However, the blog also mentions how most of the people on this list have “some sort of college degree, but years spent studying on campus isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to striking it rich.” One example is Bill Gates, who dropped out of college, and ranks as the wealthiest of them all.
Another good point that the post highlights is the extreme wealth gap between the “mega wealthy and the average American.” An interactive map presents the division between the mega-wealthy and the average wealth of regions around the country.
Keep on reading to find out who is the richest person in your state in this five-part article series, listed from the “least super-mega rich” to the “king of the super-mega rich.”
Disclaimer: Some numbers can be different from Forbes, but this article follows the numbers provided by Movoto’s map.
50. Alaska: Robert Gillam; financial guru – $700 Million
Founder of McKinley Capital Management, LLC, Robert Gillam is a successful businessman who is currently the president and CEO of his company. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Wharton School of Business and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. With more than 40 years of experience in the financial industry under his belt, he was a General Partner of Boettcher and Company and an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange, and has held other prominent positions in the industry.
49. Delaware: Robert Gore; co-inventor of Gore-Tex – $830 Million
Robert Gore and his father Bill Gore invented a waterproof yet breathable fabric called Gore-Tex. Born in Salt Lake City, UT, Robert went to the University of Delaware where in 1957 he discovered a way to insulate wires with PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) while he was still a sophomore. In 1958, his father, Bill, founded a company in the basement of his home that specialized in manufacturing flouropolymers called W.L. Gore & Associates. Meanwhile, Robert completed his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota with an MS and PhD in chemical engineering. He created the Gore-Tex fabric in 1969 by expanding the PTFE wires. From 1976 to 2000, Robert was president of W.L. Gore & Associates and currently is the chairman of the board of directors. The company makes everything from clothes for specific environmental conditions, shoes, to guitar strings and medical devices.
( Photo: In this Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, photo, Cynthia Amon holds footwear with Gore-Tex Surround product technology at the Outdoor Retailer’s summer show, in Salt Lake City. The biannual show brings thousands to Utah. The world’s largest outdoor-gear trade show runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Salt Palace Convention Center. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
48. Maine: Leon Gorman; the L.L. Bean legacy – $860 Million
Grandson of the founder of the retail empire L.L. Bean, Leon A. Gorman headed the company for many years until 1999. Gorman is credited for taking a $2 million business and turning it into a billion-dollar enterprise. They have kept their customer service promise they made since their beginnings and specialize in catalog sales, rather than brick-and-mortar stores. His grandfather is credited with inventing in 1911 the Maine Hunting Shoe, a boot that would keep feet comfortable and dry.
(Photo: Leon A. Gorman, who is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of L.L. Bean, sits outside one of the company’s stores in Freeport, Maine, in May 1999. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
47. North Dakota: Gary Tharaldson; hotel magnate – $900 Million
A North Dakotan through and through, Gary Tharaldson was born and raised in the town of Dazey (population 105 in 2013). From farmhand in high school, his path to fortune started with the purchase of a Super 8 Motel in Valley City, ND. He then founded Tharaldson Hospitality Management in the early 1980s, a hospitality business that operates and maintains several hotels in the U.S. In 2006, he sold 130 hotels to Whitehall Real Estate Fund, Goldman Sach’s real estate business, for $1.2 billion… in cash. He then invested in key land properties in various states. Tharaldson graduated from Valley City State Univeristy (in ND, of course) and was also in the insurance business full time before getting into the hotel business.
46. Alabama: Marguerite Harbert; construction empire heiress – $1.2 Billion
Marguerite Jones Harbert inherited her fortune from her husband, John M. Harbert III, who was a construction titan and founder of Harbert Corporation, and whom she met in grade school. The company was one of the largest construction companies in the world and had offices worldwide, but was sold in the early 1990s to Raytheon Engineers & Constructors. To date, the international division of the company still has its headquarters in Birmingham, AL, though it is owned by John’s brother Bill L. Harbert. Also, Marguerite’s son Raymond J. Harbert started an investment management firm in 1993 called Harbert Management Corporation which today handles over $20.3 billion in assets.