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Top Ten Richest People in America 2013

The United States of America has more billionaires than any other country in the world. In this sense, America is truly the land of opportunity. Despite going through a rough economic recession, many of the richest people in the world live in the United States. Through dedication, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurialism, dozens of individuals have figured out the formula for success. Here are the top ten richest people in the United States:

10

Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: $25 billion

Age: 71

Location: New York, New York

Source of wealth: Bloomberg LP

Michael Bloomberg is the current Mayor of New York City.He was initially elected in 2002 and has served three consecutive terms since then. He is undeniably the richest politician in the world. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial data and media company. Before forming his own company in 1981, Bloomberg began his career with the securities brokerage Salomon Brothers. He has also served as chairman of the board of trustees at his alma mater John Hopkins University between 1996 and 2002. Interestingly, Bloomberg was frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, but declined to accept the offer to continue serving as Mayor of New York. Bloomberg is also a philanthropist. Over the years he has donated more than $1.11 billion to John Hopkins University.

9

S. Robson Walton

Net worth: $26.1 billion

Age: 69

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

Source of wealth: Wal-Mart

The eldest son of Helen and Sam Walton, the founders of Wal-Mart, Samuel Robson Walton is the current worldwide chairman of the company. When Walton was young he attended The College of Wooster and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. Later he went on to receive a juris doctor degree in 1969 from the Columbia University School of Law in New York City. Upon graduation, Walton became a member of the Conner and Winters Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was the law firm that represented Wal-Mart. A few years later, in 1978 Walton left Tulsa to join Wal-Mart as senior vice president. A few short years later in 1982 he was appointed vice chairman of the company. Two days after his father’s death he was appointed the chairman of the board of directors on April 7, 1992.

8

Alice Walton

Net worth: $26.3 billion

Age: 63

Location: Forth Worth, Texas

Source of wealth: Wal-Mart

The daughter of Sam and Helen Walton, Alice Walton is the second richest woman in the United States. Alice attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and received a bachelor of arts degree in both finance and economics. Alice began her career working in finance as an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation and later served as the vice chairperson and head of all investment activities for the Arvest Bank Group. Later, in 1988, Alice Walton formed the Llama Company, an investment bank engaged in corporate and real estate finance. In Sam Walton’s autobiography, he refers to Alice as being the most similar to him, stating she was a maverick, but even more volatile than he was. Like most members of her family, she is a philanthropist. Alice’s primary philanthropic activity is as a board member of the Walton Family Foundation.

7

Jim Walton

Net worth: $26.8 billion

Age: 65

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

Source of wealth: Wal-Mart

Jim Walton is the youngest son of Wal-Mart founder  Sam Walton and is the current chairman of Arvest Bank. Walton attended the University of Arkansas where he received a bachelor’s degree. Jim is described as the quietest and most humble of the Walton children. He rarely ever gives press interviews and tends to keep to himself, focusing on his business and family. Jim Walton lives in Bentonville, Arkansas where he and his wife, Lynne McNabb Walton raised four children.

6

Christy Walton

Net worth: $27.9 billion

Age: 58

Location: Jackson, Wyoming

Source of wealth: Wal-Mart

Christy Walton is the widow of John T. Walton, one of the sons of Sam and Helen Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. Christy Walton is currently the richest woman in the United States and the second richest woman in the entire world. After John Walton’s death in 2005, she inherited his fortune of close to $16 billion. According to The Giving Index she is the highest rated female philanthropist in the world according to the amount she gives as a percentage of her wealth. Some of the charities she actively contributes to includes The San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Zoological Society, and her own charity, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.

5

David Koch

Net worth: $31 billion

Age: 73

Location: New York, New York

Source of wealth: Diversified

David and his older brother, Charles Koch, are the co-owners of Koch Industries. For those of you who don’t know, Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in the United States behind Cargill. David is a self-proclaimed patron of the arts and contributes to several charities including Lincoln Center, Sloan Kettering, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the American Museum of Natural History. Condé Nast Portfolio has described David as “one of the most generous, but low-key philanthropists in America.” David has been said to consider himself an extremely luck individual. He is a survivor of USAir Flight 1493 crash which occurred in 1991. He has said on a number of occasions that the crash changed his perspective and outlook on life.

4

Charles Koch

Net worth: $31 billion

Age: 77

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Source of wealth: Diversified

Like his brother David, Charles Koch is the co-owner and chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries. The brothers inherited the business from their father Fred C. Koch and have since expanded the business 2,600 times its size when they inherited it. The company was originally involved exclusively in oil refining and chemicals, but now has expanded to include process and pollution control equipment and technologies, polymers and fibers, minerals, fertilizers, commodity trading and services, forest and consumer products, and ranching. The business produces a number of well-known brands including Stainmaster carpet, Quilted Norther tissue, and Dixie Cup. Also like his brother, Charles is heavily involved in philanthropy.

3

Larry Ellison

Net worth: $41 billion

Age: 68

Location: Woodside, California

Source of wealth: Oracle

The success story of Larry Ellison is one to behold. Coming from meager beginnings and a rough childhood, Ellison found a way to succeed against all odds. As a result, Ellison isn’t your ordinary billionaire. He is the stuff of legend. No one in the world enjoys money quite like Ellison. He collects cars, airplanes, yachts, and real estate. Beyond spending incomprehensible amounts of money acquiring stuff, the things that Ellison says and does are often equally as incomprehensible. Some of the crazy things he does include frequently spending past his billion dollar credit limit, allegedly flying his private jet under the Golden Gate Bridge, and suing his neighbors over the height of their trees.

2

Warren Buffett

Net worth: $46 billion

Age: 82

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Source of wealth: Berkshire, Hathaway

Warren Edward Buffett is the second richest man in the United States and is widely considered the most successful investor in history. He did have the title as the richest person in the world once in 2008. In 2012, Time magazine named Buffett one of the most influential people in the entire world. Over the years, Buffett has acquired a number of nicknames including the “Wizard of Omaha”, “Oracle of Omaha”, and the “Sage of Omaha”. Despite his immense wealth, Buffett is known for living frugally and being a noted philanthropist. He has pledged to eventually give away 99% of his total wealth to various causes including the Gates Foundation.

1

Bill Gates

Net worth: $66 billion

Age: 57

Location: Medina, Washington

Source of wealth: Microsoft

Bill Gates is the richest person in the United States. He is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Having been the world’s richest man from 1995 to 2007 and again in 2009, Bill Gates is no stranger to wealth. Beyond Microsoft, Bill Gates is also the founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded along with his wife in 1994 after selling some company stock. It has since become the world’s largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the entire world. After David Rockefeller who has contributed an enormous amount of wealth to the charity, Bill and Melinda Gates are officially the second most charitable people in the United States having contributed over $28 billion to charity over the years. The couple has even stated they have plans to contribute 95% of their total wealth over the upcoming years to help better the world and society.

 

Featured image: Flickr by Sen Chang