Houston's richest rank high on new Forbes list of world's billionaires
Forbes has updated its eponymous billionaires list for 2017, and Texans make quite a showing among the Bill Gateses, Mark Zuckerbergs, and Warren Buffetts of the world.
Fort Worth-based Alice Walton, an heir to the Wal-Mart fortune and the current chairman of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, is the highest Lone Star State entrant at No. 17. Her $33.8 billion net worth is far and away the largest of any of the Texans on the global list.
Oil is the common denominator among Houston's richest. Richard Kinder, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan, and his $7 billion are No. 194; that's quite a jump in both ranking and net worth since last year. Dannine Avara, Scott Duncan, Milane Frantz, and Randa Williams, the heirs of oilman Dan Duncan, are all tied at No. 261 with $5.7 billion.
Other Houston billionaires include oilman Jeffery Hildebrand (No. 402 with $4.3 billion), car distributor Dan Friedkin (No. 522 with $3.6 billion), Texans owner Robert McNair (No. 544 with $3.5 billion), philanthropist John Arnold (No 660 with $3 billion), entrepreneur Tilman Fertitta (No. 693 with $2.9 billion), oilman George Bishop (No. 814 with $2.5 billion), Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander (No. 1,098 with $1.9 billion), and investor Fayez Sarofim (No. 1,290 with $1.6 billion).
Austin's Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell computers, is No. 38 with his $20.4 billion, which is thanks in part to the approximately $60 billion merger between Dell and computer storage giant EMC that closed in September 2016.
The self-made banking mogul Andrew Beal (No. 127, net worth of $10.4 billion); investor Robert Rowling (No. 234, net worth of $6.2 billion); and Trevor Rees-Jones (No. 294, net worth of $5.3 billion) are Dallas' highest entrants. Beal and Rees-Jones have each slipped a bit in the rankings since last year, though Rowlings made a big jump from No. 286.
Other big Texas names on the list include Jerry Jones ($5.2 billion), Ray Lee Hunt ($4.8 billion), Robert Bass ($4 billion), H. Ross Perot Sr. ($4 billion), Mark Cuban ($3.4 billion), John Paul DeJoria ($3.1 billion), and W. Herbert Hunt ($2 billion).