• Henry Ross Perot
Dallas • Data Processing Systems • 62
$3.25 billion, UP $250 million from 1991. New information refines estimate.
Assets Subtract $10 million spend on his presidential bid—but he’ll earn it back in interest in less than a month. He made his first billion (give or take a few hundred million) by taking Electronic Data Systems, the company he founded, public in 1968; his second billion by selling out to General Motors for cash and stock in 1984; his third billion, following a nasty spat with GM, when he sold the stock back to the company. Now he invests in high-tech start-ups (Steve Job’s Next Computer) and real estate between Dallas and Fort Worth (the Alliance Airport project). Perot also spreads his billions among tax-free state and municipal bonds.
That’s Life Perot Systems, launched as and EDS competitor in 1988, recently clinched $1 billion in contracts: “Right now this is a good business, but you couldn’t ride it forever.” Abandoned independent presidential campaign in July. Personally returns phone calls. Thoughts on stories ranking the rich? “Just a shopping list for nuts.”
• Perry Richardson Bass
Forth Worth • Investments • 77
• Sid Richardson Bass
Forth Worth • Investments • 50
• Edwards Perry Bass
Forth Worth • Investments • 46
• Robert Muse Bass
Forth Worth • Investments • 44
• Lee Marshall Bass
Forth Worth • Investments • 36
$6.6 billion, UP $300 million from 1991. Basses’ investments continue to rack up gains.
Assets A juggernaut of stock holdings, oil and gas, and real estate investments, started with the $8 million Perry’s wildcatter uncle, Sid Richardson, left Perry’s four sons in 1959. The $400 million the Basses invested in Disney in 1984 is now worth more than $3 billion. A favorite Bass project has been the rebuilding and revitalization of downtown Fort Worth.
That’s Life Perry shepherded the legacy until retiring in 1969, turning over a $50 million fortune to his sons: “I thought of business as trying to develop something to pass on to those boys.” Enter Richard Rainwater, a Stanford chum of Sid’s, who steered the Basses to billionairehood. Exit Rainwater in 1986; now brothers individually tend their own investments from family’s Fort Worth office tower. Sid describes self as “bright but not brilliant.” Ed bankrolled Biosphere II, a greenhouselike Planet Earth imitation plunked down in the Arizona desert. Robert sold New York’s Plaza hotel to Donald Trump. Lee holds family’s oil, ranching, and political reins; recently set Vale, Colorado, record by paying $6.25 million for mountain mansion. Perry travels, fishes, and hunts.
• Robert Henry Dedman
Dallas • Private Clubs • 66
Assets Dedman’s ClubCorp International runs a leisure-time empire of more than 250 country clubs, worldwide resorts, and golf courses: “We’re like the General Motors of the club industry.”
That’s Life Started Dallas’ Brookhaven Country Club in 1957 while practicing law. Client H. L. Hunt said of him, “He’s the only person who, while playing tennis, will get your ears tired before your legs.” Built ClubCorp by purchasing mismanaged private clubs and drawing new members by adding facilities.
• Harold Clark Simmons
Dallas • Financier • 61
$775 million, DOWN $85 million from 1991. The value of Valhi stock has plunged.
Assets Simmons controls Valhi, a holding company through which he owns stock in a variety of public companies; real estate rounds out his investments.
That’s Life Valhi stock—worth $1.7 billion in 1990—hasn’t recovered from Simmons’ failed 1991 Lockheed takeover attempt. Disgruntled stockholder in Maxxam, controlled by Charles Hurwitz; now suing company for financial mismanagement. Favorite movie is The Bad News Bears. Says worst habit is impulsive decisions.
• Jerry J. Moore
Houston • Shopping Centers • 64
$750 million, DOWN $150 million from 1991. New information lowers estimate.
Assets With more than 20 million square feet of strip shopping centers around Texas, he has the pocket change to afford a world-class collection of more than six hundred vintage cars, including Jean Harlow’s 1931 Cadillac convertible.
That’s Life Works twelve-hour days operating the neglected centers he buys, then renovates. Takes off one week a year to attend car shows.
• Charles Clarence Butt
San Antonio • H.E.B. Grocery • 54
Assets Butt sits at the head of the table of family-owned H.E.B. Founded in Kerrville by his grandmother in 1905, the food giant is Texas’ largest grocery chain, with 240 stores dotting the state and more than $3 billion in sales. H.E.B. is aggressively expanding to battle new out-of-state rivals.
That’s Life Started as grocery carry-out boy at age eight. Wrested control of H.E.B. from elder brother in 1971; in 1976 broke with family’s Baptist tradition and began selling beer and wine. Sailing buff, thanks to Corpus Christi upbringing. A bachelor.
• Robert Lee Moody
Galveston • Inheritance (Insurance) • 57
$600 million, UP $40 million from 1991. Moody’s life insurance company stocks are up.
Assets As the chairman of Moody National Bank, Robert presides over American National Insurance, the core of the Moody family fortune, founded in 1905 by his grandfather W. L. Moody, Jr. W. L. left most of his estate to a foundation; in 1979, Robert Moody gained control by buying the foundation’s 51 percent of Moody National Bank.
That’s Life A Red Sox fan since Boston boarding school education. Started own insurance company, National Western Life, in 1961 with income from family trust. “Bobby works twenty-four hours a day; he’s always thinking work,” says a friend. Built Galveston’s Transitional Learning Community for the brain-damaged after son suffered head injury in Jeep accident.
• Roy Michael Huffington
Houston • Oil and Gas • 74
Assets Cash from the 1990 sale of Huffco, an oil and gas exploration company Huffington founded in 1956, and bolstered with a huge Indonesian gas strike in 1972: “Selling was the toughest decision of my life; it’s worse than losing family members.”
That’s Life Became fascinated with geology in college: “Mother Earth turned from an immobile planet to one that was alive and breathing.” Now U.S. ambassador to Austria but still longs for oil field. Son Michael is a Republican running for Congress in California.
• Margaret Hunt Hill
Dallas • Inheritance