The Richest Person by State

And How They Got There

Written by Carly Hallman

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.

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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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