Jeff Bezos’s Net Worth Soared to New Heights.
For 24 years, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held the top spot on Forbes’ ranking of the richest Americans. But no longer.
Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has supplanted Gates on the magazine’s annual list of the 400 richest Americans. His net worth is $160 billion, up from $81.5 billion a year ago.
Gates is now No. 2 with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison holding onto the next three spots, the same positions as in last year’s list, the magazine reported Wednesday.
President Donald Trump dropped 11 spots on the list to No. 259, but his net worth remained about the same at $3.1 billion.
He is tied with 11 others at that spot with Third Point hedge fund founder Daniel Loeb and Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, the largest shareholder in the Campbell Soup Co., among others.
In an accompanying story, Forbes notes Trump’s not getting any richer as president. The magazine found that Trump Organization net operating income dropped 27% between 2014, the year before Trump announced his run for president, and 2017, his first year in the White House.
It makes sense Bezos would assume the top spot, as three months ago he was named the richest person in modern history by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos is the largest shareholder in Amazon, which has seen its shares (AMZN) rise 60 percent so far this year to $1,971.31 per share. His stake is valued at $158.1 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Collectively, the 400 richest Americans net worth rose to $2.9 trillion, up from up from $2.7 trillion in 2017. Minimum net worth to make the list was $2.1 billion, up from $2 billion last year.
“We’re seeing more billionaires than ever before, thanks in part to the strong stock market and continuing tech boom,” Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editors of wealth at Forbes Media, said in a statement. “For the first time, more than a third of U.S. billionaires were too poor to make this elite list of the nation’s 400 richest.”
The average of those on the list was $7.2 billion, a new record and an increase from $6.7 billion a year ago.
For the first time, Forbes ranked those on the list for their philanthropic efforts. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, No. 24 on the list ($19.6 billion) earned the No. 1 philanthropy score.
Slightly more women (57) made the list, with Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton ($44.9 billion) being the highest-ranked at No. 12.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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