The Forbes 400: The Richest People In America 2014

1. Bill Gates
REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
Net worth: $81 billion, up $9 billion
Source: Microsoft
Age: 58
  • Richest man in America for the 21st straight year
  • His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away $30 billion since 2000
  • As America’s top philanthropist, he picks and chooses which of the world’s biggest issues to tackle. This year he pledged $50 million to fight the Ebola outbreak in Africa and $1 million to advocate for gun control in Washington.
  • Net worth is up $9 billion, helped by rising shares of Microsoft, Canadian National Railway and trash company Republic Services
  • Cofounded Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen. Harvard hallmate Steve Ballmer served as longtime CEO. All three are among top 30 richest in America.
  • Bulk of his fortune is in private investment vehicle Cascade, which holds stakes in Canadian National Railway, tractor maker Deere & Co., and South American McDonald’s franchisee Arcos Dorados (golden arches in Spanish.)

2. Warren Buffett
AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Jessica J. Trevino
Net worth: $67 billion, up $8.5 billion
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Age: 84
  • Has been the second-richest man in America, behind Gates, every year since 2001
  • Net worth up $8.5 billion thanks to surging stock in Berkshire Hathaway
  • Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway are the most expensive shares of any public company, over $200,000 apiece
  • Has given away nearly $23 billion in his lifetime, to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and to foundations run by his 3 children
  • His company has dozens of subsidiaries, including Dairy queen, Geico insurance, See’s Candies and Heinz ketchup.

3. Larry Ellison
REUTERS/Noah Berger

Net worth: $50 billion, up $9 billion
Source: Oracle
Age: 70
  • Shocked business world when he announced he would step down as Oracle CEO in September, but will remain chief technology officer
  • Richest man in Silicon Valley
  • Built databases for the CIA before founding Oracle in 1977
  • Continuing to add to his real estate portfolio by buying up the Hawaiian island of Lanai.
  • He bought nearly the entire Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012 and continues to add to his holdings there
  • 86% of his net worth is tied up in Oracle stock.

4. Charles Koch
Getty Images
Net worth: $42 billion, up $6 billion
Source: diversified
Age: 78
  • Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, second-largest private company in America, with sales of $115 billion
  • He took over for his father Fred in 1967 and grew the company into the giant it is today
  • He and his brother David are pouring money toward a Republican effort to take control of the Senate in 2014
  • This year Koch Industries acquired inkmaker Fling Group for a reported $3 billion and PetroLogistics for $2.1 billion.

4. David Koch
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Net worth: $42 billion, up $6 billion
Source: diversified
Age: 74
  • Richest man in New York City
  • He and his brother Charles share control of Koch Industries, second-largest private company in America
  • Koch Industries’ interests include oil pipelines, refineries, building materials, paper towels and even Dixie cups
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated the David H. Koch Plaza in September after he funded a $65 million renovation

6. Christy Walton & family
Getty Images
Net worth: $38 billion, up $2.6 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 59
  • Richest woman in the world
  • Married into the richest family in the world, worth over $150 billion
  • Former husband John Walton died in a plane crash in 2005
  • Richest member of the Walton family thanks to a side investment in solar company First Solar. Its shares are up 87% since last year’s Forbes 400.

7. Jim Walton
Rob Walton (L) looks at his brother Jim Walton (R) (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)
Net worth: $36 billion, up $2.2 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 66
  • Largest individual shareholder of Wal-Mart
  • Youngest child of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
  • CEO of family-founded Arvest Bank, which has branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri

8. Michael Bloomberg
AP Photo/Thibault Camus
Net worth: $35 billion, up $4 billion
Source: Bloomberg LP
Age: 72
  • Returned to lead Bloomberg LP less than a year after ending tenure as mayor of New York
  • Owns 88% of Bloomberg LP, which will pass $9 billion in revenue in 2014
  • Got his start working on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers in 1966
  • Has given away $3.3 billion in his lifetime
  • Reportedly spending $50 million this year battling the NRA, which has launched an attack ad taking direct aim at Bloomberg personally.

9. Alice Walton
Jim Walton and Alice Walton (AP Photo/April L. Brown)
Net worth: $34.9 billion, up $1.4 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 64
  • Daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
  • Opened her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011, which has works from Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Mark Rothko.
  • Fortune up $1.4 billion thanks to rising value of Wal-Mart shares

10. S. Robson Walton
Jim Walton, Alice Walton and Robson Walton (AP Photo/April L. Brown)
Net worth: $34.8 billion, up $1.5 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Age: 70
  • Oldest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton
  • Chairman of Wal-Mart board for nearly a half century
  • Also owns a stake in Hyatt Hotels
  • Public face of the Walton family has had to deal with criticism over low wages and bribery scandal in Mexico
  • Wal-Mart revenues have increased ninefold since he became chairman in 1992

 Source: Yahoo


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