302. Frank Vandersloot
$2.7 billion ) self-made score: source: Wellness Products age: 69 residence: idaho falls, id B.s., Brigham young ’72 Vandersloot started saving for college at age 12, when he took over his family’s small farm while his father worked as a railroad laborer. His dad, whose schooling stopped at the 3rd grade, believed he was never promoted because of his lack of education. So he sat his son down and stressed its importance. “He explained that he would not have the money to send me, so I needed to start saving,” says Vandersloot. He sold excess cream not used by the family for $2.50 per week and did odd jobs on nearby farms to pay for 5 semesters. Once at BYU, he found work cleaning a laundromat, where he lived in a small room with a hot plate and twin bed. “My biggest problem was the mice that kept getting into my food,” he says. After graduation, he went to work for ADP and Cox Communications before launching Melaleuca in 1985. The “wellness company” makes more than 450 products, including health supplements and eco-friendly household cleaners.