They used these “disadvantages” to fuel their desire to persevere and triumph. They used the discrimination as energy that would propel them into extreme wealth, instead of focusing on negative thoughts.
And while it’s clear that some of them have inherited their great fortunes, they always make time to give back to their communities in different ways, sometimes in ways that are even more valuable than money, like taking the time to listen to local business owners and exchange advice with them.
Disclaimer: Some numbers can be different from Forbes, but this article follows the numbers provided by Movoto’s map. Click here for the 50 wealthiest people in America, by state: Part 1, Part 2, Part 4 and the last part here.
30. Minnesota: Whitney MacMillan; a Cargill legend – $5.3 Billion
The last member of the Cargill family to run their agricultural firm, Cargill, Inc., founded by Whitney’s great-grandfather in 1865, Whitney MacMillan was the CEO of the company from 1977 to 1995. Today, Cargill, Inc. is the largest private company in the world. MacMillan lives a very quiet life in Minnesota and has a few ranches, one in Montana, which he put up for sale this year: a 40,000-acre property that hosted Lewis and Clark on their voyage through the Louisiana Purchase and was also the site of the first dinosaur fossil discovery in North America.
29. Illinois: Ken Griffin; the lord of Citadel – $5.5 Billion
The founder of the $24 billion hedge fund firm Citadel, LLC, Ken Griffin started trading in his Harvard dorm room in the 1980s, using about $265,000 in seed money from his family and friends. He is also a philanthropist and donated $150 million to Harvard University this year to help students with their financial aid. He is back in the public eye after news of his divorce and custody battle broke.
(Photo: Chicago, IL, skyline)
28. Ohio: Leslie Wexner; Victoria’s Secret is out – $5.7 Billion
If you or someone in your family has ever purchased anything at Victoria’s Secret, then you know that Les Wexner is a retail genius. He has built famous brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, Limited Too and Express. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and watched his father toil away in his small store. Even though he swore he would never be involved in retail, he dropped out of law school and started helping his father at the store. A disagreement led him to open his own store, which he named The Limited because his stock was limited to women’s sports clothes. Then in 1982, Wexner bought the nearly-bankrupt Victoria’s Secret for $1 million, along with its six shops. And even though he sold most of his famous retail concepts, he still runs the lingerie store, which has more than 1,000 location in the U.S. and around the world. Wexner still lives in Columbus where he founded a CEO-only organization called Columbus Partnership in 2002, which meets up with business leaders in the community and partners with the mayor of the city to build a better future.
(Photo: Retail mogul Leslie Wexner, left, and his wife Abigail tour the “Transfigurations” exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, in Columbus, Ohio. The “Transfigurations” exhibit is from the Wexner’s private collection will mark the 25th anniversary of the Wexner Center for the Arts. AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
27. Indiana: Gayle Cook; the medical devices family – $6 Billion
The co-founder of the Cook Group, Gayle Cook and her husband William Cook started their medical device company in a spare bedroom in Bloomington, IN in 1963. When William died in 2011, Gayle inherited her husband’s stake in the company. She currently sits on the company’s board. The company specializes in catheters, stents and other medical devices.
(Photo: Indiana University’s Bloomington campus)
26. Montana: Dennis Washington; copper mining and trains – $6.1 Billion
It’s like playing the Monopoly board game and buying your own railroad: you know you’re practically set for the game of life, right? That is, unless you land on Boardwalk and someone has a hotel there, then your time might be limited.
Well, you might say that Dennis Washington bought his own Boardwalk and then some. He not only owns the Montana Rail Link, which transports freights across 900 miles of track, he also owns: a copper mine in Butte, a barge business in Vancouver, and he is also the majority shareholder of Canadian container shipping firm Seaspan, which has an $8 billion contract with the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard to build 12 vessels over the next 20 years.
Washington had polio when he was young and spent eight months in a hospital and rehab clinic in Seattle. He also lived in a government housing during World War II and shined shoes for pocket money. Washington ended up living with his grandparents in Missoula, Montana after his parents divorced. He realized early on that he was passionate about machinery and that’s why he went to Alaska when he was 17 and became a heavy-crane operator. He started his company, Washington Construction, with a $30,000 loan he took from a friend’s company.
(Photo: Glacier National Park)
25. Tennessee: Thomas Frist, Jr.; hospital magnate – $6.9 Billion
Owner of the hospital conglomerate Hospital Corp. of America, now HCA Holding, Thomas Frist was also one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He founded Hospital Corp. of America with his father in 1968 and was an Air Force flight surgeon. You might recognize his last name: his brother Bill Frist was a Republican Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2007. He also founded The HCA Foundation, now The Frist Foundation that invests in nonprofits in Nashville, TN.
(Photo: Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., right, poses with his son, Dr. Thomas Frist Jr. on Sept. 24, 1997 in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Nashville Banner, Dave Findey, File)
24. Wisconsin: John Menard; the iron fist of Menards – $7.7 Billion
You might recognize his last name. He’s been in the news a few times, battling controversial lawsuits from former employees and a recent scandal from a former business partner.
John Menard started building farm structures in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisc. He also sold leftover lumber on Saturdays, when all lumberyards were closed, and then added other products like shingles and nails. He founded Menard’s, a chain of home improvement stores, in 1964. He currently owns more than 280 stores in 14 states.
(Photo: Vitor Meira, right, and car owner John Menard ride out of the pit area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, May 18, 2003 after Meira qualified for the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500. Meira qualified with an average speed of 227.158 mph. AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
23. Hawaii: Pierre Omidyar; the eBay emperor – $7.9 Billion
Get used to seeing more tech companies rounding out the top wealthiest lists. In this case, Mr. Omidyar, a French-born coder of Iranian parents, moved to the U.S. when he was six. What were to become the beginnings of eBay was once called Auction Web, which Omidyar coded at age 28. He renamed it eBay since his first choice for a name, Echo Bay, was already taken. He currently presides as the chairman and has investments in different industries, such as First Look Media and the digital magazine The Intercept. He also has a philanthropic investment firm called Omidyar Network and has invested, along with his wife, at least $115 million in their Humanity United foundation, funding 85 antislavery nonprofits and projects in five countries, including Nepal. He has a degree in computer science from Tufts University and worked for Macintosh and Apple before founding eBay.
(Photo: The Dalai Lama shares a moment with Pillars of Peace Hawaii host Pierre Omidyar upon arriving in Oahu Friday April 13, 2012. Seniors from the school’s Kapalama Campus hula halau and glee club chanted and then sang and danced hula to the song “Bless This Land” during a brief ceremony held at a Honolulu hotel. (AP Photo/Tricia Whittemore, Eye of the Islands)
22. Michigan: Hank & Doug Meijer; the supermarket kings – $7.9 Billion
With 204 stores, the Meijer family operates and owns Meijer’s Grocery, a supermarket chain in Michigan and five other Midwestern states. The brothers, Hank and Doug, share the chairmanship of the chain, while Hank is also the CEO. The store was founded in 1934 by their grandfather Hendrik and their father Frederik. The stores are privately owned, so their wealth is estimated.
(Photos: From left, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Meijer Inc., co-chairman Hank Meijer and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing shake hands after a ground breaking ceremony for the Shops at Gateway Market Place in Detroit, May 17, 2012. The center will be anchored by a Meijer Supercenter. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
21. Florida: Charles Johnson; the San Francisco giant in Florida – $8.1 Billion
From $2.5 million to $800 billion and a stock price that increased 6,000-fold, that’s what Charles Johnson did in his 53 years as chairman of Franklin Resources, parent of mutual fund group Franklin Templeton. He retired from his position last year. He is also the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.
(Photo: From left, San Francisco Giants left fielder Juan Perez, Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco celebrate the team’s 7-1 victory in Game 1 of baseball’s World Series over the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)