America has always been known as the land of opportunity, where hard work and intelligence can result in a big payoff. Entrepreneurs, rather than inheritors, have typically been revered as the heroes of the American wealth-building narrative.
In honor of this American legacy, Wealth-X recently compiled a list of the richest living self-made Americans. Because their fortunes fluctuate with the market, Bankrate added information from the Forbes list of wealthiest individuals to compile an up-to-date list of the richest entrepreneurs in the nation.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is the second-wealthiest man in the world after Mexican Carlos Slim according to the latest Forbes rich list, ranks No. 1.
The majority of today’s seven richest American billionaires earned their fortunes in technology or technology-related businesses, including Gates, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg, 30, is the youngest billionaire on the list.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett, the oldest person on the list at 84, is also at the center of the Giving Pledge, a campaign to encourage the superrich to donate at least half their fortunes to charity. Most of the entrepreneurs on the list are actively involved in giving back to society in some way or another.
Read on to discover the seven richest American entrepreneurs in the nation.
Widely known for his investment expertise, the Nebraska native has been dubbed “the Oracle of Omaha.” In 2006, he announced he would donate virtually his entire fortune to charity and chose the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as his vehicle.
The avid yachtsman is co-owner, along with Geffen Records founder David Geffen, of one of the world’s largest yachts, the 80-plus-room Rising Sun. He has also joined Buffett’s Giving Pledge and promises to give away 95 percent of his assets.
Consistently ranked among the top 15 in the Forbes list of the world’s richest, Adelson’s casino shares are worth more than all the other U.S. casinos combined. He is actively involved in fighting Internet gambling, according to Forbes.
The social media titan’s favored charity is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. For two years in a row, he donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock. The most recent donation in 2013 was valued at nearly $1 billion.