The Richest Person in Every State
We knew some of these people would be on the list, but others? We never saw them coming!
Who is the richest person in California? I bet that’s an easy question to answer. What about the wealthiest person in Washington? Maybe another easy one. Okay, I’ve got a hard one. Who is the richest person in Alaska? Don’t worry if the answer is shrouded in mystery.
Every year, Forbes releases a list of the wealthiest person in every state. These business owners have earned millions and even billions by pointing their company in the right direction. With a little elbow grease and determination, they made it to the top of this list—something that’s certainly an achievement.
Wondering who the top person in your state is? Look no further! We’ll go by each state and explain who the richest person is, as well as how they made their major moolah.
The last Mars sibling! John Mars and his siblings each inherited a third of Mars Inc. when their father passed away in 1999. The company owns major brands, including Milky Way and M&Ms. John Mars is Wyoming’s richest resident, with a net worth of $28.1 billion.
Jimmy Rane is the richest person in Alabama! He’s worth $900 million. How did he get this wealth? Lumber. Rane is CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving. We call him Rane, but folks in Alabama may know him by his alter-ego, “the Yella Fella,” who appears on commercials in the state.
Everyone has heard of the Koch family, and Charles Koch is the richest in Kansas. He’s worth $42 billion due to being chairman and CEO of Koch Industries. Koch Industries makes over $110 billion in revenue and makes everything from Dixie cups to airbags. He and his brother (who passed away in August 2019) own each 42% of the company.
Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder are siblings, and two of the wealthiest people in Delaware. They both own a portion of W.L. Gore & Associates, a firm founded by their parents. The company makes everything from clothing to implants inserted into the human body. Robert Gore also invented Gore-Tex, a lightweight, waterproof fabric that’s used in outdoor clothing and shoes. The pair is worth $885 million each.
Have you heard of Quicken Loans? Well, Daniel Gilbert co-founded the company. While it went by another name when created, the company was later renamed Quicken and was sold to Intuit for $532 million in 1999. He then repurchased it three years later for $64 million. Gilbert also invests in Detroit commercial real estate and owns the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA). Gilbert has a net worth of $6.8 billion.
Pierre Omidyar! If this name doesn’t sound familiar, you’ve surely heard of the website he created—eBay. Worth $13.5 billion, Omidyar owns properties in both California and Mexico, but he much prefers Hawaii’s beautiful beaches. This billionaire also owns PayPal and is the founder of First Look Media, the parent company of the news site The Intercept.
Frank VanderSloot has an interesting name and a ton of money. This Idahoan is worth $3.5 billion because he founded Melaleuca. Melaleuca makes over 400 products, including health supplements and eco-friendly cleaners. Considering the company sells directly to the customer from the factory, it’s surprising it has over 1.5 million consumers!
Maryland’s richest person (or should we say people) is Ted Lerner and his family. Lerner owns 20 million square feet of commercial and retail space, located primarily in Washington D.C. All this began when he borrowed $250 from his wife to start his real estate company in 1952. Now, he and his family have a $5.1 billion net worth.
Ken Griffin is another guy in hedge funds. Griffin founded Citadel and eventually became worth $11.6 billion. Citadel is a hedge fund firm that manages $32 billion in assets, but that isn’t all. It’s also the parent company of Citadel Securities, one of the biggest market makers on Wall Street. It’s hard to believe that all this started in 1987 from a dorm room at Harvard.
In 1975, Glen Taylor bought a wedding service business that would be later turned into Taylor Corp, a printing firm worth over $2 billion now. On top of that, Taylor owns the Timberwolves (NBA), Lynx (WNBA), and Minneapolis Star Tribune. He’s now worth $2.9 billion.
Georgia also has some pretty wealthy people, but Jim Kennedy is the richest with a net worth of $9.2 billion. He’s chairman of Cox Enterprises, the automotive and media group that owns Cox Communications. Kennedy’s grandfather was the one that started the company all the way back in 1958, but it was eventually passed down through the family to Jim Kennedy.
It’s good to be in the medical industry, and that’s Carl Cook does. This billionaire is worth $9.5 billion, all thanks to being CEO of Cook Group. This company sees $2.4 billion in revenue from medical device manufacturing. His parents started the business in 1963, and Cook eventually took over after his father’s death in 2011.
This one may have been a no-brainer. The richest person in Arkansas is none other than a Walton—Jim Walton. He’s worth $51.1 billion. Jim is Sam Walton’s (the founder of Walmart) youngest son. He also runs Arvest Bank, which has assets of more than $16 billion. In 2016, Jim Walton stepped down as a member of Walmart’s board in favor of his son, Steuart.
Alaska’s richest pair prefer to stay out of the limelight. Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini are worth $300 million each. The two own some of Anchorage’s most prominent buildings, including ConocoPhillips Towers and J.L. Tower. In addition to this, they also oversee Alaskan military housing development and hotels in both Alaska and the continental United States.
Tamara Gustavson is the richest person in Kentucky, worth $5.3 billion. She’s the largest shareholder of Public Storage, a company her father co-founded in 1972. Gustavson joined the company in 1983 and rose to vice president before long. In 2003, she left Public Storage so she could spend more time with her family and raise her children.
James Goodnight co-founded SAS, an analytics software firm. Skipping ahead to today, Goodnight is now worth $9.1 billion, and the company now has products that are used by 83,000 organizations around the world.
Philip Anschutz is the wealthiest man in Colorado and in sports! Worth $12 billion, Anschutz owns the L.A. Kings, the L.A. Galaxy, over a quarter of the Lakers, and the Staples Center, which is home to both the Lakers and Kings. Anschutz also runs Anschutz Entertainment Group, which operates over 100 arenas and concert venues all over the world.
Tom Benson passed away in 2018, and Gayle Benson took over as owner of the New Orleans Saints (NFL) and the New Orleans Pelicans (NBA). Due to her becoming the principal owner of the two teams, Gayle Benson is the first woman to be majority shareholder of the voting stock in an NFL and NBA franchise. Benson is worth $2.9 billion.
Ernest Garcia II is the wealthiest person in Arizona, with a net worth of $5.6 billion. If you’ve ever heard of Carvana, then you know how Garcia gets his wealth. He’s the biggest shareholder in the online car-selling platform. Garcia also runs DriveTime Automotive, America’s fourth-biggest used car retailer.
Thomas and James Duff are brothers who co-own Duff Capital Investors. The business receives $2.6 billion in revenue, and the firm’s biggest asset is Southern Tire Mart. The Duff brothers have a net worth of $1.35 billion each. They're also pretty camera shy. Picutred is Thomas Duff.
Phil Knight is worth $35 billion because he co-created the predecessor of Nike with his former track coach, Bill Bowerman. Later, Knight bought out his partner’s shares and has been running Nike for 52 years. Knight retired in 2016, but he and his family remain the largest shareholders.
Dennis Washington may have the last name of another state, but he’s the wealthiest individual in Montana, with a net worth of $6.2 billion. Washington created the diversified business group Washington Companies. Some of the companies Washington Companies owns include Dominion Diamond Mines, Montana Rail Link, Aviation Partners, and Envirocon.
Ray Dalio is worth $18.4 billion, and he’s involved in finances! Dalio is the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates. The firm manages a whopping $160 billion in assets. It all started at the age of 12 when he worked as a caddy. He started playing the markets with tips from golfers, and it only got better from there.
Harry Stine is worth $3.8 billion, which isn’t surprising considering what he does. Stine is the founder and CEO of Stine Seed Co, which licenses genetics for corn and soybeans to big names like Monsanto and Syngenta. Even from a young age, Stine was interested in seeds and farming, and he was able to build it into a billion-dollar business.
Massachusetts may not be a large state, but it’s got serious money. It’s home to Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investment. Fidelity Investment, a mutual fund giant, has over $2.7 trillion in managed assets. Abigail Johnson has worked full time for the company and took over in 2014 after her father retired. Now, she’s worth $14.7 billion.
Warren Buffett had to be on the list! He has a net worth of $85 billion. Buffett is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and he’s also one of the most successful investors of all time. Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 60 companies, including big names like Geico, Duracell, and Dairy Queen.
Sheldon Adelson is worth $35.7 billion, and his source of wealth hails from none other than casinos. He’s CEO and chairman of Las Vegas Sands and owns more than half of the $14 billion gambling empire that spans over the United States and Asia. In addition to this, Adelson owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Andrea Reimann-Ciardelli is a German heiress who later became a U.S. citizen. In 2003, Reimann-Ciardelli sold her stake in the family’s investment firm, JAB, to other family members. Now, she has a net worth of $720 million.
Pauline MacMillan Keinath is worth $6.9 billion. She’s believed to be majority shareholder of the biggest private company in America, Cargill. Initially founded by her grandfather, the MacMillan’s may not be involved in the management of the company any longer, but they still own 90% combined.
Harold Hamm is in the fracking business. He runs Continental Resources, one of the nation’s biggest independent oil companies. When Hamm was 16, he worked at a gas station to help support his family. Now, Harold Hamm has a net worth of $11.8 billion.
Mark C. Chase made his $700 million fortune in the Permian Basin oil fields, which are located in Texas and New Mexico. Chase started by co-founding Marbob Energy before creating his own company Mack Energy Corp.
Maine’s richest person is Susan Alfond. She and her three siblings inherited their father’s fortune, Harold Alfond. Harold Alfond started Dexter Shoe Co. six decades ago. However, in 1993, the company was sold to Warren Buffett for $433 million of Berkshire Hathaway Stock. Susan Alfond has a net worth of $1.3 billion.
Anita Zucker is worth $1.8 billion thanks to being involved in chemicals. Zucker is CEO of InterTech Group, a family-owned chemicals manufacturer. InterTech Group also owns an aerospace engineering firm and tons of commercial real estate.
John Overdeck is worth $6.1 billion. He is co-founder of the data-driven hedge fund, Two Sigma, that manages $57 billion in assets. Overdeck started his career at D.E. Shaw and then worked with Amazon for two years. Finally, he started his own firm in 2001 with David Siegel, another billionaire.
Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s CEO and founder of Amazon. In 2018 alone, the company pulled in $10 billion in net profits. However, Bezos and his wife are divorcing, and he’s transferring a quarter of his 16% stake in Amazon to her. Bezos is currently worth $157 billion.
North Dakota has its first billionaire! Gary Tharaldson sold his first hotel portfolio in 2006 for $1.2 billion, but today, he runs over 40 hotels in 14 states. That isn’t all he does. Tharaldson also owns a massive aquifer in Arizona and an ethanol plant in North Dakota. Tharaldson has a net worth of $1 billion.
Les Wexner has a net worth of $4.7 billion. Wexner founded L Brands, a retail empire that owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. The company was created in 1963 when Wexner used a $5,000 loan from his aunt. Now, the business does $12.6 billion in revenue and has over 3,000 stores worldwide.
Jacqueline Mars is another family member who owns Mars Inc, the world’s largest candy maker. It’s estimated that she owns a third of the company, making her net worth $28.1 billion. Jacqueline Mars worked for the company for 20 years until she retired to live her life out in Virginia.
Victoria Mars is the great-granddaughter of Frank Mars, who founded the Mars chocolate company (maker of M&Ms and Milky Way) in 1911. Victoria Mars inherited her 8% share in 2016 after her father, Forrest Mars Jr., passed away. Now, she’s worth $7 billion.
Jim Justice II is worth $1.5 billion. He’s governor of West Virginia and the state’s only billionaire. Justice made his money in coal, but he also owns Greenbrier Resort. That being said, he’s had trouble with finances. In 2016, he was hit with $10 million in court-ordered penalties and $13 million in tax-related liens.
Rhode Island is home to Jonathan Nelson, who is worth $1.8 billion. He’s founder and CEO of Providence Equity Partners. The private equity firm was created in 1989, and now, it’s invested in more than 180 companies, Hulu being one of them.
T. Denny Sanford owns First Premier Bank, which offers credit cards to high-risk borrowers. It’s also one of the largest issuers of Visa and Mastercard. Sanford is worth $2.5 billion, but he’s a philanthropist that’s given away more than $1.6 billion.
Thomas Frist Jr. founded HCA Healthcare and is worth $11.7 billion. The company is an operator of hospitals and surgical centers in the United States and London. Frist may not hold an executive position, but his two sons are board members.
Gail Miller and her husband have an admirable story. They turned a Toyota dealership into a $5.1 billion operation and now they own 64 dealerships altogether. The Millers also purchased Utah Jazz (NBA) in 1986 for $22 million. The team is now worth $1.4 billion. Gail Miller’s husband passed away in 2009, and she topped the chart as Utah’s richest resident at $1.5 billion.
John Abele co-founded Boston Scientific, a medical device manufacturer, in 1979. After retiring in 2005, Abele began selling his shares in the company until he owned a tiny stake. Nowadays, he’s busy with venture investing, but he’s still worth $640 million.
John Menard Jr. has a net worth of $11.4 billion, made by founding home improvement stores. Menards saw an estimated $10 billion in sales last year from over 300 locations. Menard Jr. is also a former INDYCAR racing team owner, and the father of Paul Menard, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver.
Mark Zuckerberg! California certainly has a lot of wealthy people, but none are wealthier than Mark Zuckerberg, one of the founders of Facebook. He’s only 35, and he’s already worth $71 billion—talk about savvy business decisions. Zuckerberg and his friends started Facebook in 2004 while they attended Harvard. Zuckerberg was only 19 at the time.
Thomas Peterffy is the richest man in Florida, and he’s worth $18.8 billion. Peterffy is CEO of Interactive Brokers, which offers specialized trading to investors. On top of that, this billionaire owns more than 500,000 acres of timberland in Florida. Fun fact: Peterffy is actually a Hungarian immigrant.
Alice Walton is another member of the Walton family and the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Instead of working for Walmart like her brothers, she curates art. In 2011, she opened up Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The museum has amazing works from renowned artists, including Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Mark Rothko.
Michael Bloomberg is worth a whopping $53.8 billion. He co-founded Bloomberg LP in 1981, but he now owns 88% of the business. Currently, Bloomberg LP has revenues of over $9 billion. Bloomberg also served as mayor for New York City for three terms.