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The 10 richest Americans

It is a known fact that there are more dollar millionaires in America than anywhere else in the world, but exactly who are the top ten richest Americans?

You’ll probably heard of number one — as he’s also the richest person in the world — but have you heard of all of the others?

And there’s one family that dominates the list, filling places six, seven, eight and nine.

While another family take up two places. Check out the list below based on figures by Forbes to see who the richest Americans are today, along with their net worth.

10 Michael Bloomberg ($31 billion)

Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York for 12 years. Pic credit: Boss Tweed CC BY 2.0
Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York for 12 years. Pic credit: Boss Tweed CC BY 2.0

Former New York City Mayor Michael Rubens Bloomberg held office for three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2013. He founded Bloomberg LP, the financial data and media company which he formed in 1981 and it has gone from strength to strength.

Originally a Democrat, Bloomberg switched to a Republican ticket to run for Mayor in 2001. Born in Boston on February 14, 1942, to a Jewish family, his paternal grandfather emigrated to America from Russia and his maternal grandfather emigrated from Belarus.

9 S. Robson Walton ($33.3 billion)

S Robson Walton is the first of four Waltons on this list. Pic credit: Walmart CC BY 2.0
S Robson Walton is the first of four Waltons on this list. Pic credit: Walmart CC BY 2.0

The Walton Family are the richest family in the world — and they were born rich, as they are all descended from brothers Bud and Sam Walton, founders of store giant Walmart. Samuel Robson Walton is the eldest son of Sam Walton having been born on October 28, 1944. When he graduated from High School he went to Tulsa in Oklahoma to work for Connor and Winters, the law firm that represented Walmart.

In 1978 he left Tulsa to become Senior Vice President of the family company and was appointed Vice Chairman in 1982. Two days after his father died, Sam Jnr was named as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also owns a $500million stake in Hyatt Hotels. Sam has been married and divorced twice and has three children from his first marriage.

8 Alice Walton ($33.5 billion)

Alice Walton. Pic credit: Walmart under CC license (cropped)
Alice Walton. Pic credit: Walmart under CC license (cropped)

The sister of Jim Walton, below, Alice Louise has known Bill and Hilary Clinton since they lived in the State House in Arkansas and she recently formed a political committee to raise funds for Hilary Clinton’s potential Presidential Campaign in 2016. But Alice’s real passion is art and her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art includes works by some of the finest artists in the world including Andy Warhol. She donated a lot of her own private collection worth millions to the museum. Alice is the biggest philanthropist in the Walton family.

7 Jim Walton ($33.8 billion)

Christy’s brother-in-law Jim is Sam’s youngest son and when his brother John died, Jim replaced him on the Board of Directors at Walmart. He is also Chief Executive Officer of the family owned Arvest Bank. After he graduated from high school Jim played football at state level and he also learned to fly a plane.

He went to work at Walmart in 1972 to look after their real estate but left after four years to become President of the family-owned Walton Enterprises. Jim and his wife Lynne have ensured the Walton dynasty will never die out as they have four children.

6 Christy Walton and Family ($35.4 billion)

Christy married into the family, as she is the widow of Sam’s son John. When he died in June 2005, she inherited $18.2 billion. She is known to be a great philanthropist and donates a percentage of her wealth to various non-profit making organizations. She also donated her old Victorian home to the International Community Foundation. Christy supports The Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, which concentrates on education and benefits the University of Arkansas and other colleges. She also funded the production of the film Bless Me, Ultima, which was released in February 2013 (see an interview with Christy about the film above).

4 Charles Koch (joint on $36 billion)

There was never any doubt that Charles de Ganahl Koch was going to become a billionaire as he and his brother David inherited the second largest private company in America, Koch Industries, from their Dutch immigrant father. The brothers have expanded it massively since taking it over in 1967. Charles is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive and David, who owns 42 per cent of the company, is Executive Vice President.

In 2007 Charles’ book “The Science of Success” about his management philosophy was published and became an immediate success. He is a libertarian and most admired Presidents George Washington, Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge. He dislikes being in the public eye and lives quietly with his wife of thirty-eight years Liz.

4 David Koch (joint on $36 billion)

Charles’s younger brother is Executive Vice President of Koch Industries and he is also a major patron of the arts. He has contributed to several charities including the Lincoln Center and the American Museum of Natural History’s David H.Koch Dinosaur Wing. The New York State Theater at the Lincoln Center, home to the New York City Ballet, was renamed the David. H.Koch Theater after he donated $100 million for its refurbishment.

He survived the 1991 air crash involving USAir flight 1493 which collided with another plane upon landing in Los Angeles LAX. Like his brother, David was a Libertarian and he ran for Vice President on a libertarian ticket in the 1980 Presidential Election against Carter-Mondale and Regan-Bush but he is now a Republican.

3 Larry Ellison ($41 billion)

Larry Ellison is the head of technology giant Oracle. Pic credit: Oracle PR under CC license
Larry Ellison is the head of technology giant Oracle. Pic credit: Oracle PR under CC license

Lawrence Joseph Ellison was born to an unmarried Jewish mother in Lower Eastside, New York City. When he caught pneumonia at the age of nine months old she gave him to her aunt and uncle to adopt and he did not meet his birth mother until he was forty-eight. He is best known for co-founding the software company Oracle of which he is Chief Executive.

He has been married and divorced four times and has a girl and a boy born to his third wife. That made him determined to become wealthy and he never looked back after founding Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977 with two partners.

2 Warren Buffett ($58.5 billion)

This jovial 83 year-old widower from Omaha is a self-made billionaire who is known as the most successful investor of the twentieth century. This has earned the son of US Congressman Howard Buffett the nickname the Sage of Omaha.

He started making money as a child selling chewing gum, coca-cola and magazines door to door and when he was at high school he and a friend spent $25 on a second-hand pinball machine and put it in a local barber’s shop. Within weeks they owned several more, placed in a selection of barber’s shops, and the rest is history. Buffett always gives the same advice to would-be investors: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

1 Bill Gates ($72 billion)

Bill Gates is the richest person in the world. Pic credit: OnInnovation under CC license
Bill Gates is the richest person in the world. Pic credit: OnInnovation under CC license

William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle on October 28, 1955. He is well known for co-founding Microsoft with his old schoolfriend Paul Allen. As of April 2014, Bill is the wealthiest man in the world.

He always had the right pedigree to become rich, as his maternal grandfather J.W. Maxwell was President of a National Bank, his father William Henry Gates senior was a prominent lawyer and his mother served on the board of the first Interstate BancSystem. His destiny was always computers as he wrote his first program when he was at preparatory school.

What would you do with all that money? Let us know in the comments below!

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