As we keep getting closer to the creme of the crop of the super-mega-rich, new industries keep popping up: fracking, energy, food distribution chains and mega-store chains. Some were started in small kitchens or offices early in the twentieth century; others flourished during the 1960′s boom.
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 3 and the last part here.
20. North Carolina: James Goodnight; the godfather of data analytics – $8.1 Billion
James “Jim” Goodnight is the CEO of SAS, a business analytics software vendor whose program can be found in more than 70,000 companies, governments and universities across the world. He has been CEO of the company since 1976.
Many insurance firms, for example, use SAS to flag fraudulent claims. The company is also among the world’s largest privately owned software businesses. The company started as a project between Goodnight and fellow billionaire John Sall to analyze agricultural data at North Carolina State University, where Goodnight earned his PhD in statistics. Between Goodnight and Sall, they also own Prestonwood Country Club, the Umstead Hotel & Spa and Cary Academy, a private school.
(Photo: William Amelio, president and CEO of Lenovo, right, sits with Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, left, as they speak on “Innovation: the currency of competition” during a session at the annual Forbes CEO conference in 2008 in Singapore. AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
19. New Jersey: David Tepper; the hedge fund master – $10 Billion
David Tepper is known as the “hedge fund master” because his hedge fund management firm, Appaloosa Management, of which he is both president and founder, has seen one of the greatest five-year performances in the industry. A former Goldman Sachs bond trader, Tepper has made his fortune by aggressively buying shares in U.S. banks like Bank of America while they were reeling from the credit crisis in 2009. He is also a philanthropist, giving away more than $20 million to various charities, $67 to Carnegie Mellon University (plus $55 million previously given to the same university) and continues supporting other causes like feeding the hungry, by donating to food banks, and education via Teach for America.
(Photo: George Washington Bridge, New Jersey side)
18. New Hampshire: Rick Cohen; the invisible billionaire – $11.2 Billion
Richard B. Cohen is one of the most secretive billionaires around. His company, C&S Wholesale Grocer’s Inc., is the 12th of America’s largest private companies, supplying more than 4,000 supermarkets from Maine to Hawaii. Cohen is so secretive with his life that he doesn’t even want the name of his company on his trucks. C&S Wholesale was founded in 1918 by his grandfather, Israel Cohen. Rick Cohen took charge of the company in 1989 when his father retired. They were able to grow the company at first by supplying the military, then by concentrating on client retention and efficiency. He lives a very “normal” life with his wife in Keene… for a billionaire, that is.
(Photo: New Hamphire State House in Concord)
17. Missouri: Jack Taylor; the Enterprise Rent-A-Car titan – $13.5 Billion
Jack Taylor started Enterprise Holdings, the company that operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National brands, in 1957. With 1.4 million vehicles and 8,100 locations worldwide, it’s the largest car rental company in the world. He named it after the aircraft carrier he served on during World War II, the USS Enterprise. In 1991, he handed the reins of Enterprise to his son, who stepped down in 2013 and now the company is run by a non-family member CEO, Pamela Nicholson. Taylor still serves as an advisory director of Enterprise. He owns a foundation and has helped develop programs for education and music in St. Louis.
(Photo: St. Louis skyline)
16. Connecticut: Ray Dalio; the biggest hedge fund firm – $14.4 Billion
Ray Dalio is the founder and co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, according to Forbes. His company now manages $160 billion in hedge funds. He created Bridgewater in 1975 from a spare bedroom in his New York apartment. He told The Wall Street Journal that he founded his company by creating a culture of “radical truth and radical transparency.”
(Photo: Ray Dalio speaks during a panel session on the first day of the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2012. AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
15. Colorado: Charles Ergen; the Dish master – $15 Billion
We’re not sure if he was the genius behind the DVR called the Hopper, but Charlie Ergen is a genius when it comes to deal making. He is the founder and ex-chairman of DISH Network, a TV satellite provider. Back in 1980, he and his wife started selling satellite dishes in “rural Denver” out of the back of their truck. He is the son of an Austrian nuclear physicist who emigrated to the U.S. after World War II and also became a “professional gambler” after college, but “apparently got thrown out of a Las Vegas casino for counting cards in blackjack,” says his Forbes profile page. He has also climbed Mount Everest. He has a Bachelor of Science in general business and accounting from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.
(Photo: In this Feb. 23, 2011 file photo, three Dish Network satellite dishes are shown at an apartment complex in Palo Alto, Calif. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
14. Georgia: Anne Cox Chambers; media empire heiress – $16.1 Billion
Her father, James M. Cox, founder Cox Enterprises, a privately-held media conglomerate that includes cable, broadband, newspapers, TV and radio stations, as well as car auction websites like AutoTrader.com and Kelly Blue Book. Cox Enterprises is also the third largest U.S. cable operator. And Bloomberg placed her as the 147th richest person in the world in 2013. Anne Cox Chambers was also U.S. ambassador to Belgium under President Jimmy Carter and holds the French Legion of Honor Title, according to Forbes.
13. Massachusetts: Abigail Johnson; Fidelity heiress – $18.2 Billion
Abigail Johnson was just named CEO of Fidelity, the second largest U.S. mutual fund company, founded by her grandfather Edward Johnson II in 1946. She started working at Fidelity before starting college and then in 1988, she became an equity research analyst after graduating from Harvard with an MBA. She’s another of the super private billionaires.
(Photo: Boston skyline)
12. Oregon: Phil Knight; the Nike king – $19 Billion
He started selling running shoes out of the trunk of his car. Today, Phil Knight is one of the super-rich. The son of a newspaper publisher, Knight graduated from Stanford Business School in 1962 and decided to go to Japan to meet with shoe suppliers. He started Blue Ribbon Sports, what would later be known as Nike, with his old track coach. He changed the name to the now famous sports brand in 1978 after the Greek goddess of victory. He obviously loves sports and has a tremendous respect for all athletes, a feeling that drives Nike’s culture.
(Photo: Nike founder Phil Knight, a member of the 2012 class of inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame, waits to be interviewed by the media at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Knight was inducted into the Hall in 2012. AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
11. Oklahoma: Harold Hamm; the oilman – $19.7 Billion
“My biggest advantage is that I was born with no advantage,” Hamm said of his upbringing. He grew up poor in Oklahoma and made his first debut in the oil industry while still a teenager, pumping gas and changing tires. He founded his first business , Harold Hamm Tank Trucks, in 1966 and today he own one of the most successful fracking companies: Continental Resources. He currently serves as chairman of the board of his company. He has also been in the news lately because of an incredible divorce battle in which he might end up paying over $3 billion.
(Photo: Billionaire oilman Harold Hamm, chairman of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. AP PhotoKevin Cederstrom)