Meet the latest additions to Forbes’ ranking of America’s richest people.
By Sarah Young, Contributor
It got harder to make The Forbes 400 ranking of America’s richest people this year, with the minimum net worth required to make the list hitting a record-tying $2.9 billion. Yet, despite the high bar, 18 people amassed fortunes big enough to earn a spot among this elite group for the first time.
The most famous face to join the 400 this year: Michael Jordan, the first pro athlete ever to appear in these ranks. The basketball great earned some $90 million over his playing career, but it’s his off-court moves that land him among the wealthiest Americans. For decades he has gotten a cut of every Jordan-branded sneaker, shirt or sock Nike sells—enough to bring him $260 million in estimated (pretax) income over the past year alone. Big bucks have also come from the Charlotte Hornets. In August, Jordan sold a majority stake in the NBA team at a $3 billion valuation, 17 times what it was worth when he became lead owner in 2010.
The richest of all newcomers is Elisabeth DeLuca (worth an estimated $8.2 billion), widow of Subway founder Fred DeLuca (d. 2015). In August, private equity firm Roark Capital struck a deal to acquire the sandwich giant in a deal reported to be worth more than $9 billion—which could put an estimated $3.4 billion after taxes into the pockets of DeLuca, who inherited half the business upon her husband’s 2015 death, according to Forbes’ reporting.
The youngest newcomer this year is 38-year-old Josh Kushner. The son of real estate developer Charles Kushner and younger brother of Jared Kushner, who served as senior advisor to his father-in-law President Donald Trump, he’s the first member of his clan to make The Forbes 400. For that, he can thank Thrive Capital, the venture capital firm he founded in 2010 at age 25. An early backer of startups like Instagram, Spotify and Slack, Thrive raised $175 million in January at a $5.3 billion valuation.
Seven of this year’s new Forbes 400 listees hail from the world of finance and investments, the most of any industry. Besides Kushner, there are Seth Boro, Scott Crabill and Holden Spaht – three partners of private equity firm Thoma Bravo, who are worth an estimated $3.3 billion apiece; investor Rajiv Jain ($3.1 billion), who made a gutsy gamble on Adani Group in March; early Berkshire Hathaway backer Stewart Horejsi ($3 billion); and insurance magnate J. Hyatt Brown ($2.9 billion).
Others found their fortunes elsewhere. William Goldring ($6 billion) got rich from alcohol; his Sazerac Company owns the Buffalo Trace Distillery and produces Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. Power couple Eren Ozmen ($3.4 billion) and Fatih Ozmen ($3.3 billion) made their money in aerospace. There are now two Forbes 400 members in Mississippi: James and Thomas Duff ($3 billion each), who co-own tire retailer Southern Tire Mart and own several other businesses through their Duff Capital Investors holding company. Only two newcomers to this year’s list hail from the tech industry: Sanjit Biswas ($3.6 billion) and John Bicket ($3.5 billion) of San Francisco-based software company Samsara, which went public in 2021.
HERE ARE THE 18 NEW MEMBERS OF THE FORBES 400
NET WORTHS ARE AS OF SEPTEMBER 8, 2023
Elisabeth DeLuca & family
Net worth: $8.2 billion | Age: 76 | Source of wealth: Subway
The widow of Subway cofounder Fred DeLuca, Elizabeth DeLuca inherited half of the sandwich company upon his death in 2015. In August, Roark Capital agreed to buy the chain in a deal reported to be worth more than $9 billion.
Annette Lerner & family
Net worth: $6.5 billion | Age: 93 | Source of wealth: Real estate
In 1952, she lent her husband, Ted, $250 to create Lerner Enterprises, a D.C.-based real estate company. Following his death in February, Lerner and her children are now credited with his fortune, which includes a portfolio of Washington, D.C.-area real estate and the Washington Nationals baseball team.
William Goldring & family
Net worth: $6 billion | Age: 80 | Source of wealth: Alcohol
The Louisiana-native is the chairman of the Sazerac Company, an alcoholic beverage producer which owns the Buffalo Trace Distillery and the Fireball Cinnamon Whisky brand.
Net worth: $3.6 billion | Age: 41 | Source of wealth: Sensor systems
A former teenage engineer at Oracle, his Samsara offers tools like AI dash cams, realtime driver coaching and route mapping for customers such as oil field servicer Liberty Energy, moving company PODS and plumbing giant Roto-Rooter.
Net worth: $3.6 billion | Age: 38 | Source of wealth: Venture capital
The youngest newcomer this year, Kushner launched VC firm Thrive Capital in 2010. The son of real estate developer Charles Kushner and brother-in-law of Ivanka Trump, he’s married to supermodel Karlie Kloss.
Net worth: $3.5 billion | Age: 43 | Source of wealth: Sensor systems
He cofounded Samsara alongside Biswas, who he met at MIT as a graduate student in computer science.
Net worth: $3.4 billion | Age: 65 | Source of wealth: Aerospace
Ozmen, a Turkish immigrant, put herself through business school with an office-cleaning job and selling baklava. Her Sierra Space is gearing up to launch Dream Chaser, the only spacecraft now capable of landing on a commercial runway, in the upcoming year.
Net worth: $3.3 billion | Age: 48 | Source of wealth: Private equity
Net worth: $3.3 billion | Age: 53 | Source of wealth: Private equity
Net worth: $3.3 billion | Age: 49 | Source of wealth: Private equity
The trio are managing partners at Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm with over $120 billion in assets. Company namesakes Carl Thoma and Orlando Bravo are also members of The Forbes 400.
Net worth: $3.3 billion | Age: 65 | Source of wealth: Aerospace
Fatih Ozmen is CEO of Sierra Nevada Corporation, which he co-owns with his wife Eren Ozmen.
Net worth: $3.1 billion | Age: 55 | Source of wealth: Finance
After coming to the U.S. from India in the early 1990s for an MBA at the University of Miami, Jain worked at Swiss asset manager Vontobel for nearly 22 years. He cofounded GQG Partners in 2016. The firm, which is listed in Australia, has $107 billion in assets under management. GQG placed a big contrarian bet on embattled Indian conglomerate Adani Group, investing more than $6 billion after a short seller accused the firm of fraud and stock market manipulation in January. (Adani denied the allegations.)
Net worth: $3.1 billion | Age: 73 | Source of wealth: Real estate
A Los Angeles-based developer, Palmer made a multibillion-dollar fortune building luxury residential buildings in southern California.
Net worth: $3 billion | Age: 62 | Source of wealth: Tires, diversified
Net worth: $3 billion | Age: 66 | Source of wealth: Tires, diversified
The Duff brothers run tire retailer Southern Tire Mart, and Duff Capital Investors, whose investments include trucking company KLLM, construction firm T.L. Wallace Construction and energy firm DeepWell Energy Services.
Stewart Horejsi & family
Net worth: $3 billion | Age: 86 | Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway
Using profits from his family’s Kansas-based welding supply company, Horejsi began buying Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1980, when the price was as low as $295 per share. Berkshire’s class A stock now trades north of $500,000.
Net worth: $3 billion | Age: 60 | Source of wealth: Charlotte Hornets, endorsements
The basketball great notched one of the biggest wins of his business career in August, when he sold a majority stake in the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets at a $3 billion valuation, 17 times what it was worth when he became lead owner in 2010. Meanwhile, he’s still cashing royalty checks from every Jordan-branded sneaker, shirt or sock Nike sells—enough to bring him $260 million in estimated (pretax) income over the past year, nearly triple the roughly $90 million he made over his 16-year playing career.
J. Hyatt Brown
Net worth: $2.9 billion | Age: 86 | Source of wealth: Insurance
His Brown & Brown is the fifth largest insurance brokerage in the U.S.. He chairs the firm, which his father cofounded in 1939.
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