156. Russ Weiner
The son of rightwing talkradio star Michael Savage, Weiner unsuccessfully ran for the California State Assembly in 1998, then went to work for his father’s friend Maurice Kanbar, the Skyy Vodka founder. When Kanbar rejected his idea for an energy drink, Weiner used a $50,000 mortgage on his condo in Sausalito, California, to launch Rockstar in 2001, driving around San Francisco in an old limo painted with the Rockstar logo to promote the brand. Today the energy drink served up in a tallboy pulls in an estimated $725 million in sales but is a distant competitor to rivals Monster and Red Bull.