Houston's Poor Billionaires
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).