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Net worth $1 billion? It's not enough for Forbes list

September 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — A billion dollars just doesn't go as far as it used to.

For the first time, it takes more than $1 billion to earn a spot on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 richest Americans. The minimum net worth for inclusion in this year's rankings, released Thursday, was $1.3 billion, up $300 million from last year.

The new threshold meant 82 of America's billionaires didn't make the cut.

Collectively, the people who made the rankings released Thursday are worth $1.54 trillion, compared with $1.25 trillion last year.

The top of the list was unchanged: Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates led the list for the 14th straight year, this time with a net worth estimated at $59 billion. He was followed by Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., with an estimated $52 billion, and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, with an estimated worth of $28 billion.

Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp. maintained his ranking at No. 4, with an estimated net worth of $26 billion.

But the list showed some notable changes.

Joining the top 10 of the country's richest for the first time were Google Inc. founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who tied for fifth place. The 34-year-old moguls' wealth has quadrupled since 2004 to an estimated $18.5 billion this year, while their company's stock value has surged 500%.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, October 04, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 45 words Type of Material: Correction
Forbes list: The captions on two photographs in the Business section on Sept. 21 accompanying an article about Forbes magazine's list of richest Americans switched the identities of the co-founders of Google: Larry Page was identified as Sergey Brin and Brin was identified as Page.

And, lower down, almost half of the 45 newcomers made their millions in hedge funds and private equity investments. The youngest member of this year's list was 33-year-old hedge fund manager John Arnold, who joined the ranks at No. 317 and a net worth of $1.5 billion.

Surging oil prices also helped some members of the list. Oil-baron brothers Charles and David Koch broke into the top 10, sharing the No. 9 spot with estimated wealth of $17 billion.

Climbing 19 rungs to No. 7 was casino tycoon Kirk Kerkorian, who doubled his net worth to an estimated $18 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 was Michael Dell of computer maker Dell Inc., who was No. 8 with an estimated $17.2 billion.

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The richest Californians

The top 22 Californians on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans:

4. Larry Ellison, 63, $26 billion, Oracle

5. Sergey Brin, 34, $18.5 billion, Google

5. Larry Page, 34, $18.5 billion, Google

7. Kirk Kerkorian, 90, $18 billion, investments, casinos

23. Donald Bren, 75, $13 billion, real estate

41. Sumner Redstone, 84, $7.6 billion, Viacom

46. Eli Broad, 74, $7 billion, investments

48. Eric Schmidt, 52, $6.5 billion, Google

52. David Geffen, 64, $6 billion, movies, music

52. Charles Johnson, 74, $6 billion, Franklin Resources

56. Steve Jobs, 52, $5.7 billion, Apple, Pixar

57. George Roberts, 64, $5.5 billion, leveraged buyouts

57. Charles Schwab, 70, $5.5 billion, discount stockbrokerage

62. Rupert Johnson Jr., 66, $5.2 billion, Franklin Resources

64. David Murdock, 84, $4.7 billion, investments

68. Gordon Moore, 78, $4.5 billion, Intel

79. Steven Udvar-Hazy, 61, $4.1 billion, International Lease Finance

86. George Lucas, 63, $3.9 billion, movies

88. Bradley Hughes, 74, $3.7 billion, Public Storage

91. Riley Bechtel, 55, $3.5 billion, engineering, construction

91. Stephen Bechtel Jr., 82, $3.5 billion, engineering, construction

91. Ron Burkle, 54, $3.5 billion, supermarkets, investments

Source: Associated Press

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