NEW YORK--(The Richest People In America,” p.129) with $66 billion, up $7 billion from 2011, followed by Warren Buffett (No. 2) with $46 billion, also up $7 billion from last year, and Larry Ellison (No. 3) with $41 billion, up $8 billion – and the biggest dollar gainer this year. George Soros (No. 15) and Sheldon Adelson (No. 12) dropped out of the Top 10 this year while Michael Bloomberg (No. 10) is back in with $25 billion, up $5.5 billion.)--Bill Gates (No. 1) retains his top spot on Forbes’ 2012 ranking of the richest people in America (“
The combined wealth of America’s richest is $1.7 trillion, up from $1.5 trillion in 2011, in due part to the rising stock market, a rebound in real estate values - especially in cities like Los Angeles and New York, and rising values for art works. The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is a staggering $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion last year, and the highest in at least a decade, as two-thirds of the individuals added to their fortunes in the past year. Net worth increased for 241 members, and decreased for 66 members. Cost of admission to the 2012 list is $1.1 billion, up from $1.05 billion a year ago.
Twenty newcomers climbed into the ranks, including four immigrants and four hedge fund tycoons (The new Class of 2012, gatefold). Among them are: Pakistan-born Shahid Khan (No. 179), owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars; Judy Faulkner (No. 285), founder of health records firm Epic Systems; Andrew & Peggy Cherng (No. 239) of Panda Express; and Jack Dorsey (No. 392), creator and cofounder of Twitter.
Inspired by the 30th anniversary of the Forbes 400 issue, Forbes aimed to actually bring the 400 people together in person to help try to solve the world’s most intractable problems. The first ever “Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy” was held in New York in June – an unprecedented gathering of wealth and international philanthropy, featuring 161 billionaires or near-billionaires – with keynote speakers that included Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey. That effort was reflected in the magazine. Twelve of the attendees – some of the world’s greatest philanthropists – are featured on the cover: representing a staggering $126 billion in combined net worth.
In addition, the issue features key philanthropists in the Education, Health, Religion, Poverty, Environment and International categories, including: Oprah Winfrey’s (No. 151) commitment to her South African school (p. 58); Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen (No. 20) about the Allen Institute for Brain Science (p. 72); hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon’s (No. 347) conservation initiatives (p. 84); ways Jeffrey Skoll (No. 120) is tackling poverty (p. 109); the religious causes David Green (No. 79) supports (p. 117), and Duty Free Shoppers founder Chuck Feeney, who has secretly given away his fortune (p. 99).
The biggest flameouts were the social media moguls, who lost a combined $11 billion in one year. The year’s biggest dollar loser: Mark Zuckerberg (No. 36) down $8.1 billion to net worth of $9.4 billion. Other notable dropouts include: Groupon’s Eric Lefkofsky, Zynga’s Mark Pincus and Facebook’s venture capitalist Jim Breyer. Faces to watch include Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal, Ryan Seacrest of Ryan Seacrest Productions and Kevin Systrom of Instagram. The Top 10:
|SOURCE||$ CHANGE FROM 2011|
|1||Bill Gates||$66 billion||Microsoft||+ $7 billion|
|2||Warren Buffett||$46 billion||Berkshire Hathaway||+ $7 billion|
|3||Larry Ellison||$41 billion||Oracle||+ $8 billion|
|4||Charles Koch||$31 billion||Diversified||+ $6 billion|
|4||David Koch||$31 billion||Diversified||+ $6 billion|
|6||Christy Walton & family||$27.9 billion||Wal-Mart||+ $3.4 billion|
|7||Jim Walton||$26.8 billion||Wal-Mart||+ $5.7 billion|
|8||Alice Walton||$26.3 billion||Wal-Mart||+ $5.4 billion|
|9||S. Robson Walton||$26.1 billion||Wal-Mart||+ $5.6 billion|
|10||Michael Bloomberg||$25 billion||Bloomberg LP||+ $5.5 billion|
2012 FORBES 400 HIGHLIGHTS:
- The $126 billion cover features the Titans of Philanthropy.
- Cost of admission: $1.1 billion versus $1.05 billion in 2011.
- Total combined net worth of the 400 club: $1.7 trillion, up from $1.5 trillion in 2011.
- Stock prices were measured from August 26, 2011 through August 24, 2012.
- 70% of the Forbes 400 members made their fortunes entirely from scratch.
- The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is a staggering $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion in 2011.
- There are 20 newcomers to the list, plus 12 returnees and 25 drop-offs (another 7 passed away).
- Biggest dollar gainer: Larry Ellison (No. 3) up $8 billion to a net worth of $41 billion.
- Biggest dollar loser: Mark Zuckerberg (No. 36) down $8.1 billion to a net worth of $9.4 billion.
- Net worth increased for 241 members, net worth decreased for 66 members.
- There are 45 women on the list, versus 42 women in 2011.
- The oldest is David Rockefeller Sr. (No. 151), age 97.
- The youngest is Dustin Moskovitz (No. 151), age 28.
- California boasts the most Forbes 400 members, with 87, followed by New York (67), Texas (46), Florida (32) and Illinois (13).
- Top cities where members live: New York (53), San Francisco (18), Dallas (16), Los Angeles (13) and Houston (12)
Top Five Industries:
- Finance & Investments (100): Richest is Warren Buffett (No.2) with $46 billion
- Technology (47 people): Richest in tech - Bill Gates (No. 1) with a $66 billion net worth
- Media (35 people): Richest in media – Michael Bloomberg (No. 10) with a $25 billion net worth
- Energy (34 people): Richest in Energy – George Kaiser (No. 33) with $10 billion
- Food and Beverage (30 people): Richest in food/beverage – Forrest Mars Jr., Jacqueline Mars, John Mars –each ranked at No. 16 with a $17 billion fortune each
For the complete Forbes 400 on Forbes.com, visit: