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Forbes’ 400 Rich List on Forbes.com – Bill Gates Stays on top

Posted by on Sep 23, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Yesterday Forbes magazine released its yearly list of the 400 richest Americans. For the 17th year in a row, Bill Gates has been named as the richest person in America. The Microsoft Corp. founder’s wealth was estimated at $54 billion, up from $50 billion in 2009. The collective net worth of the 400 billionaires rose by 8% this year, to $1.37 trillion. Wealth rose for 217 members of the list, while 85 saw a decline. With a fortune estimated at $45 billion Warren Buffett, remained No. 2 on the list. On Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans, Software tycoon Larry Ellison was in third place and Wal-Mart heir Christy Walton was fourth.

Bill Gates is consistently ranked the world’s wealthiest people from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third. Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 8 percent of the common stock, during his career at Microsoft. Gates has followed a number of philanthropic endeavors such as donating large amounts of money to variety of charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

On Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans, Charles and David Koch of private energy conglomerate Koch Industries, tied for No. 5 at $21.5 billion each. Both men saw their wealth skyrocket by $5.5 billion from 2009. The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg rounded out the list at No. 10 with $18 billion. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg clocked in at No. 35 on the list whose wealth grew by 245% to $6.4bn. This year 16 new members joined the list including Facebook’s Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin. Eduardo Saverin made the Top 400 for the first time, with personal wealth of $1.15 billion and he is the new youngest on the list.

Forbes' 400 Rich List on Forbes.com - Bill Gates Stays on topAfter a period of absence the 18 people returning to the list includes Sidney Kimmel, at number 365, who made his fortune in the clothes business before producing films including The Kite Runner. Among the 400 members of the list, 231 had donated to the Democratic Party between 2006 and 2010 giving a total of $6.2bn, founded by the report. This compared with the 247 people who donated $7.3bn between them to the Republican Party. This year 34 people fell off the list and the notable drop-off is Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund. In spite of the recession, finance and investment industries sustained to dominate the list; 55 members are from the finance industry, while 54 are from the investments sector. 42 women are there on the list, led by Christy Walton, 55, and 60-year-old Alice Walton, of the family that controls Wal- Mart Stores Inc. They rank Nos. 4 and 8.


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