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Published 17 September 2013 08:26, Updated 18 September 2013 08:07
Bill Gates has been named by Forbes as the richest American for the 20th year in a row. Photo: AP
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has regained the mantle of the world’s wealthiest person, ousting Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu.
Forbes made the announcement with the release of its latest list of the 400 richest Americans, which valued Gates’ personal fortune at $US72 billion ($67 billion) and named him the wealthiest American for the 20th year running.
In second place was fellow billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett, who managed to increase his personal fortune by $US12.5 billion to $US58.5 billion in the past year, despite giving away $US1 billion of his wealth.
At No. 3 was perennial rich lister and software billionaire Larry Ellison with a personal fortune of $US41 billion, while Charles and David Koch were tied at No. 4 with net wealth of $US36 billion each.
Warren Buffett managed to increase his personal fortune by $US12.5 billion despite giving away $US1 billion.Photo: Bloomberg
Most of the remaining spots in the top 10 were filled by members of the Walton family, which has accrued massive wealth through the Walmart chain. Christy Walton and family headed the Walton’s representation at No. 6 with $US35.4 billion), followed by Jim Walton (No. 7 with $US33.8 billion), Alice Walton (No. 8 with $US33.5 billion) and S. Robson Walton (No. 9 with $US33.3 billion).
Media mogul turned New York major Michael Bloomberg rounded out the top 10 with a personal fortune of $US31 billion.
According to Forbes, the total wealth of the 400 richest Americans soared 19 per cent in the past year to $US2.02 trillion, with the average net worth of a list member climbing from $US4.2 billion in 2012 to $US5 billion in 2013.
Forbes pegged the average ago of list members at 66, but also found that the fortunes of younger list members are growing at a more rapid rate than those at the older end of the spectrum.
In all there were 20 billionaires under the age of 45 on the list of the 400 richest Americans, with the youngest being 29-year-old Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, whose net worth nearly doubled in the past year to $US5.3 billion.
Fellow Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is the second-youngest member of the list, with net worth estimated at $US19 billion, up from $US9.4 billion thanks to the surging value of Facebook stock in recent months.
Forbes orders its rankings of the youngest billionaires by age rather than wealth.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth rose to $US19 billion from $US9.4 billion, thanks to the surging value of Facebook stock.Photo: Bloomberg
Many of the fortunes of America’s youngest billionaires were built in the technology sector, with Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker coming in at No. 4 with $US2 billion, Ubiquiti Networks’ Robert Pera at No. 5 with $US1.95 billion and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at No. 6 with $US1.3 billion.