Forbes has released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States of America. Last year, America’s richest collectively lost $500 billion but they have gained it all back.
They are now collectively worth $4.5 trillion, according to Forbes, tying a record set in 2021. The business magazine explained that half of the gains were a result of rebounding technology stocks. Net worths were calculated using stock prices from September 8, 2023.
Only three Black men made The Forbes 400 list: Robert F. Smith, David Steward and Michael Jordan. There was no Black woman on the list.
Ranked number 89, Smith stands out 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.
Forbes estimated Steward’s net worth at $7.6 billion, putting him in 121st position on the list. 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.
He founded IT provider World Wide Technology (WWT) with a shoestring budget and with seven employees. Today, the company is one of the largest Black-owned IT providers in the U.S. with more than 20 locations across the world. The company provides services for both the American government and private organizations.
WWT notes that it has more than 8,000 employees and generates more than $14.5 billion in annual revenue, according to Bloomberg. The technology services provider specializes in cloud capabilities, data center, and virtualization, security, mobility, and networking technologies along with voice, video, and collaboration solutions.
Steward is also the founder of Kingdom Capital, a values-driven private investment firm with a focus on early-stage companies with technology-based health and medical solutions. What is more, the billionaire is also the author of two books — Doing Business by The Good Book, published in 2004, and Leadership by the Good Book, published in 2020.
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.
Jordan’s arrival on The Forbes 400 makes it the first time a professional athlete has ranked among America’s wealthiest individuals.