The net worth of the world’s 26 wealthiest billionaires is $1.4 trillion – the same as the combined wealth of the world’s 3.8 billion poorest people, or about half of the world’s population.
That staggering finding, reported earlier this year by Oxfam International, underscores the massive wealth of the world’s billionaires – a scale that most people cannot fully comprehend.
As one of the world’s wealthiest nations, the United States is home to a fair number of the world’s wealthy elite. According to Forbes’ ranking of global billionaires, 15 of the 26 wealthiest people on Earth are American.
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Ever wonder where most of the rich people live? Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story.
While most wealthy people tend to live in or near major economic centers in states with large economies, the extremely wealthy live where they please and can be found all across the country. All but six states have at least one billionaire, and all but one of those six have people with a net worth of at least $500 million.
Reviewing real-time net worth estimates from Forbes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the wealthiest person in every state.
Credit card debt: States with the highest average balance
Unemployment rate: Jobs with the best and worst security
Alabama: Jimmy Rane
• Estimated net worth: $950 million
• Resides: Abbeville
Lumber magnate Jimmy Rane, who advertises his company Great Southern Wood Preserving by posing as his alter ego Yella Fella, recently took over as Alabama’s wealthiest person. Rane, whose net worth is estimated at $950 million, continues to live in his small hometown of Abbeville and has made it a personal mission to revitalize the town.
Alaska: Jonathan Rubini and Leonard Hyde
• Estimated net worth: $310 million
• Resides: Anchorage
Jonathan Rubini and Leonard Hyde are two of Alaska’s biggest names in real estate. The men share ownership of their company, JL Properties, which owns many properties in Anchorage, including the state’s tallest, the ConocoPhillips Tower.
Arizona: Ernest Garcia, II
• Estimated net worth: $3.8 billion
• Resides: Tempe
Arizona’s Ernest Garcia has made his fortune in the automotive business. He owns major used car retailer DriveTime Automotive and is the largest shareholder of online used car selling platform Carvana. Carvana was founded by Garcia’s son as part of DriveTime before it became a separate system.
Arkansas: Jim Walton
• Estimated net worth: $45.7 billion
• Resides: Bentonville
Jim Walton – the youngest son of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart – is one of the many heirs to the retail giant’s fortune. He also has a slightly larger stake in the company than the other heirs, making him the richest person in the state. Sam lives in Bentonville, the Arkansas home of the largest company in the world by revenue.
California: Larry Ellison
• Estimated net worth: $64 billion
• Resides: Woodside
With a net worth of $64 billion, Larry Ellison is California’s richest resident and one of the richest people in the world. Ellison is a cloud computing pioneer. He founded his company Oracle in 1977 and still serves as its chairman and CTO.
Colorado: Philip Anschutz
• Estimated net worth: $10.9 billion
• Resides: Denver
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Philip Anschutz has become one of the wealthiest people in the world by investing in several businesses including oil, railroads, real estate, and entertainment. His Anschutz Entertainment Group owns and operates arenas and stadiums across the globe. The Denver resident has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Colorado’s medical center, which was named in his honor.
Connecticut: Ray Dalio
• Estimated net worth: $18.4 billion
• Resides: Greenwich
Ray Dalio is the founder of Connecticut’s Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world based on assets managed. Many of Connecticut’s other wealthy residents owe their wealth to hedge funds, including SAC Capital head Steve Cohen, who was hit with a two-year ban from managing money after an insider trading allegation.
Delaware: Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder
• Estimated net worth: $750 million
• Resides: Newark & Wilmington
One of the country’s least populous states, Delaware is not home to any billionaires, and brother and sister Elizabeth Snyder and Robert Gore tie as the state’s wealthiest person. The two share in the Gore-Tex fortune founded by their parents. Robert, working as a chemical engineer, invented the waterproof material used in Gore-Tex apparel.
Florida: Thomas Peterffy
• Estimated net worth: $18.8 billion
• Resides: Palm Beach
Florida’s wealthiest resident is Thomas Peterffy, the chairman of Interactive Brokers. Peterffy is best known for his hand in popularizing digital high-speed trading. Peterffy lives in Palm Beach, where he recently helped open a high-end, members-only medical center, one of the first of its kind. Peterffy invested $5 million in the project, a drop in the bucket of his estimated $18.8 billion net worth.
Georgia: Jim Kennedy
• Estimated net worth: $9.5 billion
• Resides: Atlanta
Georgia is home to Atlanta Billionaire Jim Kennedy, who inherited the Cox Enterprises empire. The company, which his grandfather founded in 1898, includes cable television company Cox Communications, as well as a number of other properties spanning television, newspaper, and the internet.
Hawaii: Pierre Omidyar
• Estimated net worth: $11.9 billion
• Resides: Honolulu
The founder of auction website eBay, Pierre Omidyar, first became a billionaire in 1998 at the age of 31 when the company went public. Twenty-one years later, Omidyar has an estimated net worth of $11.9 billion. Omidyar spent several years as a youth in Hawaii, and he moved back to Honolulu in 2006. The multi-billionaire has invested millions in various business and philanthropic projects throughout the islands, focusing in areas such as local food production, renewable energy, and waste reduction.
Idaho: Frank VanderSloot
• Estimated net worth: $4.3 billion
• Resides: Idaho Falls
Idaho’s richest person is Frank VanderSloot, the founder and long-time head of pharmaceutical company Melaleuca. VanderSloot has helmed the company since he started it in 1985. Melaleuca now reports annual revenue of over $2 billion.
Illinois: Ken Griffin
• Estimated net worth: $11.7 billion
• Resides: Chicago
Ken Griffin founded global investment fund Citadel in 1990. With an estimated net worth of $11.7 billion, Griffin is the richest person in Illinois and one of the 100 wealthiest people in the United States. In November 2017, the multi-billionaire also made the most expensive home purchase in Chicago’s history, buying the top four floors of the No. 9 Walton building in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood for $58.5 million.
Indiana: Carl Cook
• Estimated net worth: $8.7 billion
• Resides: Bloomington
Bloomington’s Carl Cook is the CEO of Cook Group, a long-time maker of medical equipment. The company specializes in devices used in minimally-invasive surgery such as stents and filters. Carl inherited control of Cook Group from his parents, William and Gayle Cook, who founded the company. With a net worth of $8.7 billion, Cook is the wealthiest person in Indiana.
Iowa: Harry Stine
• Estimated net worth: $4 billion
• Resides: Adel
With an estimated net worth of $4.0 billion, Harry Stine is the wealthiest person in Iowa. Stine made his fortune in the state’s substantial corn and soybean industries. The Stine Seed Company – originally founded in the 1950s by Stine’s father as Stine Seed Farm – today owns hundreds of patents in soybean and corn genetics and does over $1 billion in sales annually. Stine still resides with his family in Adel, where his grandparents first moved in the late 1800s.
Kansas: Charles Koch
• Estimated net worth: $51.9 billion
• Resides: Wichita
Kansas’ Charles Koch, one of the two Koch brothers, made his fortune building and running Koch Industries, which operates in everything from paper products to chemical manufacturing to oil pipelines. The Koch brothers are known for their participation in the American political system and for their financial support of conservative candidates.
Kentucky: B. Wayne Hughes
• Estimated net worth: $2.8 billion
• Resides: Lexington
B. Wayne Hughes founded Public Storage in 1972, and is today he is the wealthiest person in Kentucky with an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion. Public Storage now has more than 2,500 locations throughout the United States and is the largest self-storage brand in the country. Hughes purchased Spendthrift Farm in Lexington in 2004. The farm has raised nine Kentucky Derby champions. Hughes is also one of the top conservative political donors in the state.
Louisiana: Gayle Benson
• Estimated net worth: $2.9 billion
• Resides: New Orleans
Gayle Benson became the wealthiest person in Louisiana following the death of her husband, Tom Benson, in 2018. A legal battle with Tom’s children and grandchildren, who claimed he was mentally unfit when he gave her control of his assets, was eventually settled. Gayle Benson now owns both of New Orleans’ pro sports teams, the Pelicans and the Saints.
Maine: Susan Alfond
• Estimated net worth: $1.6 billion
• Resides: Scarborough
Susan Alfond is the heiress to the Alfond family fortune. Alfond’s father founded the Dexter Shoe Company, which he sold to Warren Buffett for $433 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1993. While the deal turned sour for Buffett when the company was besieged by cheap imports and foreign competition, the Alfonds have since made billions in appreciating Berkshire Hathaway stock. Susan Alfond shares the family fortune with her three brothers and co-inheritors, Ted, Peter, and Bill.
Maryland: Ted Lerner & family
• Estimated net worth: $5.0 billion
• Resides: Chevy Chase
Maryland’s Ted Lerner has been one of the biggest names in real estate for decades, getting his start in in 1952 selling homes, and eventually moving into large-scale development. The Chevy Chase resident now has a net worth estimated at $5.0 billion. In 2006, Lerner won the bid to acquire the MLB’s Washington Nationals.
Massachusetts: Abigail Johnson
• Estimated net worth: $16.4 billion
• Resides: Milton
With an estimated net worth of $16.4 billion, Abigail Johnson is the wealthiest person in Massachusetts and the fourth wealthiest woman in America. Johnson is current owner of mutual fund group Fidelity Investments. In 2014, Johnson took over as CEO of the firm – which today manages some $2.5 trillion in assets. Johnson’s siblings and co-heirs to the family fortune, Elizabeth Johnson and Edward Johnson IV, are also billionaires.
Michigan: Hank & Doug Meijer
• Estimated net worth: $7 billion
• Resides: Grand Rapids
The heirs and co-chairmen of Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer, Hank and Doug Meijer, are the wealthiest people in the state. Meijer, which was founded in 1934 by the Meijers’ grandfather Hendrik Meijer, has over 200 locations throughout the MidwEstimated With an estimated net worth of $7.0 billion each, the Meijer brothers beat out other wealthy Michiganians such as Quicken Loans founder Daniel Gilbert and Little Caesars co-founder Marian Ilitch for the title of wealthiest person in the state.
Minnesota: Glen Taylor
• Estimated net worth: $2.8 billion
• Resides: Mankato
Glen Taylor made his fortune by founding Taylor Corp., a printing services company. Though he no longer serves as CEO, he is still chairman. Taylor has purchased ownership stakes in several Minnesota sports teams, including the NBA’s Timberwolves and the new MLS franchise Minnesota United.
Mississippi: James and Thomas Duff
• Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
• Resides: Hattiesburg
Brothers James and Thomas Duff inherited their father’s business, Southern Tire Mart, in 1983. They have since turned the business into the largest truck tire distributor in the nation, becoming billionaires in the process and the richest people in Mississippi. The brothers have since diversified their interests and now own 18 businesses, including holding company Duff Capital Investors.
Missouri: Stanley Kroenke
• Estimated net worth: $8.8 billion
• Resides: Columbia
As a real estate developer and the husband of Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke, Stan Kroenke has been able to amass a large fortune from developing the plazas near surrounding many Walmart stores. Kroenke also owns a number of professional sports teams, including the Los Angeles Rams and Arsenal Football Club. With an estimated net worth of $8.8 billion, Kroenke beats out other wealthy Missourians such as Cargill heiress Pauline MacMillan Keinath and Bass Pro Shops founder John Morris as the state’s richest resident.
Montana: Dennis Washington
• Estimated net worth: $6.0 billion
• Resides: Missoula
With an estimated net worth of $6.0 billion, Dennis Washington is the wealthiest person in Montana. Through Washington Companies, a company owned and started by Washington, he owns a diversified group of businesses that span several industries such as shipping, rail transport, and diamond mining. Despite living in landlocked Montana, Washington owns four boats and once spent an estimated $250 million on renovations for his yacht Attessa IV.
Nebraska: Warren Buffett
• Estimated net worth: $88.1 billion
• Resides: Omaha
One of the most successful investors in history, Warren Buffett is worth an estimated $88.1 billion. The Oracle of Omaha is not only the wealthiest person in Nebraska, but also the third richest person in America. Buffett is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate that wholly owns more than 60 companies, including Geico, Duracell, and Kraft Heinz. Buffett was born in Omaha in 1930 and has lived there with his family continuously since 1956.
Nevada: Sheldon Adelson
• Estimated net worth: $36.4 billion
• Resides: Las Vegas
With an estimated net worth of $36.4 billion, Sheldon Adelson is the wealthiest person in Nevada and one of the 20 wealthiest people in America. Adelson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, one of the largest casino and resort companies in the world. Adelson is a major political donor, contributing more than $123 million to conservative politicians in the 2018 election cycle, more than any other U.S. citizen.
New Hampshire: Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli
• Estimated net worth: $1.1 billion
• Resides: Hanover
Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli is a descendant of Ludwig Reimann, who in 1828 joined Johann Adam Benckiser as a partner in his chemical company. Now known as JAB Holding Company, the family business has since expanded into consumer goods and today owns such major brands as Coty, Keurig, and Panera Bread. Two decades after inheriting an 11.1 percent stake in the company, Reimann-Ciardelli sold her JAB stake for approximately $1 billion in 2003.
New Jersey: John Overdeck
• Estimated net worth: $6.1 billion
• Resides: Millburn
Hedge fund manager John Overdeck is the richest person in New Jersey with a net worth of more than $6 billion. Overdeck founded Two Sigma Investments, a fund that manages more than $54 billion. The firm largely focuses on securities prices.
New Mexico: Mack C. Chase
• Estimated net worth: $700 million
• Resides: Artesia
Mack C. Chase is an oil and gas tycoon based in Artesia, New Mexico. Chase began working in the oil industry at age 14 in 1945, and started his own oil drilling business in 1968. While the Mack Energy Corporation has since expanded its operations to Texas and other parts of New Mexico, the company’s headquarters remain in Artesia, where Chase grew up. Through the Chase Foundation, Chase has donated millions to Artesia’s schools, students, athletic fields, health care facilities, and downtown area. Chase’s contributions to the town are memorialized in a bronze statue of the multi-millionaire at the intersection of 6th and W Main St. in downtown Artesia.
New York: Michael Bloomberg
• Estimated net worth: $55.4 billion
• Resides: New York
New York is home to dozens of billionaires, including nine with at least $10 billion in net worth, and at the top of this group is investor, media mogul, and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 1981, Bloomberg started his investing media company, which also provides trading terminals to businesses and investors. Bloomberg was able to leverage his fame and wealth in the New York area to win a bid for city mayor in 2002, and he served for three terms.
North Carolina: James Goodnight
• Estimated net worth: $9.3 billion
• Resides: Cary
With an estimated net worth of $9.3 billion, James Goodnight is the wealthiest person in North Carolina and one of the 100 wealthiest people in America. Like many in the Research Triangle area, Goodnight made his fortune in the software industry. Goodnight founded analytics software firm SAS with a fellow NC State University faculty member in 1976. The company has since grown from $138,000 in annual revenue to $3.2 billion. SAS has more than 14,000 employees worldwide, and is currently the largest employer in Cary, accounting for about 6 percent of the town’s total workforce.
North Dakota: Gary Tharaldson
• Estimated net worth: $900 million
• Resides: Fargo
North Dakota is home to no billionaires, but Gary Tharaldson, the Fargo-based builder and operator of hundreds of hotels across the country through Tharaldson Companies, is the closest to a 10-figure net worth of anyone in the state. Tharaldsen, now 73, continues to work at his company’s offices in Fargo.
Ohio: Les Wexner & family
• Estimated net worth: $4.7 billion
• Resides: New Albany
Les Wexner is the founder and CEO of L Brands, a fashion retailer whose flagship brands include Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Wexner opened his first clothing store in the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington in 1963, making $473 in sales on opening day. Today L Brands sells $12.6 billion in retail goods across over 3,000 stores around the world a year. As a philanthropist, Wexner has donated millions to Ohio State University, the area’s Jewish community through the Wexner Foundation, and various other Ohio non-profits.
Oklahoma: Harold Hamm & family
• Estimated net worth: $12.6 billion
• Resides: Oklahoma City
LIke a majority of billionaires in Oklahoma, Harold Hamm made his fortune in the oil and gas industry. After going to work in the oil fields as a young man, Hamm founded Continental Resources at the age of 21. Recently, Hamm and his company spearheaded the development of the Bakken oil formation, leading to the North Dakota oil boom and the creation of millions of energy jobs. While Hamm’s wealth fluctuates with the price of oil, his current net worth is estimated at $12.6 billion, the most of any person in Oklahoma.
Oregon: Phil Knight & family
• Estimated net worth: $34.6 billion
• Resides: Hillsboro
Oregon’s Phil Knight is the state’s wealthiest resident, and has left a permanent mark on his home state. Knight, who ran track at the University of Oregon, eventually founded, with his former coach, the company that would become footwear behemoth Nike. Today Nike is one of the largest employers in Oregon. Knight is also one of the state’s biggest philanthropists, having given more than $1.5 billion to the University of Oregon and Oregon Health & Science University. Knight’s net worth is estimated at nearly $35 billion, nearly 14 times the net worth of the state’s next wealthiest resident, Columbia Sportswear CEO Timothy Boyle.
Pennsylvania: Victoria Mars
• Estimated net worth: $6 billion
• Resides: Philadelphia
Victoria Mars inherited in 2016 an estimated 8 percent stake in the Mars Inc. company founded by her great-grandfather more than a century earlier. The candy company, which now owns several other food and pet food brands, has an estimated $35 billion in sales annually. Victoria is not the only heiress of the Mars fortune to rank on this list.
Rhode Island: Jonathan Nelson
• Estimated net worth: $1.8 billion
• Resides: Providence
Providence, Rhode Island resident Jonathan Nelson is the founder and CEO of Providence Equity. The company owns stakes in over 160 companies, including part of the Spanish-language channel Univision.
South Carolina: Anita Zucker
• Estimated net worth: $2.6 billion
• Resides: Charleston
Anita Zucker is CEO and chairwoman of the Charleston-based InterTech Group, a family-owned chemical manufacturing company. Zucker took over the position after her husband Jerry Zucker, who founded InterTech Group, passed away in 2008. In addition to her work, Zucker is also a noted philanthropist, giving millions of dollars to various educational causes throughout her home state of South Carolina.
South Dakota: T. Denny Sanford
• Estimated net worth: $2.6 billion
• Resides: Sioux Falls
T. Denny Sanford made much of his fortune with First Premier Bank, which offers credit cards to customers who may be too high of a risk for other banks. The bank was later acquired by United National Corporation and Sanford is now its CEO. Sanford has committed much of his immense wealth to improving the lives of children in and around South Dakota. He has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to children’s hospitals and medical schools in the MidwEstimated
Tennessee: Thomas Frist, Jr. & family
• Estimated net worth: $12.7 billion
• Resides: Nashville
Thomas Frist, Jr. founded Hospital Corporation of America with his father, Thomas Frist, Sr. in 1968. Today, the company owns dozens of hospitals in the United States and the UK. HCA has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements in the past few years. The company paid shareholders $215 million in 2011 because it failed to disclose before going public in 2011 that its hospitals performed unnecessary surgery. It will also pay a Kansas City foundation $188 million for breach of contract.
Texas: Alice Walton
• Estimated net worth: $45.6 billion
• Resides: Fort Worth
The daughter of the late Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, Alice Walton is the wealthiest person in Texas and the 12th wealthiest person in America. Unlike her brothers Rob and Jim, who reside in Arkansas near the company’s headquarters, Alice Walton has not served on Walmart’s board or executive team. Walton opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in her hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011, and the value of her personal art collection is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Utah: Gail Miller
• Estimated net worth: $1.4 billion
• Resides: Salt Lake City
Gail Miller is the head of the Larry H. Miller Group, which she started with her late husband, Larry. The group owns a wide variety of companies, including car dealerships and theater complexes. Also, Miller is the long-time owner of the state’s only big sports franchise, the NBA’s Utah Jazz. Miller recently placed ownership of the Jazz in the hands of a trust, to make sure the team remains in-state for the foreseeable future, but she and her family will continue to oversee operations.
Vermont: John Abele
• Estimated net worth: $630 million
• Resides: Shelburne
Though John Abele is retired, he still has a small stake in Boston Scientific, a medical device company he co-founded in 1979. Abele was once a billionaire, but he donated much of his wealth, leaving him with $630 million. Abele and his family have provided more than $100 million worth of grants to nonprofit organizations.
Virginia: Jacqueline Mars
• Estimated net worth: $24.2 billion
• Resides: The Plains
Jacqueline Mars, heiress to the candy company Mars, Inc. fortune, is not just the richest person in Virginia, but also one of the wealthiest people in the world. Mars, her brother John, and the heirs of her late brother Forrest Jr. own one-third of Mars, Inc. each. While none of the siblings are involved with the company today, Virginia was involved in its operations until 2016. She is worth an estimated $24.2 billion
Washington: Jeff Bezos
• Estimated net worth: $135.2 billion
• Resides: Seattle
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of e-commerce juggernaut Amazon, passed Bill Gates late last year as the wealthiest man in the world. Bezos’ empire continues to expand into new businesses. In August 2017 Amazon bought supermarket chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. With a current net worth of nearly $135.2 billion, which came relatively quickly for the Seattle entrepreneur, some are estimating Bezos could become the world’s first trillionaire.
West Virginia: Jim Justice II
• Estimated net worth: $1.5 billion
• Resides: Lewisburg
West Virginia is the largest producer of coal east of the Mississippi River and the second largest in the country. Not surprisingly, the state’s wealthiest resident, Jim Justice II, owes his fortune to coal. He inherited a coal business from his father. In 2016, Justice was elected state governor.
Wisconsin: John Menard, Jr.
• Estimated net worth: $10.9 billion
• Resides: Eau Claire
John Menard, Jr. derives his fortune from the Midwestern home improvement store bearing his name, Menard’s. Menard turned down a job from IBM in 1963 to strike out on his own. The next year, he opened his first store. Menard’s business has been the subject of controversy, including assault accusations from the wife of a longtime business associate. His former legal counsel also won a $1.7 million judgement for unpaid past wages.
Wyoming: John Mars
• Estimated net worth: $24.0 billion
• Resides: Jackson
John Mars and his two siblings inherited their vast fortune in 1999, when their father Forrest Mars Sr. died. Mars, Inc. makes some of the world’s most recognizable candies, including M&Ms, Snickers, and Twix. The company was founded by Frank Mars, who started selling candy out of his kitchen in 1911.
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