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)