Houston's Poor Billionaires

Most Houston billionaires take a big hit on Forbes list of world's richest people

Houston billionaires take a big hit on Forbes list of world's richest

Discovery Green, Gala on the Green, Feb. 2016, Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder
Rich Kinder, picture with wife Nancy at the Gala on the Green in February, is still Houston's richest man, although his net worth plummeted. Photo by Dave Rossman
San Luis Salute, Feb. 2016, Tilman Fertitta, Pitbull
Tilman Fertitta, pictured with Pitbull at the San Luis Salute in February, saw his next worth increase. Photo by Dave Rossman
Super Bowl Countdown Clock, Feb. 2016, Ric Campo, Ed Emmett, Bob McNair, Sylvester Turner
Bob McNair, second fro right at the recent unveiling of the Super Bowl Countdown Clock, saw his net worth rise largely due to owning the Houston Texans. Photo by Michal Wycoff
Discovery Green, Gala on the Green, Feb. 2016, Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder
San Luis Salute, Feb. 2016, Tilman Fertitta, Pitbull
Super Bowl Countdown Clock, Feb. 2016, Ric Campo, Ed Emmett, Bob McNair, Sylvester Turner

Who's the richest of them all? Forbes has released its 2016 list of the world's billionaires, featuring 1,810 individuals who have a combined net worth of $6.48 trillion. Among the 540 American billionaires are 13 very wealthy Houstonians — although most of them are a lot poorer than they were a year ago due to the volatile energy business.

Rich Kinder, the 71-year-old chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan, remains Houston's richest man, although his net worth nose dived to $5.4 billion. He landed at No. 240 on the list, down from No. 100 last year when his net worth was estimated at $12 billion.

Oilman and best boss ever Jeffrey Hildebrand, 56, also dropped in the rankings. He is No. 358, with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion. (Last year he was at No. 318, $4.9 billion.)

The four siblings of oilman Dan Duncan — Scott Duncan, 33, Milane Franz, 46, Randa Williams, 54, and Dannine Avara, 52 — saw their net worth plunge to $4.1 billion, tying them at No. 369 . Last year, three of the siblings tied at No. 230 on the list with an estimated net worth of $6.2 billion, while Williams was at No. 240 with an estimated net worth of $6.1 billion.

Other Houstonians who saw their net worth fall were:

  • John Arnold, 41, hedge funds, No. 688, $2.5 billion (down from $2.6 billion last year)
  • George Bishop, 79, oil & gas, No. 722,  $2.4 billion (down from $2.7 billion)
  • Leslie Alexander, 72, Houston Rockets owner, No. 1198, $1.5 billion (down from $1.6 billion)
  • Fayez Sarofim, 87, money manager, No. 1275, $1.4 billion (down from $2.2 billion)

Houstonians who saw their net worth rise were in businesses other than energy:

  • Dan Friedkin, 51, Toyota dealerships, $3.5 billion (up from $3.3 billion last year)
  • Bob McNair, 79, Houston Texans owner, $3.3 billion (up from $2.4 billion)
  • Tilman Fertitta, 58, restaurants/casinos, $3 billion (up from $2.5 billion)

The Houstonians on the list are the same as last year except for attorney Joe Jamail, who died late last year. 

A total of 48 Texans land on the Forbes list; most earned their dough through pipelines, oil and gas, and investments. Notable Lone Star names include Walmart heiress Alice Walton of Fort Worth ($32.3 billion), Dell CEO Michael Dell of Austin ($19.8 billion), Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($5 billion), and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban ($3.2 billion).

The richest people on the planet are Bill Gates of Microsoft fame ($75 billion), Zara's Amancia Ortega ($67 billion), Warren Buffet ($60.8 billion), Mexico's Carlos Slim Helu ($50 billion), and Amazon's Jeff Bezos ($45.2 billion).