This time, the list of America’s top 400 billionaires flaunts a record-breaking milestone – according to Forbes Magazine, the cumulative fortune of these billionaires totals to a whopping $2.34 trillion, going up by $50 billion from a year ago.
The list was dominated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who stood firmly at the number one place for the 22nd consecutive year. With $76 billion in his fortune, he retained the top spot; though he lost $5 billion from 2014. Chief executive of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, added $16.5 billion to his earnings and thereby came out as the highest gainer.
According to CBS News, the list this year had a cutoff of $1.7 billion – because of which 145 American billionaires were unable to find a berth in the list. The top five include the Koch Brothers – Executive Vice President, David Koch, and CEO, Charles Koch, of Koch Industries – with $41 billion each to their name; Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, standing at the fourth spot with $47 billion; Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, who despite resigning as CEO, has made $47.5 billion; Warren Buffet, investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (who paid $37 billion for Precision Castparts, a maker of aerospace and industrial parts), with $62 billion; and Bill Gates, who continued his reign as the richest American billionaire (and is now focusing on humanitarian work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation after stepping down as chairman of Microsoft last year) with $76 billion.
However, it was neither of the top billionaires’ photos that made it to the cover of the prestigious magazine. Luisa Kroll, assistant managing editor of wealth, said they “couldn’t resist” giving Donald Trump the honor of appearing on the cover. Kroll also said that Trump, who claims to have more than $10 billion, actually has a net worth of $4.5 billion.
According to Daily Mail, chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg gained admission into the top 10 list for the first time. At No. 7 spot, his fortunes amount to $40 billion. Twenty five billionaire newcomers made it among the ranks of America’s wealthiest – these include Evan Spiegel of Snapchat with $2.1 billion (No. 327); Brian Chesky of Airbnb with $3.3 billion (No. 194); and Travis Kalanick, founder of Uber, whose fortunes escalated to $6 billion in a single year (No.80).
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