THE FORBES 400

Forbes - - FORBES 400 -

it’s an­other record­break­ing year for the rich­est amer­i­cans. For the first time since 1994, there is a new no. 1, Jeff Be­zos, the first per­son ever to ap­pear in the ranks who is worth more than $100 bil­lion. the min­i­mum net worth needed to make the list rose to $2.1 bil­lion, the high­est to date and $100 mil­lion more than last year. list mem­bers’ av­er­age net worth is $7.2 bil­lion, up 7.5% from a year ago, while their com­bined net worth rose to a record high of $2.9 tril­lion. of that to­tal wealth, half is held by the 45 rich­est peo­ple in the coun­try.

1. Jeff Be­zos $160 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: * Source: Ama­zon Age: 54 Res­i­dence: Seat­tle Phi­lan­thropy Score:

Be­zos is the rich­est per­son on earth. His net worth shot up by a record $78.5 bil­lion in the past year, thanks to a 104% surge in the price of Ama­zon stock. The e-com­merce Go­liath recorded more than $100 bil­lion in net sales in the first six months of 2018, a 41% jump from the prior year. Also reach­ing for the stratosphere is Blue Ori­gin, the space com­pany he funds by sell­ing $1 bil­lion or so of Ama­zon stock a year; the firm, whose mis­sion is to make space travel more ac­ces­si­ble, suc­cess­fully com­pleted its 9th test flight in July. Back on Earth, Be­zos made good on his prom­ise to un­veil his phil­an­thropic plan. In Sep­tem­ber, he an­nounced a $2 bil­lion com­mit­ment to two ini­tia­tives: fund­ing ex­ist­ing non­prof­its that help home­less fam­i­lies and cre­at­ing a net­work of non­profit preschools in low-in­come com­mu­ni­ties that fol­low the Montes­sori teach­ing method (Be­zos at­tended a Montes­sori school). Called the Be­zos Day One Fund, it will need about 1 mil­lion Ama­zon shares—1.3% of his cur­rent trove— to ful­fill the $2 bil­lion com­mit­ment.

3. WaRRen Buf­feTT $88.3 bil­lion  Self-made SCore: * SourCe: berk­shire hath­away age: 88 reS­i­denCe: omaha Phi­lan­throPy score:

The revered in­vestor, who has long shied away from in­vest­ing in tech­nol­ogy, has changed his tune. Berk­shire Hath­away, which owns more than 60 com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Ge­ico and Dairy Queen, has been buy­ing Ap­ple shares since 2016. Berk­shire be­came the tech com­pany’s sec­ond-largest in­vestor in early 2018 af­ter amass­ing a 5% stake. With $103 bil­lion in cash, his firm con­tin­ues to look for other in­vest­ments. In Au­gust, it took a stake in In­dian dig­i­tal-pay­ments plat­form Paytm. Shares of Berk­shire Hath­away climbed 17% in the last year, boost­ing Buf­fett’s for­tune by $10.3 bil­lion even as he gave away $3.4 bil­lion in July. As he ap­proaches 90, he is mak­ing good on a prom­ise to part with 99% of his for­tune. He has al­ready do­nated over $35 bil­lion, much of it to the foun­da­tion of his friends Bill and Melinda Gates. 2. Bill GaTes $97 bil­lion  Self-made SCore: * SourCe: mi­crosoft age: 63 reS­i­denCe: med­ina, wa Phi­lan­throPy score: Af­ter a 24-year-run as No. 1 on The Forbes 400, Gates has been eclipsed by a fel­low Seat­tle en­tre­pre­neur with a fas­tris­ing stock. No tears there. Gates sits on the board of Mi­crosoft and still owns a 1.3% stake, worth $11.2 bil­lion, in the soft­ware com­pany he co­founded 43 years ago. The rest of his for­tune is in­vested in a mix of stocks, startup firms and more, in­clud­ing a nearly 11% stake in Eco­lab, a wa­ter treat­ment and hy­giene ser­vice firm. He has also in­vested in Mem­phis Meats, a startup that grows “clean meat” from chicken, duck and cow cells. In July he dis­closed that his fa­ther had been di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s disease and an­nounced that he and three other Forbes 400 mem­bers (Leonard Lauder, Charles Sch­wab and Dag­mar Dolby), in part­ner­ship with the Alzheimer’s Drug Dis­cov­ery Foun­da­tion, are putting $30 mil­lion into a fund that will ac­cel­er­ate di­ag­nos­ing the disease. But he spends most of his time fo­cused on solv­ing the world’s big prob­lems through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion, to which he’s do­nated about $35.8 bil­lion, mostly in Mi­crosoft shares. He’s en­cour­aged phi­lan­thropists around the globe, and in 2015 he co­founded the China Global Phi­lan­thropy In­sti­tute with Ray Dalio (No. 25) and 3 wealthy Chi­nese.

4. MaRk zuckeR­BeRG $61 bil­lion  Self-made SCore: * SourCe: face­book age: 34 reS­i­denCe: palo alto, ca Phi­lan­throPy score:

The Face­book founder and CEO has been em­broiled in an in­creas­ingly pub­lic bat­tle over elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence, fake news and con­cerns about user pri­vacy, is­sues that spurred the com­pany to dou­ble the size of its safety and se­cu­rity teams to 20,000 peo­ple. In April, Zucker­berg tes­ti­fied be­fore Congress af­ter rev­e­la­tions that con­sult­ing firm Cam­bridge An­a­lyt­ica, which worked for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion cam­paign, im­prop­erly gath­ered data on at least 87 mil­lion of Face­book’s 2.2 bil­lion users. “I started Face­book, I run it, and I’m re­spon­si­ble for what hap­pens here,” he said. The busi­ness has taken a hit: Face­book’s rev­enue growth has slowed, and monthly ac­tive visi­tors de­creased in Europe. Zucker­berg’s for­tune fell $10 bil­lion in the past year as shares slipped 4% and his phil­an­thropic Chan Zucker­berg Ini­tia­tive sold some shares.

5. laRRy el­li­son $58.4 bil­lion  Self-made SCore: ( SourCe: or­a­cle age: 74 reS­i­denCe: wood­side, ca Phi­lan­throPy score:

There’s no end to El­li­son’s en­trepreneurial drive. This year he launched a wellness startup called Sen­sei, whose first project is hy­dro­ponic farm­ing on the Hawai­ian is­land of Lanai, which El­li­son bought in 2012 for a re­ported $300 mil­lion. El­li­son, who was raised by his great-aunt and un­cle, built data­bases for the CIA be­fore co­found­ing soft­ware firm Or­a­cle in 1977. He stepped down as Or­a­cle’s CEO in 2014 but still serves as its chair­man and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer. In 2016, El­li­son pledged $200 mil­lion to the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia to build the In­sti­tute for Trans­for­ma­tive Medicine, fo­cused on the preven­tion and treat­ment of can­cer. El­li­son has do­nated over $350 mil­lion to his foun­da­tion in the past decade, mostly ear­marked for bio­med­i­cal re­search to curb the ef­fects of ag­ing. Since 2008, El­li­son has been a key backer of Reach to Teach, an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram in ru­ral ar­eas of In­dia, which works with the govern­ment and NGOs to boost teach­ers’ skills.

6. Larry Page $53.8 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: * Source: Google Age: 45 Res­i­dence: Palo Alto, Ca Phi­lan­thropy Score:

Page co­founded search en­gine Google with Sergey Brin (No. 9) in Sep­tem­ber 1998, with a mis­sion to or­ga­nize the world’s in­for­ma­tion. Twenty years later, Google’s par­ent com­pany, Al­pha­bet (Page is CEO), an­nounced 7 guid­ing prin­ci­ples (for ex­am­ple, avoid re­in­forc­ing un­fair bias) in June to chart the com­pany’s move into ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and other ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies. His Carl Victor Page Memo­rial Foun­da­tion, named af­ter his late fa­ther, has nearly $2 bil­lion in as­sets; in the last 5 years, the foun­da­tion shifted $365 mil­lion to donor-ad­vised funds, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to track de­tails on most of his giv­ing. Among his few di­rect char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions were $15 mil­lion in emer­gency funds to com­bat Ebola in 2014 and roughly $3 mil­lion to Shoo the Flu, a flu vac­cine pro­gram for stu­dents in pub­lic schools in Oak­land.

7. Charles Koch $53.5 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: % Source: Koch In­dus­tries Age: 82 Res­i­dence: Wi­chita, Ks Phi­lan­thropy Score:

His Koch In­dus­tries, the sec­ond-largest pri­vate com­pany in the U.S., with $100 bil­lion in sales, is look­ing to Sil­i­con Val­ley for growth. In Novem­ber the in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate launched Koch Dis­rup­tive Tech­nolo­gies, a ven­ture arm headed by Koch’s son Chase. The sub­sidiary led a $125 mil­lion fundrais­ing round in May for cloud-com­put­ing startup Me­so­sphere. Koch, who took over the fam­ily busi­ness af­ter his fa­ther’s death in 1967, has given more than $1 bil­lion to char­ity, with a fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion and crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form. Some of the non­prof­its he sup­ports in­clude Hud­son Link, which of­fers col­lege prep cour­ses and de­grees to prison in­mates, and the Phoenix, which uses ac­tiv­i­ties like hik­ing, yoga and CrossFit to help peo­ple who are re­cov­er­ing from al­co­hol or sub­stance abuse stay sober.

7. David Koch $53.5 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: % Source: Koch In­dus­tries Age: 78 Res­i­dence: New York City Phi­lan­thropy Score:

The for­mer ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Koch In­dus­tries stepped down from the com­pany in July. Koch also re­tired from his po­si­tion at the Sem­i­nar Net­work—founded by brother Charles and known for its ac­tiv­i­ties in pol­i­tics—cit­ing health con­cerns. The prostate can­cer sur­vivor pledged $100 mil­lion to New York-Pres­by­te­rian Hospi­tal for a new am­bu­la­tory cen­ter, which opened in April; his $150 mil­lion pledge to Memo­rial Sloan Kettering will re­sult in a can­cer out­pa­tient fa­cil­ity in 2019. His $1.2 bil­lion life­time giv­ing also in­cludes about $185 mil­lion to his alma mater, MIT, and $110 mil­lion to New York’s Lin­coln Cen­ter.

9. Sergey Brin $52.4 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: ( Source: Google Age: 45 Res­i­dence: Los Al­tos, Ca Phi­lan­thropy Score:

Brin, who lived in the Soviet Union un­til he was 6, has said that be­ing in a coun­try that curbed free speech in­flu­enced how he and Page would run Google. This led Google to shut down its China-based search en­gine in 2010 af­ter it learned the govern­ment was spy­ing on the Gmail ac­counts of hu­man rights ac­tivists there. Now Brin, as Al­pha­bet’s pres­i­dent, is back in the hot seat af­ter leaked doc­u­ments re­port­edly showed its en­gi­neers work­ing on a cen­sored ver­sion of Google for China. Brin has given over $1 bil­lion to his fam­ily foun­da­tions.

10. Michael Bloomberg $51.8 Bil­lion  Self-made Score: * Source: Bloomberg Lp Age: 76 Res­i­dence: New York City Phi­lan­thropy Score:

The co­founder of fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion and me­dia gi­ant Bloomberg LP has given away $6 bil­lion. His foun­da­tion is spend­ing $200 mil­lion to sup­port U.S. may­ors and cities, more than $100 mil­lion to re­duce coal us­age glob­ally and mil­lions more on global health and ed­u­ca­tion. A Demo­crat turned Repub­li­can turned in­de­pen­dent, Bloomberg served as mayor of New York City for 3 terms. He pub­lished an op-ed in June stat­ing that he will sup­port the Democrats in 2018. In Sep­tem­ber, he an­nounced he would be spend­ing a record amount of money on be­half of women can­di­dates.

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