Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and the 23 Other Richest People in the US

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

The rich don’t always get richer in tumultuous times like these, but some fare better than others. Take Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO and soon-to-be owner of social media giant Twitter grew his net worth by a staggering $68 billion from March 2021 to March 2022, according to Forbes’ 36th Annual World’s Billionaires List, placing him at No. 1 on the annual list for the first time ever.

Here It Is: Our Small Business Spotlight
Read More: 7 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Reach Retirement Goals

Some of America’s richest people made their fortune as innovators. Think of Musk with his electric cars and space rockets. Others were born into fortunes built by forebearers with names like Mars, Walton and Koch. Then there are people like Bill Gates, who spends most of his time and effort on giving money away through philanthropy, yet somehow, keeps getting richer.

Using data from Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire List, GOBankingRates identified the 25 richest people in America and ranked them in ascending order from least rich to richest. The list also includes their ages, net worths and the source of their fortunes.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
Bret Hartman/TED / Flickr.com

Ray Dalio

  • U.S. wealth rank: 25
  • Overall wealth rank: 65
  • Net worth: $22 billion
  • Age: 72
  • Source of income: Hedge funds, self made

Ray Dalio is the founder and co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates. With $154 billion in assets under management, Bridgewater is the largest hedge fund company in the world.

POLL: Are You Concerned That Social Security Benefits Will Be Reduced During Your Lifetime?

Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock / Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock

Miriam Adelson

  • U.S. wealth rank: 24
  • Overall wealth rank: 57
  • Net worth: $24.5 billion
  • Age: 76
  • Source of income: Casinos

Miriam Adelson was married to Sheldon Adelson, former chair and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, who died in 2021. Miriam, a medical doctor specializing in addiction, now owns over half of the Sands. The company has a $48 billion market capitalization.

Larry Busacca / Getty Images

Ken Griffin

  • U.S. wealth rank: 23
  • Overall wealth rank: 53
  • Net worth: $25.5 billion
  • Age: 53
  • Source of income: Hedge funds, self made

Ken Griffin turned his penchant for trading into a $39 billion hedge fund after founding Citadel Securities in 1990. The University of Chicago named its economics department after Griffin following his $150 million donation.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
Mark Lennihan/AP / Shutterstock.com

Jim Simons

  • U.S. wealth rank: 22
  • Overall wealth rank: 46
  • Net worth: $28.6 billion
  • Age: 84
  • Source of income: Hedge funds, self made

A former math professor and department chair at Stony Brook University, Jim Simons founded hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies in 1982. Simons is still involved in the company’s operations over a decade after he formally retired. 

©Roger Askew/The Oxford Union/REX/Shutterstock

Stephen Schwarzman

  • U.S. wealth rank: 21
  • Overall wealth rank: 41
  • Net worth: $30.5 billion
  • Age: 75
  • Source of income: Investments, self made

Stephen Schwarzman is cofounder of the private equity firm Blackstone, which has $684 billion in assets. Although his cofounder, Peter Peterson, retired after the company went public in 2007, Schwarzman still serves as chair and CEO.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock / Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

MacKenzie Scott

  • U.S. wealth rank: 20
  • Overall wealth rank: 40
  • Net worth: $31.2 billion
  • Age: 52
  • Source of income: Amazon

Mackenzie Scott’s 2019 divorce from Amazon boss Jeff Bezos made the author and former hedge fund employee one of the richest people on Earth. She immediately put her newfound wealth to good use, becoming one of the world’s most prolific philanthropists in that short time alone.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
RON SACHS/POOL/EPA-EFE / Shutterstock.com

Jacqueline Mars

  • U.S. wealth rank: 18 (tie)
  • Overall wealth rank: 36 (tie)
  • Net worth: $32.8 billion
  • Age: 82
  • Source of income: Candy, pet food

John Mars’ only living sibling is Jacqueline Mars. The company they inherited is famous for candy, but it’s also a pet food giant with brands like Whiskas and Pedigree in its portfolio.

Ekaterina79 / Getty Images

John Mars

  • U.S. wealth rank: 18 (tie)
  • Overall wealth rank: 36 (tie)
  • Net worth: $32.8 billion
  • Age: 86
  • Source of income: Candy, pet food

One of the only billionaires whose name makes you hungry, John Mars is the grandson of candy magnate Frank Mars. He and his two siblings inherited about a third of the famous sweets empire each.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Phil Knight and Family

  • U.S. wealth rank: 17
  • Overall wealth rank: 28
  • Net worth: $42.3 billion
  • Age: 84
  • Source of income: Nike, self made

Phil Knight co-founded Nike and oversaw its ascent to the pinnacle of the global athletic shoes and apparel industry. He formed what would become Nike with his old track coach with an investment of $500 each in 1964.

Richard Drew/AP / Shutterstock.com

Michael Dell

  • U.S. wealth rank: 16
  • Overall wealth rank: 24
  • Net worth: $50.1 billion
  • Age: 57
  • Source of income: Dell, self made

Michael Dell struck it rich with the direct-order computer company that bears his name, and when Dell merged with EMT in 2016, the $60 billion deal was the largest tech acquisition in history. His side hustle is MSD Capital, which owns a portfolio of restaurants and hotels.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock / Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock

Julia Koch and Family

  • U.S. wealth rank: 14 (tied)
  • Overall wealth rank: 21 (tied)
  • Net worth: $61.4 billion
  • Age: 60
  • Source of income: Koch Industries

Along with her three children, Julia Koch inherited roughly 42 percent of Koch Industries when her husband, David Koch, died in 2019. She previously worked in the fashion industry.

Gavin Peters / Wikimedia Commons

Charles Koch

  • U.S. wealth rank: 14 (tied)
  • Overall wealth rank: 21 (tied)
  • Net worth: $61.4 billion
  • Age: 86
  • Source of income: Koch Industries

Charles Koch is known not only as a billionaire businessman, but as a heavyweight in the political donor class. Since 1967, he has served as chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, the company his father Fred Koch founded in 1940 after developing a new way to produce gasoline.

WESLEY HITT / Flickr.com

Rob Walton

  • U.S. wealth rank: 13
  • Overall wealth rank: 19
  • Net worth: $67.7 billion
  • Age: 77
  • Source of income: Walmart

The oldest son of legendary Walmart founder Sam Walton, Rob Walton took the mantle when the elder Walton died in 1992. Rob Walton and the rest of Sam Walton’s heirs together own half of the stock of the company their father founded.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
©Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com/REX/Shutterstock

Alice Walton

  • U.S. wealth rank: 12
  • Overall wealth rank: 18
  • Net worth: $68 billion
  • Age: 72
  • Source of income: Walmart

The renegade of the Walmart heirs, Alice Walton is Sam Walton’s only daughter. Unlike her siblings, company life was not for her. She pursued a career as an art curator and museum founder, instead.

WESLEY HITT / Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Jim Walton

  • U.S. wealth rank: 11
  • Overall wealth rank: 16
  • Net worth: $68.6 billion
  • Age: 73
  • Source of income: Walmart

Sam Walton’s youngest son is Jim Walton, who turned his seat on the company’s board over to his own son, Steuart, in 2016. Instead, he serves as chairman of Arvest Bank, which–along with its $20 billion in assets–belongs to his family, as well.

David Ramos / Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg

  • U.S. wealth rank: 10
  • Overall wealth rank: 15
  • Net worth: $69.4 billion
  • Age: 37
  • Source of income: Facebook, self made

Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook into the world’s biggest social network, but he also used the company to acquire an astonishing collection of other companies. Most recently, Zuckerberg became the youngest person ever to cross $100 billion in personal wealth when Facebook-owned Instagram launched Reels as a competitor to TikTok in 2020. Facebook’s name changed to Meta in 2021.

Make Your Money Work Better for You
rblfmr / Shutterstock.com

Michael Bloomberg

  • U.S. wealth rank: 9
  • Overall wealth rank: 13
  • Net worth: $82 billion
  • Age: 80
  • Source of income: Bloomberg LP, self made

Michael Bloomberg built his enormous fortune from the ground up, starting his Wall Street career at the entry level before building a financial empire that was based on media and technology. His second act was a political career that included a long run as the mayor of New York City.

Francois Durand / Getty Images

Steve Ballmer

  • U.S. wealth rank: 8
  • Overall wealth rank: 11
  • Net worth: $84.7 billion
  • Age: 66
  • Source of income: Microsoft, self made

Stanford dropout Steve Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as employee No. 30. As CEO from 2000-2014, he shepherded the company through the dot-com bust, the rise of Google, and Apple’s most transformative era of innovation.

James Duncan Davidson / Flickr.com

Sergey Brin

  • U.S. wealth rank: 7
  • Overall wealth rank: 9
  • Net worth: $93.8 billion
  • Age: 48
  • Source of income: Google, self made

Sergey Brin is no longer the president of Google’s parent company Alphabet, but he remains a member of the board and a controlling shareholder. Along with Larry Page, he co-founded Google in 1998 while studying at Stanford.

Kimberly White / Getty Images

Larry Ellison

  • U.S. wealth rank: 6
  • Overall wealth rank: 8
  • Net worth: $96.9 billion
  • Age: 77
  • Source of income: Oracle, self made

Larry Ellison still owns more than one-third of Oracle, the software giant he co-founded. He also sits on the board of Tesla, a position he has held since 2018 when he bought 3 million shares of Elon Musk’s company.

Kimberly White / Getty Images

Larry Page

  • U.S. wealth rank: 5
  • Overall wealth rank: 7
  • Net worth: $97.5 billion
  • Age: 49
  • Source of income: Google, self made

Like Sergey Brin, Larry Page was pursuing an advanced computer science degree at Stanford when he co-founded Google in 1998. He was instrumental in developing the PageRank algorithm that made it possible to search the early Internet. Although he stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, he remains a controlling shareholder.

Daniel Zuchnik / WireImage

Warren Buffett

  • U.S. wealth rank: 4
  • Overall wealth rank: 5
  • Net worth: $110.5 billion
  • Age: 91
  • Source of income: Berkshire Hathaway, self made

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns dozens of companies and brands, many of which, like Duracell and Geico, are household names. He also happens to be one of the most successful stock investors of all time.

JStone / Shutterstock.com

Bill Gates

  • U.S. wealth rank: 3
  • Overall wealth rank: 4
  • Net worth: $125.1 billion
  • Age: 66
  • Source of income: Microsoft, self made

Bill Gates spent the first part of his life amassing one of the world’s greatest fortunes and now seems intent on giving it away. Although he rose to power, prominence, and wealth as the founder of Microsoft, he is now best known for his philanthropic efforts through the world’s largest charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Jeff Bezos

  • U.S. wealth rank: 2
  • Overall wealth rank: 3
  • Net worth: $133.4 billion
  • Age: 58
  • Source of income: Amazon, self made

Bezos amassed a fortune from Amazon, the e-commerce powerhouse he started out of his garage in 1994. Bezos stepped down as CEO in 2021 but still serves as executive chairman. Other ventures include The Washington Post and Blue Origin. A drop in Amazon’s stock price and donations Bezos made to charity bumped him out of the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ annual billionaires list for the first time in four years.

Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Elon Musk

  • U.S. wealth rank: 1
  • Overall wealth rank: 1
  • Net worth: $222.6 billion
  • Age: 50
  • Source of income: Tesla, SpaceX, self made

Elon Musk, the cofounder and CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla and CEO of SpaceX, might acquire a new title in the coming months: temporary CEO of Twitter. Musk’s takeover attempt is expected to result in a $44 billion purchase of the social media platform. He currently owns a 9.1% stake in the company in addition to a 21% stake in Tesla. SpaceX, Musk’s private space company, is worth $100 billion.

More From GOBankingRates

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.