The Richest Person by State
And How They Got There
Who is the richest person in every state? From sea to shining sea, the United States is full of extremely wealthy billionaires. We’ve created a list of the richest people in each state of the US, along with how they made their money, including whether they had inherited family wealth or were self-made businesspeople.
The Richest Person in Each State and How They Got There
|State||Rank||Name||Notable Achievement||Net Worth||Industry||How They Made Their Fortune|
|Alabama||48||Jimmy Rane||Founder, president and CEO of Great Northern Wood||$700M||Lumber||Self-Made|
|Alaska||50||Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini||President of JL Properties, Chairman and CEO of JL Properties||$340M (each)||Real Estate||Self-Made|
|Arizona||27||Bruce Halle||Founder and chairman of Discount Tire||$6B||Automotive||Self-Made|
|Arkansas||6||Jim Walton||Son of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart||$38.5B||Retail||Inherited|
|California||3||Mark Zuckerberg||Co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Facebook||$62.4B||Internet||Self-Made|
|Colorado||12||Charles Ergen||Co-founder and chairman of Dish Network||$18.8B||Television||Self-Made|
|Connecticut||13||Ray Dalio||Founder of Bridgewater Associates||$16.8B||Hedge Funds||Self-Made|
|Delaware||46||Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder||Chairman of the Board at W.L. Gore & Associates, inventor of Gore-Tex, and son of Wilbur and Genevieve Gore, founders of W.L. Gore and Associates, Daughter of Wilbur and Genevieve Gore, founders of W.L. Gore and Associates||$720M (each)||Manufacturing||Inherited and Growing|
|Florida||15||Thomas Peterffy||Founder, chairman, and CEO of Interactive Brokers||$13.2B||Financial services||Self-Made|
|Georgia||16||Jim Kennedy||Chair at Cox Enterprises and grandson of James M. Cox, founder of Cox Enterprises||$12.6B||Media||Inherited and Growing|
|Hawaii||21||Pierre Omidyar||Founder of eBay||$8.9B||Internet||Self-Made|
|Idaho||39||Frank Vandersloot||Founder and CEO of Melaleuca||$1.9B||Health and Wellness||Self-Made|
|Illinois||23||Ken Griffin||Founder and chief executive of Citadel||$8B||Hedge Funds||Self-Made|
|Indiana||23(24?)||Carl Cook||CEO of Cook Grop and Son of William and Gayle Cook, founders of Cook Group||$8B||Health Care||Inherited|
|Iowa||33||Harry Stine||Founder and owner of Stine Seed||$3.3B||Agriculture||Self-Made|
|Kansas||5||Charles Koch||Co-owner, chairman of the board, and CEO of Koch Industries and son of Fred C. Koch, founder of Koch Industries||$47.5B||Conglomerate||Inherited and Growing|
|Kentucky||35||B. Wayne Hughes||Founder and chairman of Public Storage||$2.7B||Self Storage||Self-Made|
|Louisiana||36||Tom Benson||Owner of the New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, and multiple New Orleans area automotive dealerships||$2.6B||Automotive and Sports||Self-Made|
|Maine||41||Susan Alfond||Daughter of Harry Alfond, founder of Dexter Shoe Company||$1.4B||Footwear||Inherited|
|Maryland||30||Ted Lerner||Founder of Lerner Enterprises and Owner of the Washington Nationals||$5.8B||Real Estate||Self-Made|
|Massachusetts||14||Abigail Johnson||President and CEO of Fidelity Investments, chairwoman of Fidelity International, and granddaughter of Edward C. Johnson II, founder of Fidelity||$14.9B||Financial Services||Inherited and Growing|
|Michigan||28 (27?)||Dan Gilbert||Founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans and owner of Cleveland Cavaliers||$5.9B||Mortgage Lending and Real Estate||Self-Made|
|Minnesota||31||Whitney MacMillan||Former Chairman of the board and CEO of Cargill and great-grandson of William W. Cargill, founder of Cargill||$5.4B||Trading||Inherited|
|Mississippi||45||Leslie Lampton||Founder of Ergon||$760M||Oil, Chemicals, and Manufacturing||Self-Made|
|Missouri||25||Stanley Kroenke||Owner of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, and various professional sports teams including the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Avalanche||$7.5B||Sports, Real Estate||Self-Made|
|Montana||28||Dennis Washington||Owner of Washington Group International and Seaspan Marine Corporation||$5.9B||Construction, Mining||Self-Made|
|Nebraska||2||Warren Buffett||Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway||$76.2B||Conglomerate||Self-Made|
|Nevada||8||Sheldon Adelson||Founder, chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation||$35.6B||Hospitality and Tourism||Self-Made|
|New Hampshire||43||Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli||Great-great-granddaugher of Johann Adam Benckiser, founder of JAB Holding Company||$1.1B||Consumer Goods||Inherited|
|New Jersey||17||Donald Newhouse||Co-owner and president of Advance Publications and son of Samuel I. Newhouse Sr., founder of Advance Publications||$12B||Media||Inherited and Growing|
|New Mexico||47||Mack C. Chase||Various oil and natural gas operations||$700M||Oil and Natural Gas||Self-Made|
|New York||4||Michael Bloomberg||Founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg LP||$50.7B||Financial Services and Technology||Self-Made|
|North Carolina||20||James Goodnight||Co-founder and CEO of SAS Institute||$10.1B||Software||Self-Made|
|North Dakota||44||Gary Tharaldson||Founder of Theraldson Companies||$900M||Hospitality and Real Estate||Self-Made|
|Ohio||26||Les Wexner||Chairman and CEO of L Brands||$6.2B||Retail||Self-Made|
|Oklahoma||19||Harold Hamm||CEO fo Continental Resources||$10.2B||Oil and Gas||Self-Made|
|Oregon||11||Phil Knight||Co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike||$25.1B||Apparel and Sports||Self-Made|
|Pennsylvania||32||Mary Alice Dorrance Malone||Board member of Campbell Soup Company and granddaughter of John Thompson Dorrance, former president of Campbell Soup Company||$3.8B||Food Processing||Inherited|
|Rhode Island||38||Jonathan Nelson||Founder of Providence Equity Partners||$2B||Private Equity||Self-Made|
|South Carolina||34||Anita Zucker||Chairwoman and CEO at Hudson’s Bay Company and Wife of the late Jerry Zucker, former chairman and CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company||$3B||Retail||Inherited and Growing|
|South Dakota||37||T. Denny Sanford||Chairman and CEO of United National Corporation||$2.1B||Banking||Self-Made|
|Tennessee||22||Thomas Frist Jr.||Co-founder of the Hospital Corporation of America||$8.8B||Health Care||Self-Made|
|Texas||7||Alice Walton||Daughter of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart||$38.2B||Wal-Mart||Inherited|
|Utah||42||Gail Miller||Owner of the Utah Jazz and multiple automotive dealerships||$1.2B||Automotive and Sports||Self-Made|
|Vermont||49||John Abele||Co-founder and Director of Boston Scientific||$625M||Health Care||Self-Made|
|Virginia||9||Jacqueline Mars||Granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founder of Mars, Incorporated||$27.6B||Food processing||Inherited|
|Washington||1||Bill Gates||Co-founder of Microsoft||$88.9B||Software and Technology||Self-Made|
|West Virginia||40||Jim Justice II||Governor of West Virginia, Owner and/or CEO of over 50 companies including The Greenbrier luxury resort||$1.6M||Coal, Agriculture, and Hospitality||Inherited and Growing|
|Wisconsin||18||John Menard Jr.||Founder and owner of Menards||$10.9B||Home Improvement||Self-Made|
|Wyoming||9||John Mars||Grandson of Frank C. Mars, founder of Mars, Incorporated||$27.6B||Food processing||Inherited|
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth tops at 88.9 billion dollars, though Warren Buffet gives him a run for his money at 76.2 billion dollars. Luckily for us, the famous, tech-savvy guru happens to be a philanthropist, with his massive Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation having an endowment of more than 44 billion dollars. Warren Buffet has given away more than $27 billion to charities over ten years. Gates, Buffet, and Zuckerberg who has 62.4 billion dollars due mostly to his online property Facebook have a kind of wealth that’s almost unimaginable, but what about the list of billionaires in the United States that aren’t as famous?
It’s important to keep in mind that there is a huge variety of wealth in each state. Leonard Hyde ties with Jonathan Rubini for the richest person in Alaska. But their wealth is only at 340 million dollars. That’s about 2.6 percent of the net worth of Bill Gates. Remembering that the richest person per state may have anywhere between a few hundred million to almost a trillion dollars, one realizes that the distribution of wealth in this country is a bit strange.
Out of our list of US billionaires by state there’s a quite a few you may have never heard of.
Sheldon Adelson of Nevada, for instance, is certainly less famous than the son of the founder of Wall-Mart, Jim Walton, even though their net worth is roughly the same amount at 35.6 billion and 38.5 billion respectively. But one’s family is subject to numerous conspiracy theories, and the other was the largest donor of any party in the recent 2016 presidential campaign. Have fun figuring out which is which!
Often the richest person in every state is associated with a famous company, like Mary Alice Dorrance Malone Pennsylvania, who is a board member of Campbell Soup Company, or their name itself has become commonly known, like Michael Bloomberg New York, who owns Bloomberg LP and also served as mayor of New York City. Then, there are people like Ken Griffin Illinois and Ray Dalio Connecticut who fly under the radar because they’ve made most of their money with hedge funds or lesser-known companies. Important companies like Stine Seed, owned by Harry Stine, touch almost every part of American life without most Americans knowing about it, as it’s the largest independent seed company in the US and vital to both agriculture and the food industry.
If it’s not already clear, the richest person in each state might go completely unknown by the people of their state, either because they don’t rank among the richest people in the United States or the world. Many of the richest people in the United States are not the richest person by state, as they live in states like California where much of the wealth of the country congregates. Birds of a feather flock together, as they say.
Nevertheless, after asking yourself, “Who are the richest people in the United States?” you may realize one of them lives very close by!
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