- 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.)
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
Source: Bloomberg LP
- 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.
- 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
- 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