28. Don­ald Bren


The coun­try’s rich­est real es­tate ty­coon is hop­ing to woo Ama­zon to build its sec­ond head­quar­ters in Irvine, Cal­i­for­nia, de­spite long odds. Through his com­pany Irvine Co., Bren al­ready sits on 120 mil­lion square feet of real es­tate, mostly in coastal Cal­i­for­nia. He stud­ied busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion and eco­nom­ics at the Univer­sity of Washington on a ski­ing schol­ar­ship. An an­kle in­jury, how­ever, side­lined him from try­ing out for the 1956 Olympics. The Cal­i­for­nia na­tive has do­nated more than $220 mil­lion to Cal­i­for­nia schools and uni­ver­si­ties.

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