were real faces behind the famous company names!
While most fortunes are relatively new in the United States, there are a few exceptions. A number of mega-rich families have managed to fight the usual rule that wealth that never lasts by maintaining and growing their accounts for the next generation. And we really mean growing! Let’s take a look at the list, shall we?
Net Worth: $130 Billion
If you’ve ever wondered who the mysterious man behind your local Walmart is, the answer is that he has long been gone! Sam Walton started the company in 1962, and today it is his descendants who are living large on the family fortune. The Waltons are currently ranked number one as the richest family in the United States.
Walmart is actually the world’s largest retail store! There’s certainly one near you right now, if you live anywhere in America. Or even if you live in Chile, Guatemala, South Africa, Mozambique, and many other nations that have opened their doors to the chain! Many of Sam’s siblings and grandchildren are involved on different levels with the company today, and they control the leadership board and much of the stock. Sam Walton was known for driving a modest Ford F-150 even as a millionaire running his company. Do you think his kids have upgraded?
Net Worth: $82 Billion
Business: Diversified Industry
You may have heard the name for their involvement in U.S. political donations, but what exactly do the Koch’s make? How did they get their billions, anyway? The answer lies in the diversified assets of Koch Industries.
Based in Kansas, the company is involved with quite a few products! Petroleum at various stages of production, ranching, fertilizer and minerals, fiber, polymers, pulp and paper — and that’s just the beginning! Seems like the Kochs have pretty broad interests, or at least a very narrow interest in one thing: Building and sustaining massive amounts of wealth! The siblings are divided today, and have had well known business disputes in the paper. However it eventually gets resolved, Koch Industries is a major employer and 120,000 workers across the world are currently on the payroll.
Net Worth: $78 Billion
Mars bars are one thing everyone loves, and the Mars family was smart enough to put them out on the market all the way back in 1932! Originally invented by Forrest Mars Senior, today the family enjoys tens of billions in personal saved wealth that few could ever dream of. Other gifts we have to thank them for include Snickers and M&M’s!
Forrest’s siblings were his heirs, and they have no daily role in the company. Today, they pursue their passions. For example, his sister loves horses and has a trustee role for the U.S. Equestrian Team. Her son and her niece are indeed involved with the company today with significant roles on the board of directors.
Net Worth: $49 Billion
Business: Cargill Inc.
An interesting fact about the Cargill-MacMillan family is that they have more billionaires combined than any other family worldwide. At the moment, their total is 14! So how did this good fortune happen for them?
Members of the family own 88% of Cargill Inc., a huge company with diversified holdings. Although it was originally founded in 1865 as a grain storage company, Cargill has grown to include quite a lot more in the agribusiness sector. Today they deal with financial risk management, sourcing ingredients, selling food, trading commodities, and more! Six members sit on the board of directors today.
Net Worth: $41 billion
So who is the Cox family? No, not Courtney Cox. This group is involved in media, though! At the beginning, the business was newspapers. Then, cable TV and internet. And now: Radio stations galore, more channels, and some software acquisitions in addition. The Cox Family purchased DealerTrack, software used for car dealerships. They also own the popular website AutoTrader.com, which you may have used yourself!
Today, the fortune is divided between the founder’s grandchildren: Jim, Blair, James, Katharine, and Margaretta. The company currently has operations across the world and is led by Alexander C. Taylor, a great-grandson of the founder. Alexander has taken the company in a new direction of environmental responsibility, detailing his initiatives on the corporate website. They seem to have little to do with the original media and web projects of the company, but it is an interesting new direction of business! Cox Enterprises has invested at least $124 million in sustainable agriculture projects through a company called BrightFarms and builds greenhouses near major cities for food production. They say that these greenhouses actually use 90% less water and produce 10 times the product compared to a normal farm!
S.C. Johnson Family
Net Worth: $30 Billion
Business: Cleaning Products
Johnson & Johnson certainly has a product in your home right now — take a look at the back of your soaps, ziplock bags, and toothpaste for a minute and you will realize the hold they have on the market in many areas. The Johnson family is from Wisconsin, and really made it big when SC Johnson founded a company for floor wax! The beginning was all the way back in 1886, but it has been growing steadily ever since. His son died without a will in 1928, and a family fight occurred regarding the fortune! Eventually, it was settled in a 60-40 split between his two kids.
Business continued! Today, Johnson & Johnson is the parent company of many brands we know and love. They marketed themselves as “A Family Company” on commercials for years, but they changed the motto in 2018. Now, they call themselves “A Family Company at Work for a Better World” — and perhaps a few of their more recent projects have something to do with the change. They are the main funder of the Serra das Almas Private Natural Heritage Reserve in Brazil, which protects special trees that produce carnauba wax. They also now use wind turbines at their biggest plant in Wisconsin, and with other combined green technology they produce enough electricity to completely power the building!
Net Worth: $29 Billion
Business: Hotels + Investments
So who exactly are the Pritzkers? Well, it turns out that they are a group that includes 11 billionaires! Their family business started with the Hyatt Hotel chain from Chicago, which is certainly a name you know now. The mega success of this hotel venture meant that the family could invest in other assets, and invest they did!
Today, the company is not entirely family-run. Just the Executive chairman of Hyatt, really. The rest of the clan has moved on to other dreams after years of dispute over money. They have divided the fortune and now have pretty interesting jobs: U.S. Commerce Secretary, movie producer, and investment firm owner are just a few titles family members currently hold.
(Edward) Johnson Family
Net Worth: $28.5 Billion
Business: Money Management
Another Johnson family on our list has nothing to do with shampoo or toothpaste! This group of Johnson is involved in the well known mutual fund Fidelity, founded in 1946. The family ran the fund through multiple generations of managers, and today remains the case as well. Today, Abigail Johnson is CEO. And directly before, it was her father. All in the family appears to be the way to go!
Today, other members of the family have started other ventures. Edward Johnson IV has a real estate company, for example. And it’s doing very well, but Abigail seems to be the publicly recognized standout at the moment. Forbes has really taken noticed, and named her the 5th most powerful woman in the world in 2018!
Net Worth: $28 Billion
Business: Hearst Corp.
The Hearst Corporation is not exactly new, started in 1887 by William Randolph Hearst. But today, the business has grown quite a bit since his initial purchase of The San Francisco Examiner when he was in his 20’s! Newspaper after newspaper was acquired, and radio became a part of the group as well. Later, WIlliam became a New York congressman.
So what do the remaining Hearst members do today? William’s son became a prize-winning journalist, an apple not far from the tree in terms of industry choice. His grandson also stayed in the realm of journalism, as the current chair of the company today. The industry has changed significantly, and Hearst now finds itself with stakes in ESPN, A&E, and lifetime. They also own 46 newspapers and 340 magazines worldwide, so it’s a pretty big project these days! The overall fortune is split between 67 members of the family.
Net Worth: $21.5 Billion
The Duncan family is enjoying their fortune from Enterprise Products Partners, a firm that specializes in natural gas and crude oil. The headquarters are in Houston, and they are one of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the nation! Founded by Dan Duncan, the company has increased in value tremendously over time due to wise investments and a growing oil and gas market worldwide.
When Dan died, his personal estate was divided between his children: Randa Duncan Williams, Dannine Duncan Avara, Milane Frantz, and Scott Duncan. Today, Randa is the chairman of the board of Enterprise Products Partners.
Net Worth: $18.5 Billion
Business: Magazines + Cable TV
The Newhouse family is involved in the publishing industry today, and there is a long history in the field. Samuel and Donald Newhouse inherited a company from their father called Advance Publications. Together, they grew the company into one of the biggest in America — not just in the publishing sector.
What is included in this business group? Some names you surely know, like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. Their media holdings also include many newspapers around the country and well known forum Reddit online. The company is now run by a few family members in their 80’s as well as a sprite 60’s something President, Steven O. Newhouse.
Net Worth: $17.9 Billion
Business: Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder herself is no longer around, but her company has been carried into the future by her descendants. And its success only continues to grow! Although she orignally started the business with her husband way back in the 40’s, the company is much more than her namesake line at present. Around 30 brands are now under its umbrella, including Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and MAC.
Five of her heirs received more than $1 billion at her death, and they all made themselves pretty busy making their names in the cosmetics world. Her son Leonard is the Estee Lauder chairman emeritus. Another son, Ronald, is the chairman of Clinique — though he also had a second interesting career that involved a position as the U.S. ambassador to Austria. Even her grandkids are involved in the family business! Grandson William is the executive chair, and granddaughters Aerin and Jane have high level positions. Grandson Gary, however, has moved on to investment in Silicon Valley.
Net Worth: $17.1 Billion
Business: Campbell Soup Co.
So who exactly was behind the Cambpell’s Soup fortune? Well, it turns out it is someone with the last name “Dorrance” — John T. Dorrance, the inventor, president, and owner of the famous formula and brand. His heirs include 11 lucky individuals, many of whom still bear the Dorrance name today.
Around 40 percent of the expanded modern company is owned by these 11 decedents, and some of the founder’s grandkids sit on the board. They are aging out, however. Charlotte Colket Weber left the board at age 72. Will the next generation be involved in this long established family company, or decide to cash out? One already has!
Net Worth: $14.4 Billion
The Ziffs made a lot of their money in hedge funds, and they certainly did better than most people in the business! In 2014, they decided to close their firms in London and America and move on to other ventures. One brother, Dirk Ziff, has opened Ziff Capital Partners in Manhattan.
With their hands freed up, they can focus on personal investments with the help of some of their former colleagues. But how did it all get started? In 1927, grandfather William Ziff actually opened a publishing business. That company has grown to include some magazines you may actually read today — like PC Magazine. It was sold for $1.4 billion in the 90’s, and the Ziff brothers used that wealth to land themselves on this very list today!
Du Pont Family
Net Worth: $14.3 Billion
DuPont is a name you might be familiar with if you have ever painted your house before. The name is on some commonly bought items, but the company itself is involved with a wider array of good than what you may see yourself at the hardware store. What are the origins of this company, and where did it all begin?
More than 200 years ago, a prisoner of the French revolution fled to the New World and founded a company that started with gunpowder. And today 3,500 descendants share the fortune! Along the way, the company expanded to dynamite, dyes, plastics, and more. Nylon and teflon were materials invented by the company, and remain very common for use today! With thousands of family members bearing the DuPont name, a few crazy outliers have made it into the news in recent years with violent crimes! One member was elected to a governorship, and many more have gone their own way in life. Not surprising that a few bad apples made it in the bunch, but of course most DuPonts are perfectly nice and normal.
Net Worth: $13.7 Billion
The Hunt Family made their money through oil, a good that the market never stops demanding. Haroldson Lafayette Hunt Jr. actually traded poker game winnings for oil rights in Texas, long ago. A good chunk of East Texas Oil Field then came into his possession, which happens to be one of the world’s largest.
Today, his descendants do many interesting things with their time. One of his sons runs Hunt Oil and the other manages Petro-Hunt. His daughter decided to go in a different direction, and founded Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. HIs kids actually have significant stakes in two sports teams: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bulls. Beyond this, the Hunt family owns serious real estate in the Kansas City area and beyond.
Net Worth: $13.7 Billion
Business: Real Estate
If you’ve ever wondered who the most successful real estate family is, the answer is the Goldman’s. The firm is called Solil Management, and they own more than 400 properties in New York City. Their holdings include prime real estate in Manhattan near the site of the former World Trade Center, commercial space in midtown, and fancy buildings on the Upper East Side.
At the moment, the family company is managed by Jane, the daughter of founder Sol Goldman. In the late 50’s, he began the buying process by choosing unwanted and foreclosed properties at bargain prices. His trick was to pay in cash whenever he could, and he really got a foothold in the NYC market at the time. His children each own 25 percent of the company today, and they have not sold off many of his original investments yet today.
Net Worth: $13.4 Billion
The Busch Family is behind you favorite beer, Budweiser! Or maybe you’re really a fan of Miller Lite, but that’s not the point. This family managed to survive with its product before and after prohibition, and they are still one of the richest in the country today. But how did it all get started?
In 1876, Carl Conrad name his creation after a town in Germany: Budweiss. At the time, he lived in St. Louis, Missouri. The special mixture he invented had an ingredient quite different than the European varieties he must have known, but he innovated with a combination of 30 percent rice! This is not the typical beer, and perhaps the formula has been modified a few times since then. But indeed, everyone in America knows the name of the beer Carl brought to the market. It’s a big bestseller, and around 30 members of the Family have a chunk of the beer fortune today. The original company has been sold to outside investors, and the family has started a new small one!
Net Worth: $13 Billion
Business: Pain Medication
The Sackler family founded Purdue Pharma in the 1980’s, and they grew it to be one of the most profitable drug companies in the country today. They started out with less complicated medications like laxatives, but they eventually moved on to something more experimental: Opiates. And for this, the family is currently in the news, not exactly enjoying good PR at this moment in time.
While marketed a the next generation of painkillers that patients did indeed demand, the addictive properties were either not fully known or intentionally downplayed by pharmaceutical reps across the country. Today, around 20 family members have a chunk of the fortune. Lawsuits in the future may remove this clan from the list, but only time will tell.
Net Worth: $12.3 Billion
There are a lot of people with the name Brown, but few with the fortunes of this special family specializing in one of our favorite vices: Old fashioned whiskey! Brown-Forman Corp. is the maker of some of the most popular brands we know and love, like Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, and Herradura tequila. The company was actually founded all the way back in 1870 by George Garvin Brown, a pharmaceutical salesman.
The company is actually responsible for the first bourbon made in America, and they still continue to innovate. Today, the Brown family has split its fortune 25 ways, and they continue to keep a majority stake in the company — 51 percent, to be precise.
Net Worth: $12 Billion
Business: Hospital Corporation of America
Former Senate majority leader Bill Frisk is pretty well known around the country, but who is really aware of his family background? It turns out that he actually hails from the richest family in the state of Tennessee! So how did the Frisk family make it big in the first place?
Bill’s father was a doctor who founded the Hospital Corporation of America, way back in 1968. Under his leadership and family staffing, the company became the largest in the world in this area of healthcare. Bill also went to school to become a doctor before politics, and it seems the whole family is very knowledgeable about this industry. They should be, since they have made $12 billion working in it!
Net Worth: $1.9 Billion
Business: Mining + Agribusiness
So who is the richest man in West Virginia, anyway? It turns out that it is Governor Jim Justice of the Justice clan by a landslide. Although this family is very well known locally, little is written about them nationally. Let’s find out more!
The Justice family has long been invested in the coal mining industry and agriculture in the state of West Virginia, and their success in this industry led to the acquisition of even more businesses. Today, they own Greenbrier resort, Bluestone Farms, Stoney Brook Plantation, and more than 50 companies in total. Before Jim started as the governor, he resigned from his official business positions and put his family members in charge instead. The Justices are also known for their philanthropy outside of business and politics, such as the Dream Tree for Kids campaign. Every year, they give away at least $1 million in gifts during Christmas time! A sweet idea, really.
Net Worth: $11 Billion
Business: H.E.B. Grocery
The Butt family might have a funny name, but it’s quite a serious money-making clan! They started a very well-known chain in the south called H.E.B. Grocery, all the way back in 1905. Matriarch Florence Butt saw that her husband was struggling to work after he came down with tuberculosis, and she knew she had to find a solution for the family. H.E.B. Grocery was born!
This has really been a family enterprise, with all generations involved. Her son took over the organization afterwards, and her grandson is currently the biggest shareholder. Today, Florence’s project is worth a shocking $22 billion, and boasts more than 300 stores in Texas and Mexico. Not bad for a small family shop, is it?
Net Worth: $11.5 Billion
Business: Diversified Assets
The Mellons have been in business for a very long time in America, starting with the family founder who immigrated from Ireland. That would be Thomas Mellon, and he got off the boat at age five with big dreams! First, he trained to be a judge. Then, he started investing in real estate. Later, he moved on to banking. And what a fortune he made!
After leaving his money to his immediate heirs, they built the family bank account up even further through investment in oil. Not a bad bet for a rapidly industrializing county! Today, Thomas Mellon’s grandsons carry on his business legacy with new and ambitious projects in cryptocurrency and media. Overall, the story of the American dream is strong with this group! Can family wealth last forever? Although most of the time it doesn’t, the Mellons have done a superb job staying on top for three generations so far.
Net Worth: $5.4 Billion
Business: Contran Corporation
The Simmons family has an interesting climb to the top, starting in the 1960’s. Harold Simmons Sr. came from humble beginnings with two teachers for parents, but he decided he wanted to get into business instead. Trained as a bank examiner after his degree, he began working for Republic National Bank in Dallas. So how did he make the jump from day job to billionaire club?
Harold took out a loan to supplement his savings, and then bought a small drug store in Texas. From there, he began using an interesting strategy to build his profits by taking advantage of accessible banking policies to borrow larger and larger amounts of money. His store became a chain, and that chain grew to more than 100 stores! Harold sol it for more than $50 million, and then simply continued as an investor in many other companies to grow his billions. Today, Harold and his family donates to many causes in their free time. Hospices, hospitals, zoos, research – you name it! Not a bad outcome for one little drug store, is it?
Net Worth: $10.7 Billion
Business: E&J Gallo Winery
If you love wine, the Gallo family might love it even more than you! They have made a fortune on the dry grape brew, and it all started with two brothers in 1933. Julio and Ernest Gallo started a winery in California that has grown to be the world’s largest! Who knew that was in California, and not Italy?
Today the business is still family run, and other members have added cheese to the list of major products the company produces. A very logical pairing! Today, the children and grandchildren are split between both of these ventures, some on the dairy farm and some in the vineyard. The newest venture they seem to be trying out is the addition of gin and vodka, which sounds like a pretty delicious business overall. Cheers!
Net Worth: $11 Billion
Business: Standard Oil
Rockefeller is almost synonymous with any word for money, and there’s a good reason for that! Since the success of Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller’s family has been rolling in cash like almost no one else. Today, they are worth an estimated $11 billion! Most people understand why oil was such a successful bet, but not many people know what the entire family is up to these days. Let’s check!
The fortune itself is currently distributed among 174 heirs, so they all have their lives and plans. But you may have encountered some of the major philanthropy of his children and grandchildren, like the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. A few major educational institutions can thank the family for its initial founding money, like Rockefeller University and the University of Chicago. Some of his heirs have left their property to hospitals, funded excavations in Egypt, and many have started philanthropic foundations that continue to do good work until this day. Interestingly, some of the younger members of the Rockefeller family have publicly changed their minds about the positive impact of oil on society and the environment. Some have divested entirely! Times are changing, but the wealth ranking of this clan doesn’t seem like it will be budging anytime soon.
Net Worth: $33.4 Billion
Phil Knight is the man behind a brand we know and love. Nike! Or maybe some of us prefer Adidas,, but don;t tell Phil! He has been tirelessly working for decades to establish the biggest athletic shoe company on the planets, and his family has the big bank account to prove it. So is it still just Phil building the brand these days?
It turns that Phil’s children are involved in other passions, like Travis Knight. He is actually a filmmaker, and the profits from Nike established an animation studio where he currently doing his work. Sadly, Phil’s other son Matthew drowned while scuba diving more than a decade ago. While it may seem like the wealthy have it all, they have human challenges like the rest of us. Condolences to Phil and his wife, RIP.
The Dell Family
Net Worth: $34 Billion
Business: Dell Computers
We all know Dell computers, and many of us have probably owned a model at some point! Michael Dell is the man behind it all, and he started the company back in 1984 before many people really knew the all the hype was! Good thing he got in early, because his company is now generating almost $80 billion a year in sales!
Today, Michael is married with four children, and they have plenty of personal wealth to enjoy on the weekends. $34 billion seems like a decent chunk of change, no? Michael actually has his parents to thank for the initial investment. They lent him $1,000 – and he took it from there! Paying it forward, he and his wife Susan have started a foundation that funds education, childhood health, and more. They gave away $50 million in just one year, and it will be exciting to see where they take things in the future. Bravo, an American success story!
Net Worth: $48.5 Billion
Business: Bloomberg L.P.
Michael Bloomberg is a successful wealth creator to say the least. His management skills led to his election as the mayor of New York City, because people clearly thought he knew how to run a big business! And a city is a business, in a way. Isn’t it?
Perhaps people were convinced because of his bulging bank account, currently estimated to be at more than $48 billion! Now that he has retired from the mayor’s office, he has some time to spend with the family. Michael shares all his money with his three daughters, and he spends his time on philanthropic -projects when he is not checking in with Bloomberg L.P. and its financial news. Major recent causes include tobacco education campaign for kids, the Museum of Science in Boston, and environmental organizations. We bet you can’t guess how much he has given away so far, though. Did you guess $8 billion? Yes, that’s right!
Net Worth: $51.1 Billion
Computer scientists are doing pretty well these days! Well, especially if you happen to be Sergey Brin. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he is one of the Google cofounders, along with Larry Page. How well has he done with all that coding? Looks like he has racked up more than $50 billion so far! Not bad, not bad.
Sergey and his ex-wife founded other interesting ventures since Google took off, such as 23andMe. You may have used it recently to find out the secrets in your DNA for the last few centuries, something that seems to fascinate a lot of modern people these days. Sergey remarried recently, and his new child will join those from his previous marriage. It’s not clear if his kids understand quite yet how big their bank account is, but one day they are going to be shocked!
Net Worth: $52.4 Billion
And of course, the Page family is next. Larry and his wife are really enjoying their billions from Google, and they have two children so far. Seems like they can easily afford more, but we will see! Who exactly is the lucky woman reigning as the queen of Google right now?
It turns out to be Lucinda Southworth, a biodmedical scientist. The couple has teamed up to invest in some really noteworthy causes, like the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The Pages have given $15 million to that issue so far, and they remain interested in charitable work with their new Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation. Thankfully, they still have time to party with all that on their plate. Larry and Lucinda have been seen at celebrity functions, and it seems like they are really enjoying life!
Net Worth: $61.8 Billion
The Oracle Corporation is not a household name in the same way Dell or Microsoft is, but their software and systems are very important and widely used just like the other computer firm giants. Larry Page founded it way back in 1977, and the company has grown to let Larry amass a personal net worth of more than $61 billion! The Ellison family is definitely one of the very richest in California, and for that matter – the world!
Larry’s children have taken their financial security and followed their dreams in the bright light of Hollywood, not too far away from Silicon Valley. Both have great jobs in the industry there, actually. Megan Page is a producer on major film projects, and David Page is the CEO of Skydance Media. Looks like the whole family is pretty talented, doesn’t it?
Net Worth: $63 Billion
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has done pretty well for himself. After all, he founded the biggest social media company on earth today. And he accumulated more than $60 billion so far. Facebook is working on some crazy new ventures, like a currency. His wealth is probably going to continue climbing, and his family certainly benefits!
So far, though, Mark’s family is pretty small! He is married to Priscilla Chan, and they have two daughters. $30 billion each would not be a bad fortune in the future, but maybe it will be split three or four ways! No one one knows what the future holds yet for the Zuckerberg family, but it certainly looks bright.
Net Worth: $85.7 Billion
Business: Berkshire Hathaway
Warren Buffett is one of the most sought after investors for financial advice these days, and there’s a pretty good reason why. His efforts to dominate the market have taken many forms, and his investments vary from newspapers to soda pop. The real question is, who does he share his fortune with on a day to day basis?
Warren is the third richest person in the world, and he has a few potential heirs. Peter, Susan, and Howard are the names of his three children, and they have career success in their own ways. Howard has been a Director of Coca-Cola since 2010, and Peter is an Emmy award winning musician for a movie soundtrack he created in 1999. Susan focuses on philanthropy full time, and seems to share this interest with her father. It’s clear that these kids will not inherit everything, however. Warren has signed the Giving Pledge, which means he plans to donate at least 99% of his wealth to charity. Bravo, Warren!
Net Worth: $96.6 Billion
The Gates family is obviously doing very well. Afterall, Bill Gates was ranked as the world’s richest man for many years by Forbes Magazine! Sadly, he has been recently surpassed by Jeff Bezos. But his family is still probably pretty comfortable. Perhaps very comfortable!
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a family project that Bill and his wife take seriously. The causes they fund include preventable disease and poverty around the world, and they have already given away a respectable $50 billion to improve these problems. While their kids are still fairly young, it looks like they have two inspiring parents to look up to as examples. Will they be drawn to computers like their father, or charity like their mother? Only time will tell, really!
Net Worth: $135 Billion
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in America, and that means he has quite a fortune to share with his kids. He actually has four children with novelist Mackenzie Bezos, one of whom was adopted from China. His three biological sons are all high school age, and they have quite the family business to go into if that’s what their choose in the future!
Amazon may have started out selling physical goods on the internet, but the company is doing some really interesting things right now beyond their core service. Today, Amazon operates streaming media services and develops artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Jeff’s holdings actually include The Washington Post and Whole Foods, which few people know! Jeff is nowhere near done in his bid to become number one, and it will be fascinating to see if Amazon can really grow and grow forever. Be honest, you use Amazon all the time!
Net Worth: $41.5 billion
Steve Ballmer actually dropped out of college, but that didn’t stop him from making the Forbes list! Today he ranks pretty high with a personal stash of $41.5 billion, and it’s very interesting how he made it all in the first place.
Steve was with Bill Gates from pretty early on with Microsoft, and he eventually became the CEO. his wealth was actually generated from stock earnings, not primarily his salary. Today, the Ballmer family lives quite comfortably in Washington state. His wife Connie gave birth to three sons, and Steve still drives a Ford. After Microsoft, Steve bought a basketball team. Sounds like a great second career, and fun for the whole family!
Net Worth: $25.7 Billion
The Peterffys happen to be the richest family in the state of Florida. But how did they become so wealthy, you ask? The answer lies in finance, and it was all started by an immigrant from Hungary.
Thomas Peterffy started Interactive Brokers in 1979, an electronic brokerage company. Built up over the years, he can now rest easy with more than $25 billion to his name. Not bad! Though divorced, he has three children from his earlier years. What does he do these at age 74, you wonder? In his free time, he likes to ride horses, and has been called one of America’s most successful immigrants.
Net Worth: $8.5 Billion
If you’ve ever wondered who is behind U-Haul, the answer happens to be the Shoen family. Because their name is not actually on the business, maybe you’ve never heard of them! A few key facts about the founders are in order.
The Shoens are the richest family in the state of Arizona, and they currently own only 40% of the company they started. But with many billions of dollars in revenue every year, that’s okay with them! They get a nice chunk of profit, and they share quite the American story together. Started in a family garage in 1945, U-Haul began expanding through local gas stations and has really never stopped growing! Today, the senior leadership is still Shoen controlled, with Chairman, CEO, President, and VP all in the family. The more you know!