Each year Forbes Magazine releases its lists of the world’s richest men and women. In the case of the women, much remained the same as the 2012 list including the fact that most of the women are not self-made, but instead inherited their money. Many of the richest women in the world are American. Here’s a list of the richest women in the U.S.
1. Christy Walton ($25.3 billion)
Christy Walton is the widow of John Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. After John Walton died in a plane crash in 2006, Christy inherited his fortune including enough stock to make more than $220 million in dividends in just six months. With the recent price appreciation of Walmart’s stock, the Walton family’s wealth has continued to grow.
2. Alice Walton ($23.3 billion)
Alice Walton is the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton and heiress to a portion of the Walton fortune. She recently opened an art museum with art being displayed from the Walton estate. Although she is actively involved in numerous charitable organizations, her reputation has been clouded by a series of DUI arrests.
3. Jacqueline Mars ($13.8 billion)
Jacqueline Mars made her money from M&Ms, Snickers, Dog Food and many of the other products we use every day. The Mars company currently has revenue of $30 billion annually and is the world’s largest confectionary company. Jacqueline Mars is the third generation of the Mars family after her grandfather, Frank Mars, founded the company in 1911.
4. Anne Cox Chambers ($12.5 billion)
Anne Cox is the daughter of James Cox, the founder of Cox Enterprises. James Cox worked as a school teacher until buying a local newspaper in 1898 which sparked a media business that includes 17 newspapers, 15 TV stations and 86 radio stations.
5. Abigail Johnson ($10. 3 billion)
Abigail Johnson’s father, Edward Crosby “Ned” Johnson, controls Fidelity Investments which is the largest mutual fund company in the United States. She is already one of the top executives at the firm, but there is a rumoured succession plan in place. Abigail Johnson began working at Fidelity in 1988 as an analyst and she holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University.
The richest women in the world all have interesting backgrounds. Some are part of a long line of wealthy business owners and have had wealth passed on to them from generation to generation. Others inherited the money from their late husbands. Many of these women have chosen to do noble things with their money, like give to charity. Some of these women have seen their fortunes dwindle because of the decrease in value of their companies, or fighting with relatives over inheritances.