374. Eric Smidt
$2.1 billion Self-made Score: ( Source: hardware stores age: 57 residence: beverly hills, calif. high School diploma
At age 9, his dad shipped him off first to an orphanage and then to live with an aunt. At 16, he was living on his own, and by 17, he was working at his dad’s Harbor Freight Salvage, which sold things like tape, extension cords and hand tools. In 1985, when he became company president, Harbor Freight had $65 million in sales; in 1999, it had climbed to $360 million, and he bought out his dad’s stake. The rocky relationship between father and son did not end there: Eric was sued by his father in 2010 over management decisions and accused by him of using company money to buy an estate in Beverly Hills, among other things. Smidt reportedly denied the allegations. The case was settled in 2011.