248. Min Kao & family
$3.1 billion self-made score: * source: navigation equipment age: 68 residence: leawood, Kans.
Ph.d., u. of Tennessee–knoxville ’77 Kao cofounded GPS maker Garmin with Gary Burrell (a former billionaire) in 1989, after the duo led the development of the first GPS navigator at Alliedsignal. Kao stepped down as CEO in 2012 but remains executive chairman. He came to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1970s and received a master’s and a PH.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee.