AFRICANGLOBE – From titans of industry to real estate moguls to tech insiders to heirs and heiresses and beyond, these 54 men and women are the richest person in each of the 50 U.S. states. Thirteen of these very wealthy people are making this list for the first time, including Mark Zuckerberg, who ousted long time richest Californian Larry Ellison from that state’s top spot. Missouri’s Stan Kroenke took his state’s top spot away from Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Jack Taylor when he made hundreds of millions by moving the NFL’s St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles.
The 54 people on this list (four states had ties) are worth nearly $700 billion combined. All but seven of them are billionaires. The most popular industries amongst them are finance and investments, fashion and retail, and food and beverage.
Jonathan Rubini & Family
Jonathan Rubini and his partner Leonard Hyde are Alaska’s biggest real estate developers. The two own and run JL Properties and control most of the skyline of Anchorage. Their largest project is a 3,600-unit residential project on a joint Army-Air Force base in Anchorage.
Jimmy Rane founded the lumber business Great Southern Wood. He is better known for his cowboy alter ego Yella Fella that appears in his company’s unique television commercials. Great Southern Wood now brings in more than $700 million in revenue a year.
Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder
Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder made their fortune off a product we all know – Gore-Tex—the lightweight, waterproof fabric developed by their late mother and father Wilbur and Genevieve Gore. Today W.L. Gore & Associates brings in an estimated $3.1 billion in sales annually.
Gary Tharaldson was a P.E. teacher and insurance salesman when he bought his first Super 8 motel in 1982. He built his nearly billion dollar fortune by acquiring and building hotels across the U.S. At his peak, he had roughly 350 hotels. In 2006, he sold 130 of them for $1.2 billion to Goldman Sachs.
Mack C. Chase
Mack Case is in the oil and natural gas business and made his fortune in Texas and New Mexico. He started out working on wells with his father and brother. He struck out on his own in 1968. He also owns the pecan farm Chase Farms and a Texas-based aircraft dealer and charter company called Deerhorn Aviation.
Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli German born American heiress through her former 11.1% of JAB Holding Company, which has majority stakes in Coty, Inc., in Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Jimmy Choo Ltd, among others. In 2003, she sold her stake in JAB Holding Company for nearly $1 billion.
Denny Sanford owns a bank and he’s giving all of his money away. He wants to die broke! So far, he has donated $1.4 billion to health and children’s causes but is no closer to broke than when he started. This is due to the huge dividends he receives from Sioux Falls based First Premier Bank. There are just 12 branches of the bank, however it is one of the largest issuers of Visa and Mastercards.
Bill and Susan Alfond
Bill and Susan Alfond’s father made a shrewd deal in 1993. He traded Warren Buffett his Dexter Shoe Company for a chunk of Berkshire Hathaway stock. The Alfonds have made a fortune off of the rising value of those stocks
Tom Benson made his fortune in banking and car dealerships in New Orleans and San Antonio. He is the owner of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.
Jim Justice II
Jim Justice is West Virginia’s only billionaire and is running for governor of his state in 2016. The original source of his fortune is the coal business he inherited from his father.
Gail Miller is the widow of Larry H. Miller. When he died in 2009, Gail assumed 100% ownership of their businesses, consisting of 54 car dealerships in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Washington, and California, a movie theater chain and the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
Jonathan Nelson founded Providence Equity Partners in the late 80s. The purpose of the company was to manage investments in media, information services, education, and communications initiatives. The company invested in development around the world, and has sold stakes in many successful companies over the years.
Scott Simplot is the richest man in Idaho and he owes it all to French fries and fertilizer. His father, potato farmer J.R. Simplot, developed an innovative freezing process that led him to become the father of the frozen French fry. By 2008, Simplot’s company was supplying a third of America’s French fries, including those sold at McDonald’s. Scott Simplot has expanded the family business into fertilizer production and phosphate mining. His sister, Gay, is also a billionaire.
Anita Zucker is CEO of The InterTech Group, a conglomerate focusing on specialty chemicals, commercial real estate, manufacturing and aerospace parts production. The group owned the department store Hudson’s Bay from 2006 to 2008.
Wayne Hughes is the founder and chairman of Public Storage, the largest self storage company in the United States. He started his business in 1972 with one unit. He served as President until 1991, and CEO until 2002. He is still Chairman of the Board.
In 1954, Leslie Lampton founded refining and chemicals conglomerate Ergon. The company produces and transports crude oil, manufactures asphalt, and has a real estate division that develops and manages both commercial and residential properties across the southeastern U.S.
Harry Stine joined his father’s soybean cleaning business in 1964. Stine is the founder and owner of The Stine Seed group of companies. He owns the largest private seed company in the United States. The seed crops are located in rural Adel, Iowa on 15,000 acres. Stine started out in the field of soybean genetics in the 1960s. He patented technology in the early 1990s and makes millions of dollars a year in royalties. His company also develops biotechnology and corn genetics
Mary Alice Dorrance Malone
Mary Alice Dorrance Malone is an heiress to the Campbell’s Soup fortune. Her grandfather founded the company. She sits on the board of the world’s largest soup maker.
John Abele co-founded the medical device company Boston Scientific in 1979. The company pioneered the use of artery-opening stents, catheters and balloons. Boston Scientific went public in 1992 and three years later, Abele was a billionaire. He started donating large amounts of his fortune to charity in 1997. His goal is to end up with no money left at the end of his life.
Dan Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Quicken Loans. He is also the owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Quicken Loans was originally called Rock Financial. The company’s name was changed after it was purchased by Intuit, Inc.
Whitney MacMillan is the heir to the Cargill fortune. He is the last descendent of the family to serve as CEO of the company.
Ted Lerner founded Lerner Enterprises in 1952 with a $212 loan from his wife. Since then, the real estate firm has grown into the largest private land ownership in the D.C. area. The company owns 750 home lots, another 7000 apartments, and over 20 million square feet of space spread out over a wide range of commercial and retail properties.
Bruce Halle is the billionaire founder of the Discount Tire retail chain. The company holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running commercial. Their primary television spot has remained the same since 1975.
Dennis Washington started his construction company, Washington Construction, in the early 60s, with a single bulldozer and $30,000. Just five years later, the company had grown to be the largest construction firm in Montana. He then began to diversify, expanding into mining and dam construction. His mid-1980s purchase of a Montana-based copper mine proved to be an incredibly successful choice, and with his profits from the mine, he was able to further expand into a wide range of areas, including shipping, real estate, aviation, and railroad construction.
Carl Cook took over as CEO of the Cook Group after his father passed away in 2011. Cook Group Incorporated is an American privately held company that is involved in the manufacturing of medical devices. The company was founded in 1963 by William “Bill” Cook. In 2008 it was listed at #324 on American’s Largest Private Companies list. It includes Medical Manufacturing, Allied Manufacturing, and Cook Group Affiliates. Cook Group specializes in stents and catheters that contain pre-injected antibiotics.
Ken Griffin was in Daytona Beach, Florida, and went on to graduate from Harvard University. He began trading while in college, and had made a million dollars by the time he graduated. He launched his own hedge fund company, Citadel LLC, in 1990.
Leslie Wexner is the billionaire founder of Limited Brands Corporation which owns The Limited, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and a slew of other retail giants that reside in nearly every mall and shopping center.
Thomas Frist, Jr.
Thomas Frist co-founder the Hospital Corporation of America in 1968 with his father. His fortune grew when shares of HCA Holding had huge gains during the 2014 healthcare overhaul.
Stan Kroenke founded the Kroenke Group in the early 80s. The company, focused on developing shopping centers and apartment complexes. After he married Wal-Mart heiress Ann Walton, he also began developing Wal-Mart shopping centers. In the early 90s, he founded THF Realty, a development firm focused on suburban areas. In the mid-90s, he shifted his focus to sports team ownership, and launched Kroenke Sports Enterprises. He is the full owner of the Los Angeles Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche.
James Goodnight is the co-founder and CEO of business analytics software firm SAS Institute. He founded the company in 1976. Goodnight owns two-thirds of the company and has been the CEO for more than three decades
Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay. He earned the vast majority of his fortune when eBay went public in September 1998. He was 28 years old when he wrote the computer code that would eventually become eBay. At that time, the program went by the name of Auction Web. He stepped down as chairman of the company in July 2015 following its split from former subsidiary PayPal.
Donald Newhouse is the son of Samuel Irving Newhouse, Sr., the original founder of Advance Publications. The publications under the company umbrella include a huge amount of newspapers covering all parts of the United States, magazines like The New Yorker, Vogue, and GQ, Florida cable and internet company Bright House Networks, and the hugely popular website Reddit. They also own a sizable stake in Discovery Communications.
John Menard, Jr.
John Menard, Jr. is the founder and owner of Menards, a major Midwestern home improvement chain. He is also a former IndyCar racing team owner. Menard is a partner in Robby Gordon Motorsports with NASCAR owner and driver Robby Gordon. He is also the father of NASCAR driver Paul Menard. Menard opened his first hardware store in 1972.
Abigail Johnson is the CEO of Fidelity Investments, an asset management and finance services giant that was started by her father Edward “Ned” Johnson III. Abigail got her start in the family empire before even starting college. Initially, Abigail served as a gopher, with her duties limited to taking orders from customers by phone.
Harold Hamm made his billions in the oil industry through his companies Hiland Partners and Hiland Holdings as well as the Oil-exploration Company Continental Resources.
Thomas Peterffy began his professional career as a computer programmer, designing trading software. He bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange and began doing his own trading. In the early 90s, and Peterffy launched his own company, Interactive Brokers, an electronic brokerage firm.
Net Worth: $14 Billion
Charles Ergen is one of the founders and chairman of EchoStar Communications Corporation, the parent company of Dish Network.
Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, which manages $154 billion in assets. Dalio’s funds had mixed results in 2015. His Pure Alpha fund returned 4.7% and Pure Alpha Major Markets returned 10.6%. However, the $70 billion All Weather fund posted a 7% loss, significant because a big chunk of Dalio’s net worth is invested in this fund.
Anne Cox Chambers
Anne Cox Chambers is the sole surviving daughter of James M. Cox, the founder of privately held media conglomerate Cox Enterprises. Cox inherited her father’s business interests and she is the majority owner of the media giant.
Jacqueline Mars is the daughter of Forrest Mars, Sr., and granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founders of the world’s largest candy company Mars, Incorporated. Mars is the 15th richest American and fourth richest woman in the world. Jacqueline and her two brothers inherited the candy empire when their father died.
John Mars is the son of Forrest Mars, Jr. and grandson of Frank C. Mars. H is the Chairman of the Mars, Incorporated. John and his siblings inherited the candy empire when their father died.
Net Worth: $25.9 Billion
Sheldon Adelson hit the big time when he created the COMDEX trade show for the computer industry in the early 1980s. He is the CEO and Chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns and operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian in Las Vegas. He is also the owner of the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper.
Net Worth: $26 Billion
Phil Knight is the co-founder of Nike. Knight and legendary University of Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. That company changed its name to Nike and grew into a global leader in athletic shoes and apparel.
The heiress to Wal-Mart is the third-richest woman in the world, behind her sister-in-law, Christy Walton. Alice is the Walton family’s biggest philanthropist, giving more than $2 million in 2012 to support charter school initiatives.
Jim Walton is Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton’s youngest child. In April 2016, Walton announced he will step down from Wal-Mart’s board after more than a decade as a member. Walton replaced his deceased brother, John, on the Wal-mart Board of Directors in 2005. He is currently on the Strategic Planning and Finance committees and serves as CEO of his family owned Arvest Bank.
Charles Koch is co-owner of Koch Industries, along with his younger brother David. He is the chairman of the board and CEO of the company. Originally engaged solely in oil refining and chemicals, Koch Industries now deals also in process and pollution control equipment and technologies; polymers and fibers; minerals; fertilizers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products.
David Koch is the co-owner of Koch Industries, along with older brother Charles Koch, and serves as executive vice president. Originally engaged solely in oil refining and chemicals, Koch Industries now deals also in process and pollution control equipment and technologies; polymers and fibers; minerals; fertilizers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has added nearly $18 billion to his fortune in the past year, due to Facebook’s stock price rising by almost 50%.
Warren Buffett, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Warren Buffett is notorious for investing in products he actually uses. For example, he owns Fruit of the Loom because he enjoyed their shirts and underwear. He is a founder and member, alongside Bill and Melinda Gates, of The Giving Pledge.
Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft and one of the architects of The Giving Pledge. He and his wife founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to issues like improving health care and the use of vaccines in developing countries.