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Richest List Has Gates at No. 1, Plus 83 Californians

September 29, 1997|From Times Wire Services

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates' ever-increasing billions have kept him on top of Forbes' list of the 400 richest Americans for the fourth consecutive year, the magazine said Sunday.

Gates, 41, more than doubled his net worth from $18.5 billion in 1996 to $39.8 billion this year--an increase of about $400 million a week, the magazine said in its Oct. 13 issue.

Eighty-three people on the list are identified by Forbes as Californians.

With 170 billionaires atop the list, Gates is not the only computer and technology specialist to make the cut. Five of the top six have made their money in computers and software, with the only non-computer magnate being Warren Buffett, 67, who came in No. 2 for the second year running.

The man often called the world's most successful investor has an estimated net worth of $21 billion.

When the magazine introduced its list in 1982, eight of the 10 richest people were oil billionaires.

The price of admission to the Forbes 400 club has risen to $475 million from $415 million last year. The lowest on the original list was $91 million.

Rounding out this year's top five are Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, with a net worth of $17 billion; Lawrence Ellison, founder of Oracle Corp., at $9.2 billion; and Intel Corp.'s Gordon Moore, who was No. 17 last year, with $8.8 billion.

Media mogul Ted Turner came in at No. 28, with a net worth of $3.5 billion; the widow and children of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton ranked nine through 13, and movie maker Steven Spielberg's $1.1 billion put him at No. 140.

There are 60 women among the 400. The only black person is talk show host Oprah Winfrey, 43, who made the list for the third time with a net worth of $550 million.

Irene Pennington, 97, is the oldest of the wealthiest. Her $600 million from Pennington Oil places her at No. 313. Daniel Ziff, No. 127 at 25, is the youngest with $1.2 billion made through investments and inheritance.

Fortunes were inherited by 112 members, while 219 were self-made. Fifty-three fortunes were built in media, 52 in finance, 30 in manufacturing, 28 in real estate, 27 in oil and gas, 18 each in technology and retailing, 15 in software and 14 in agriculture.

The average net worth of those on the list was $1.6 billion. At least four people on the list did not finish high school. Forbes said the average net worth of the 30 college drop-outs on its list was $3.3 billion.


Californians listed among the 400 richest Americans, as compiled by Forbes magazine. The list below is organized by California rank and includes net worth (in billions of dollars for 1-30 and in millions of dollars for 31-83), source of wealth, hometown and age where known.

Nos. 1-10: Ellison, Lawrence Joseph, 9.2, Oracle Corp., Atherton, 53; Moore, Gordon Earl, 8.8, Intel Corp., Woodside, 68; Hewlett, William Redington, 4.1, Hewlett-Packard, Portola Valley, 84; Davis, Marvin H., 2.6, oil, real estate, Beverly Hills, 72; Bren, Donald L., 2.5, real estate, Newport Beach, 65; Haas, Peter E. Sr., 2.4, inheritance (Levi Strauss), San Francisco, 78; Kroc, Joan Beverly, 2.1, inheritance (McDonald's), Rancho Santa Fe, 69; Geffen, David, 2.0, music, Malibu, 54; Lucas, George, 2.0, movies, special effects, San Rafael, 53; Getty, Gordon Peter, 1.9, inheritance (oil), San Francisco, 61.

Nos. 11-20: Johnson, Charles Bartlett, 1.9, Franklin Resources Inc., Hillsborough, 64; Schwab, Charles R., 1.8, discount stock brokerage, Atherton, 60; Duffield, David A., 1.7, PeopleSoft Inc., Danville, 57; Buffett, Susan Thompson, 1.6, inheritance (Berkshire Hathaway), San Francisco, 65; Bechtel, Riley P., 1.5, engineering, construction, San Francisco, 45; Bechtel, Stephen Davison Jr., 1.5, engineering, construction, San Francisco, 72; Cargill, Margaret Anne, 1.5, Cargill Inc., La Jolla, 77; Fisher, Donald George, 1.5, The Gap, San Francisco, 69; Fisher, Doris Feigenbaum, 1.5, The Gap, San Francisco, 66; Johnson, Rupert Jr., 1.5, Franklin Resources, Hillsborough, 57.

Nos. 21-30: Perenchio, Andrew Jerrold, 1.5, television, Bel Air, 66; Broad, Eli, 1.3, home building, Los Angeles, 64; Goldman, Richard N., 1.3, inheritance (Levi Strauss), San Francisco, 77; Hughes, Bradley Wayne, 1.2, Public Storage Inc., Glendale, 64; Roberts, George R., 1.2, leveraged buyouts, San Francisco, 53; Emmerson, Archie Aldis, 1.1, Sierra Pacific Industries, Redding, 68; Field, Frederick Woodruff, 1.1, media, Beverly Hills, 45; Spielberg, Steven Allen, 1.1, Movies, Palisades, 49; Singleton, Henry Earl, 1.0, Teledyne, Beverly Hills, 80; Udvar-hazy, Steven Ferencz, 1.0, International Lease Finance Corp., Beverly Hills, 51.

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