How the richest person in every state made a fortune
Are you curious about the richest person in your state? Whether it's a hedge-fund billionaire, tech giant, industrial titan, or someone simply born into the right family, the wealthiest people in every state each have their own stories. In today's political climate, the super-rich have plenty of influence over our political process, from lobbying members of the government and contributing to presidential bids to running ad campaigns in favor of specific causes.
To figure out who's on top of each state's rich list, Forbes tracks groups of billionaires (or centimillionaires in states with no billionaires) and updates their findings annually. Stacker compiled a list of the uber-wealthy using this data, then broke down how each person earned their fortune. This list accounts for individuals' wealth as of June 26, 2019, but keep in mind the tides of fortune are always shifting. Many of the figures can change based on a dip in the stock market alone.
Sometimes billionaires are created overnight, like when Amazon founder and current richest man in the world Jeff Bezos announced his divorce with his wife MacKenzie, who will receive 4% of Amazon, roughly $35 billion. Sometimes billionaires are created through generations, with each subsequent heir to a fortune or a corporation making their own impact on their familial wealth. Sometimes billionaires are created amid a boom of new technology, like Mark Zuckerberg, who harnessed social media to become the richest person in California.
The distribution of billionaires and other super-rich individuals isn't evenly distributed; plenty more live on the coast than the Midwest, with some key exceptions: Warren Buffett, the richest person in Nebraska, still lives in a house costing approximately $652,000 that he bought in 1958. Clearly, metropolitan penthouses aren't for everyone.
Who's the richest person in your state? Read on to find out.
You may also like: Wealthiest counties in the U.S.
Alabama: Jimmy Rane
- Net worth: $900 million (as of June 18, 2019)
- Age: 72
- Source of wealth: lumber
- Residence: Abbeville, AL
Known colloquially as the Yella Fella, Jimmy Rane is a lumber magnate who built his fortune from his family's small plant into billion-dollar behemoth Great Southern Wood Preserving. As the wealthiest person in Alabama, Rane keeps his money close to home. He's revitalized his hometown and supports several universities by offering scholarships (more than 400 to date) through The Jimmy Rane Foundation. The Auburn University alum still sits on the board of his alma mater as chair of the board's governmental affairs.
Alaska: Leonard Hyde, Jonathan Rubini and families
- Net worth: $300 million each (as of June 18, 2019)
- Age: 62, 64
- Source of wealth: real estate
- Residence: Anchorage, AK
Real estate tycoons Leonard Hyde and Jonathan Rubini began amassing their fortunes by buying up Alaskan properties during economic downturns. Today, the partners head JL Properties, which owns the tallest building in Anchorage, massive residential units, and much more.
Arizona: Ernest Garcia II
- Net worth: $5.7 billion
- Age: 62
- Source of wealth: used cars, self made
- Residence: Tempe, AZ
The stereotype of the used car salesman—ill-fitting shirt, sweaty skin, dusty parking lot—has never looked so good. Ernest Garcia II, an ex-con, made his fortune through operating the fourth-largest used car retailer in the country, DriveTime Automotive, along with owning plenty of stock of Carvana, a used car e-commerce platform.
Arkansas: Jim Walton
- Net worth: $52.1 billion
- Age: 71
- Source of wealth: Walmart
- Residence: Bentonville, AR
According to Forbes, Jim Walton is the 11th wealthiest person in America, and is one of many heirs to the Walmart fortune that was amassed by his father, Sam Walton. Jim Walton lives in Bentonville—home to the Walmart world headquarters—and runs the family's Arvest Bank, which has assets listed at $16 billion.
California: Mark Zuckerberg
- Net worth: $79.5 billion
- Age: 35
- Source of wealth: Facebook, self made
- Residence: Palo Alto, CA
As the creator of Facebook, the world's largest social network, Mark Zuckerberg isn't just the wealthiest Californian, but one of the five wealthiest Americans (stock price dependent). Zuckerberg hasn't been shy about giving his money away: He's one of the many ultra-rich to promise to donate half his wealth to The Giving Pledge.
You may also like: Colleges with the best student life in every state
Colorado: Philip Anschutz
- Net worth: $11.5 billion
- Age: 80
- Source of wealth: investments
- Residence: Denver, CO
Philip Anschutz is one of the most diversified billionaires on this list, with businesses ranging from sports and movies to oil and real estate. Anschutz's father was an oil tycoon, giving him a leg-up, but Phillip has far surpassed anything his family ever accomplished. Today, Anschutz owns sports teams, an entertainment conglomerate (including Coachella), and is one of the biggest individual landowners in the United States. Anschutz has also given away more than $2 billion to charity.
Connecticut: Ray Dalio
- Net worth: $18.7 billion
- Age: 70
- Source of wealth: hedge funds, self made
- Residence: Greenwich, CT
After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975, Ray Dalio started Bridgewater Associates, which has since become the largest hedge fund in the world with an estimated $160 billion under management. Dalio is also actively philanthropic—his family has given more than $1.3 billion via the Dalio Foundation, and he's promised to give away half his wealth through The Giving Pledge.
Delaware: Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder
- Net worth: $885 million each (as of June 18, 2019)
- Age: 82, 72
- Source of wealth: Gore-Tex
- Residence: Newark and Wilmington, DE
Together, the heirs to Gore-Tex would be worth over a billion dollars, but since Elizabeth Snyder has five siblings, Delaware has zero billionaires. Gore-Tex is a lightweight, waterproof fabric and is commonly used in high-end raincoats to keep the cold and wet out.
Florida: Thomas Peterffy
- Net worth: $16.9 billion
- Age: 75
- Source of wealth: discount brokerage, self made
- Residence: Palm Beach, FL
A self-made billionaire, Thomas Peterffy is a Hungarian immigrant who came to America at 21 with no money. He earned his fortune by creating Discount Brokerage, a digital trading platform used by brokers and investors around the world. One of Peterffy's biggest causes is railing against socialism, and he's spent millions in political ads.
Georgia: Jim Kennedy
- Net worth: $10 billion
- Age: 72
- Source of wealth: media, automotive
- Residence: Atlanta, GA
Jim Kennedy inherited his 25% stake in Cox Enterprises—owners of TV and radio stations, newspapers, and digital services—from his mother, Barbara Cox Anthony. Kennedy had already served as CEO of the mega-media company from 1988 to 2008, raising its revenues from $1.8 billion to $15.4 billion. Kennedy is involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, including education, health care, and sustainability causes.
You may also like: Best county to retire in every state2018 All rights reserved.