The former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft earned top honors with a reported $59 billion in total wealth, a staggering $20 billion more than Warren Buffett who earned the silver medal on Forbes' list.
The biggest "dollar gainer" was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who ranked number 14. Steve Jobs, another Silicon Valley billionaire ranked number 39. Ted Turner notched number 212, and Donald Trump ranked number 128.
According to Forbes, in 2011 entrepreneurs have dominated the ranks, comprising an all-time high of 70% of the Forbes 400 members. Enthusiasm for popular brands, like Starbucks and Forever 21, has helped boost some fortunes, while the spread of social media has sparked others.
According to the report, the combined wealth of America’s richest is $1.5 trillion, with an average net worth of $3.8 billion, reflecting a 12% uptick from 2010. Wealth was up for 262 members of this year’s list, while 72 members saw a decline. Cost of admission was $1.05 billion, up from $1 billion a year ago.
The world's youngest billionaire is Dustin Moskovitz who ranked number 91. Forty-two women made the list, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey who ranked number 139.
The Forbes 400 welcomed 18 new members, including Sean Parker who rocked the music industry with Napster; John Henry, majority owner of the Boston Red Sox; and Jeffrey Skoll whose Participant Media’s most recent release, “The Help,” has grossed nearly $143 million to date.
$ CHANGE FROM 2010
+ $5 billion
- $6 billion
+ $6 billion
+ $3.5 billion
+ $3.5 billion
Christy Walton & family
+ $500 million
+ $7.8 billion
+ $6.8 billion
+ $1 billion
+ $900 million