Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in America was just released, and it is populated by an impressive number of Texans. Just a shade more than ten percent of the list call Texas home. And if you’re impressed by the fact that people who live in the same state as you have more money than you will ever see in a hundred lifetimes, then you’ll really be knocked out to know that fourteen of the top 100—a group that comprises those worth at least $4.6 billion—are Texans.
Those fourteen of the richest-of-the-richest-of-the-rich are scattered throughout the state in five different cities—Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio—though the majority of them claim Dallas and Houston. And while many of them made their money in investments and pipelines, there are a few names whose consumer products may make you feel some personal connection to their billions: Alice Walton ($33.5 billion), the third-richest of the Walmart Waltons, shuns Bentonville, Arkansas, for Fort Worth; Michael Dell ($15.9 billion), he of Dell computers, calls the Austin metro area home; and Charles Butt and his family ($8.5 billion) claim San Antonio as the ancestral home of regional supermarket titan HEB.
In fact, the Butt family are the richest grocers in America, surpassing the midwestern-based Meijer brothers by a sly $0.2 billion, or $200,000,000, (just in case you needed all of those zeroes to remind you just how much money we’re actually talking about).
Of course, while claiming a disproportionate amount of the country’s richest people sounds fancy, there are even more disproprtionate numbers in other states: among the top 100, nineteen each are in New York and California, meaning that 52 percent of the country’ wealthiest are in either New York, California, or Texas. Sorry, Vermont—perhaps someday you, too, will know what it is like to share a state with someone who could buy and sell you and everything you’ve ever loved thousands of times over without blinking an eye.
(This month, Texas Monthly partnered with Forbes to publish a list of the richest Texans, which we will publish on texasmonthly.com September 18.)
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