No Black person made Forbes ‘Richest Billionaire In Every State’ list

Abu Mubarik November 03, 2023
Image: Wikimedia Commons

In a recent publication of the richest Americans by Forbes, three blacks made the list dubbed  “The Forbes 400 list.” The list included Robert F. Smith, David Steward, and Michael Jordan. There was no Black woman on the list.

Smith was ranked number 8 as the wealthiest Black person in America with an estimated net worth of $9.2 billion. Smith founded the private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, in 2000, which focuses exclusively on investing in software companies. The Denver native and philanthropist made headlines when he paid off the student debts of Morehouse’s graduating class in 2019.

Steward occupied the 121st position on the list with a net worth of $7.6 billion. The self-made billionaire started his entrepreneurial journey from a humble background and worked his way up the ladder to become successful. Born in Chicago in 1951, Steward grew up in segregation with his seven siblings, and at one point, he was the only Black boy in his school. His father worked as a janitor, mechanic, and trash collector.

Jordan ranked 379 on the list with an estimated net worth of $3 billion, according to Forbes. He joined The Forbes 400 following the sale of his stake in the Charlotte Hornets. This has seen his net worth hit $3 billion, up from $1.7 billion, according to Forbes, making him the richest basketball player of all time.

However, a new report by Forbes on the richest person in each American state did not include any black person, despite consistently showing in Forbes’ billionaire list or richest list. The report, which is the first since 2019, found billionaires living in 47, up from 44 the last time the magazine looked. 

In all, the 54 people (due to ties) on this year’s list are worth a combined $1.5 trillion–nearly double the record $875 billion in 2019, according to Forbes. The publication adds that the states without billionaires are Alaska, Delaware, and West Virginia. Until recently, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Vermont did not have billionaires.

Also, Texas and Florida are home to two of the world’s wealthiest political exiles, Elon Musk and Citadel’s Ken Griffin who left their former states for more business-friendly home bases.

According to Forbes, nine of the people on the list became millionaires in the last four years. One of them is New Mexico’s first billionaire, Ron Corio, who is the founder of Array Technologies, a solar manufacturing company.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates’s $116 billion net worth was not enough to rank him as the wealthiest resident of Washington, although only five people on earth are richer than him. Two other 10 ten richest Americans did not make the list. 

They are former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer ($102 billion), who trailed Jeff Bezos ($149 billion) in Washington, and Sergey Brin ($100 billion), who trailed his Google co-founder Larry Page ($105 billion) in California.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 3, 2023


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