The Forbes 400
The rich don’t always get richer. As a group, the 400 wealthiest Americans are now worth $4 trillion—$500 billion less than last year. The minimum net worth to make The Forbes 400 dropped for the rst time since the Great Recession, down $200 million to
$2.7 billion amid the market sello. No one has been hit harder than tech billionaires, who have lost a combined
$315 billion. Still, it was a great year to be an oil-andgas tycoon, a sports mogul or Elon Musk.
THE RICH DON’T ALWAYS GET RICHER. As a group, the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth $4 trillion—$500 billion less than last year. The minimum net worth to make The Forbes 400 dropped for the first time since the Great Recession, down $200 million to $2.7 billion amid the market selloff. No one has been hit harder than tech billionaires, who have lost a combined $315 billion. Still, it was a great year to be an oil-and-gas tycoon, a sports mogul or Elon Musk. And 42 people joined or rejoined the ranks, spanning ages 29 to 90.
1. ELON MUSK
$251 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Tesla, SpaceX AGE: 51 • RESIDENCE: Austin, TX PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Musk tops The Forbes 400 for the rst time thanks to a fresh round of funding for his private rocket business, SpaceX, valuing it at $127 billion, and an 11% climb in the value of Tesla stock. That’s despite a 20% drop in the electric carmaker’s shares since Musk announced his $44 billion takeover of Twitter in April, which he’s been ghting to void. Last November, the same month he became the rst person worth $300 billion, he secretly fathered twins with an executive of his brain implant startup, Neuralink. In May, he was accused of sexually harassing a SpaceX ¦ight attendant. Musk denied the allegation.
2. JEFF BEZOS
$151 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Amazon AGE: 58 • RESIDENCE: Medina, WA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Knocked from the top spot for the rst time since 2017, the Amazon founder and chairman saw his net worth drop $50 billion as the e-commerce giant’s shares tumbled more than 20%. Through his VC rm, Bezos, who stepped down as Amazon CEO in July 2021, has invested in everything from digital media company Overtime Sports to Wildtype, which makes seafood from sh cells. In a public setback, his Blue Origin had to abort a rocket launch in September. Meanwhile, Bezos ordered a superyacht so big that shipmaker Oceanco had to request that a historic bridge in Rotterdam be dismantled in order for the vessel to leave. The yacht, which is on the verge of completion, was eventually towed away after intense backlash with the bridge still intact.
3. BILL GATES
$106 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Microsoft AGE: 66 • RESIDENCE: Medina, WA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
In July, Gates announced he was shifting $20 billion of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. That big gift accounts for most of the estimated $28 billion drop in his net worth over the past year. Gates, who saw an outbreak like Covid19 coming back in 2015, released a new book in May: How to Prevent the Next Pandemic.
4. LARRY ELLISON
$101 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:9 SOURCE: Oracle AGE: 78 • RESIDENCE: Lanai, HI PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Ellison, who contributed $1 billion to Elon Musk’s Twitter bid, has reportedly been subpoenaed by Twitter in the messy legal battle over the deal. The Oracle founder also made news in May when it was revealed that he joined a November 2020 conference call to discuss ways to overturn Donald Trump’s election loss. In June, he paid a Florida record of $173 million for a home in Manalapan.
Two months later, he listed his North Palm Beach spread for $145 million, less than a year after he paid $80 million for it.
5. WARREN BUFFETT
$97 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Berkshire Hathaway AGE: 92 • RESIDENCE: Omaha, NE PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
The legendary bargain hunter began the year lamenting a lack of good deals but soon found plenty. In March, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to shell out $11.6 billion for insurer Allegheny Corp. In April, he told investors he had plowed $51 billion of Berkshire’s cash into stocks, including billion-dollar bets on Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and HP.
One of the biggest philanthropists in history, Buett continued his summer tradition of donating billions to charity, giving shares worth about $4 billion to the Gates Foundation, as well as to foundations for his three children and late wife, in June.
6. LARRY PAGE
$93 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Google AGE: 49 • RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
7. SERGEY BRIN
$89 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:9 SOURCE: Google AGE: 49 • RESIDENCE: Los Altos, CA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
The elusive founders of the world’s most popular internet search engine gave up operational control of Google and its parent, Alphabet, at the end of 2019. These days they’re making news for more personal reasons. New Zealand conrmed that Page gained residency in the country, while the press feasted on reports that Brin led to divorce his second wife in January after rumors of a brief aair with Elon Musk.
She denied the allegations, as did the Tesla cofounder, who shared seles of him and his friend Brin, who kept quiet. In September, Brin announced a $50 million gift over the next ve years to help nd treatments for bipolar disorder.
8. STEVE BALLMER
$83 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:6 SOURCE: Microsoft AGE: 66 • RESIDENCE: Hunts Point, WA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
The former Microsoft CEO has taken his energetic leadership skills to the NBA, after buying the Los Angeles Clippers for a thenrecord $2 billion from the wife of embattled former owner Donald Sterling (No. 261) in 2014. Since then he’s remade the team into a powerhouse, with a string of winning seasons and a glitzy new arena rising in the shadow of the city’s sporting crown jewel: the $5 billion SoFi Stadium, the high-tech home for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. He’s throwing good money after good: The Clippers, long among the worst franchises in the league, are now worth more than $3 billion.
9. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
$76.8 billion • SELF MADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Bloomberg LP AGE: 80 • RESIDENCE: New York, NY PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
The Bloomberg LP cofounder and former mayor of New York committed $750 million to charter schools last December. In April,
he announced that two schools in his home city would receive $100 million apiece. Two months later, Bloomberg Philanthropies joined eight partners in pledging $1 billion to protect the ocean from climate change. Largesse, shrewd tax planning or both? According to leaked IRS data published by ProPublica in April, he paid the fourth-lowest federal income tax rate among America’s top 400 earners from 2013 to 2018 while outearning everyone but Bill Gates.
10. JIM WALTON
$57.9 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:2 SOURCE: Walmart AGE: 74 • RESIDENCE: Bentonville, AR PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Walmart shares have lost 11% of their value over the last year as higher costs have dented the company’s prots. Since ceding his seat on the retailer’s board to son Steuart in 2016, the richest of the Walton heirs has remained focused on running the family’s Arvest Bank, which will funnel a sliver of its $27 billion in assets to a University of Arkansas football player as part of a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal announced in August.
11. MARK ZUCKERBERG
$57.7 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Facebook AGE: 38 • RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Another tough year for Meta, with daily Facebook users dropping amid competition from apps like TikTok. Zuckerberg’s push into the “metaverse” hasn’t been well received either, prompting him to promise “major updates” to graphics following online criticism. Shares are down 57% since last year’s list, helping lop nearly $74 billion o¤ Zuck’s fortune and moving him out of the top 10 for the rst time since 2014.
12. ROB WALTON
$56.7 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:4 SOURCE: Walmart AGE: 77 • RESIDENCE: Bentonville, AR PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Walton immediately became the richest
NFL owner when he outbid groups led by fellow billionaires Josh Harris (No. 160),
Mat Ishbia (No. 234) and Jose E. Feliciano (No. 244) to buy the Denver Broncos in
June for $4.7 billion—the most ever spent on a sports franchise. Walton’s consortium includes his daughter Carrie Walton Penner, who replaced him on the board of the family’s charitable foundation, and his son-in-law Greg Penner, who succeeded him as Walmart chairman—as well as former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson, who is married to George Lucas (No. 181). Walton and his wife, Melani, pledged $100 million last September to help preserve 30 African national parks and protected areas.
13. CHARLES KOCH
$56 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:5 SOURCE: Koch Industries AGE: 86 • RESIDENCE: Wichita, KS PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
13. JULIA KOCH & FAMILY
$56 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:n SOURCE: Koch Industries AGE: 60 • RESIDENCE: New York, NY PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Sales at America’s second-largest private company, Koch Industries, reached some $125 billion in 2021, up from an estimated $115 billion a year earlier. A major oil rener, the Wichita conglomerate has invested more than $2 billion since early 2021 into energy transformation technologies such as electric batteries, energy storage and solar power infrastructure. Last December, a
Koch subsidiary reportedly sold a 340,000acre Montana cattle ranch to media mogul Rupert Murdoch (No. 35) for roughly
$200 million. Charles Koch and the family of Julia Koch, the widow of his younger brother David (d. 2019), each owns 42% of Koch Industries.
15. ALICE WALTON
$55.7 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:n SOURCE: Walmart AGE: 72 • RESIDENCE: Fort Worth, TX PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Walton brieªy worked for Walmart as a buyer of children’s clothes in the 1970s but has since focused on philanthropy and collecting art—much of it housed at her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the family’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. She has contributed at least $1.5 billion in cash and Walmart stock to her Art Bridges foundation since 2016. In June, the holistic health institute she founded in Bentonville a year earlier was renamed the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine.
16. MICHAEL DELL
$50 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Dell computers AGE: 57 • RESIDENCE: Austin, TX PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Nearly four decades after a 19-year-old Dell founded Dell Technologies from his University of Texas dorm room, he remains chairman and CEO of the company, which now pulls in $100 billion in annual revenue. Last November, Dell spun o¤ its 81% stake in software rm VMWare; in May, chipmaker Broadcom agreed to buy the company for $61 billion. In a September LinkedIn post, he spoke out against tech CEOs pushing for a return to the o®ce.
17. PHIL KNIGHT & FAMILY
$41.5 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:8 SOURCE: Nike AGE: 84 • RESIDENCE: Hillsboro, OR PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Since retiring as chairman and CEO in 2016, the Nike founder has led a $270 million investment for a new track-and-eld stadium at the University of Oregon, his alma mater, and is said to be personally involved in talks for its teams to join the Big Ten conference. Earlier this year, he reportedly made a $2 billion o¤er for the Portland Trail
Blazers that was rebu¤ed by the estate of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen (d. 2018).
18. MACKENZIE SCOTT
$37.7 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:3 SOURCE: Amazon AGE: 52 • RESIDENCE: Seattle le, WA PHILANTHROPY SCORE:
Since her 2019 divorce from Je¤ Bezos
(No. 2), Scott has been dropping billions at breakneck speed. She has given away $4 billion since last summer, including $281 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America and $275 million to Planned Parenthood. In August she donated two Beverly Hills mansions, worth $55 million, to the California Community Foundation, which will sell them and use the proceeds for a¤ordable housing and immigrant integration e¤orts. In all, Scott has donated $12.6 billion since June 2020.
19. JACQUELINE MARS
$37 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:2 SOURCE: Mars Inc AGE: 82 • RESIDENCE: The Plains, VA PHILANTHROPY SCORE: N/A
19. JOHN MARS
$37 billion • SELFMADE SCORE:2 SOURCE: Mars Inc AGE: 86 • RESIDENCE: Jackson, WY PHILANTHROPY SCORE: N/A
Their candy giant, Mars Inc., is getting a new CEO at the end of September, as longtime executive Grant Reid steps down after helping more than double its sales to $45 billion in eight years. The secretive siblings, whose grandfather created the
Milky Way bar in 1923, together own an estimated two-thirds of Mars Inc. Jacqueline helped fund a sculpture of 140 migrants and refugees that was recently unveiled in a plaza at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.