161. Igor Olenicoff
Olenicoff, who immigrated from Russia at 15, attended community college before qualifying for a government grant to pay for his studies at USC—ON the condition he either work in government or teach after graduation. He satisfied the requirements by teaching evening courses at Valley College (now called Los Angeles Valley College) in business math for 4 years while working at Shell Oil and taking M.B.A. classes. Today Olenicoff owns more than 8 million square feet of office space and 12,000 residential units across 5 states through his Olen Properties, based in California.