One of the greatest nations in the world, the United States of America, has long since established a reputation for being The Land of Opportunity. The world has seen entrepreneurs start their businesses and grow to become billionaires, all within this great land. However, it is perhaps a lesser-known fact that America is not only home to those who have carved out name and fame for themselves. It is also home to prosperous dynasties that share the family’s wealth and prosperity amongst themselves.
While the Kardashians have publicity and the media to thank for their rise to fame and fortune, several families in the country owe their wealth to the exploits of usually just one enterprising member of the family. Amazon may have made Jeff Bezos one of the richest men in the entire world now, but the wealth that some of these other dynastic families possess may surprise you.
Net Worth: $3.7B
Family Business: Amblin, DreamWorks
Prominent Member: Steven Spielberg
Does it even come as a surprise to hear that Steven Spielberg, his wife, and all their numerous children and grandchildren possess an estate that runs into billions? $3.7 billion, to be more precise.
With classic hits such as Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Jurassic Park, Spielberg has rightfully earned the spot of being the highest-grossing director of all time. And his brilliant film-making, along with his thoughtful investments in real estate, have contributed to this family’s wealth.
Net Worth: $6.6B
Family Business: Kraft Group, New England Patriots
Prominent Member: Robert Kraft
Industry: Holdings, Sports
With humble beginnings as a packager in his father-in-law’s company, Robert Kraft is now the proud owner of the New England Patriots and one of the world’s wealthiest sports owners. Born in Massachusetts, Kraft soon began a career dealing in paper products, when led to the immense success he saw at the famous International Forest Products Company.
The company, which is home to some of the biggest brands in the world, some of which are Avon, Quaker Oats, and even Kodak, has provided Kraft, as well as his family tree, the wealth of a lifetime. Or should we say several lifetimes?
Net Worth: $5B
Family Business: Getty Oil
Prominent Member: August Getty
As everyone knows, the petroleum industry can be extremely lucrative, which was the Getty family case. George Franklin, the one that started it all, was originally a lawyer that turned towards oil, and after his initial success, turned over his wealth to his sons, including Jean-Paul. The latter multiplied the family’s worth through investments in oil and gas.
Originally from Cullavmoor (now County Londonderry) in Ireland, The Getty family’s ancestry lies not only in Ireland but also in Scotland.
Net Worth: $10.2B
Family Business: Apple, Inc.
Prominent Member: Steve Jobs
No one in the world is a stranger to Steve Jobs, the legend and co-founder of Apple Inc. The mastermind behind Apple’s insane success in the market, Jobs remained CEO of the company until his untimely death in recent years. Having married Lauren Powell in 1991, the family shares the immense wealth he reaped through Apple, Inc.
It’s always the small steps that geniuses take that shoot them to success, and the same was true for Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Jobs’ creative partner and co-founder). While their first computer model, Apple I, was not as successful, Apple II revolutionized the computer world and made Jobs the legend he is today.
Net Worth: $3.5B
Family Business: Scottrade
Prominent Member: Rodger Riney
Having begun his journey with a mere ten shares of stock received from his grandparents, Rodger Riney became the proud founder of the Scottrade empire (now bought by TD Ameritrade). Born in the 1940s and studied at the University of Missouri, Riney entered the brokering industry’s prosperous world in the 70s when it was deregulated, having founded Scottsdale Securities.
Providing a lower commission rate on trades, Scottsdale Securities was Riney’s ticket to fame, allowing Riney to build a second branch of the company ten years later in St. Louis. Of course, the company made its move online in 1996 with the establishment of its own internet trading platform.
Net Worth: $11B
Family Business: HE Butt
Prominent Member: Charles Butt
Every cloud has a silver lining, and Florence Butt’s famous grocery chain, HEB Grocery, is a story that proves this proverb beyond a doubt. In 1905, Florence found herself beginning the company to take care of the finances incurred for her husband’s tuberculosis treatments.
Fortunately for them, the store proved to be an immediate hit. The company flourished under Florence’s son, Howard Butt, finally turning into Texas’s most popular grocery chain, where the family is now based.
Net Worth: $24.3B
Family Business: Estée Lauder
Prominent Member: Leonard Lauder
Estée Lauder is a cosmetics company that proved to be the major money-minting enterprise for the Lauder family. Shortly after the disastrous Second World War, the eponymous company was established by Estée Lauder and her husband, and Joseph Lauder.
Having begun with merely four products (which became a smashing hit), including an all-purpose crème, a crème pack, skin lotion, and cleansing oil, Estée Lauder soon moved to a much broader market base, on the famous Saks Fifth Avenue, allowing her to build her brand into the empire that it is today.
Net Worth: $14.4B
Family Business: Ziff Davis, Inc.
Industry: Investing, Publishing
Prominent Member: Dirk Ziff
The Ziff family made news a few years ago when they decided to shut down their hedge-funds and their London and American-based branches. However, this did not make much of a difference to their amassed wealth or the life-changing impact made by the Ziff brothers on Wall Street.
The beginnings of the family’s fame and prosperity can be traced back almost a hundred years, to the publishing company started by William Ziff Sr. While the Ziff brothers (Robert and Dirk) have now moved on to different business, the Ziff family’s company continues to remain highly influential.
Net Worth: $3.4B
Family Business: Wynn Resorts
Prominent Member: Steve Wynn
The business world once believed that the Wynn Family could do no wrong, and everything they touched turned into gold. The famous Bellagio and The Mirage are just two examples of the favorite casinos and hotels that Steve Wynn constructed.
Now a billionaire in Las Vegas, Wynn made his landmark move to establish Wynn Resorts, which Elaine Wynn, his wife, headed for more than ten years. Wynn Resorts has now constructed numerous luxury hotels all over the world.
Net Worth: $137B
Family Business: Amazon
Prominent Member: Jeff Bezos
Bezos made news recently as he announced his retirement from the CEO position at e-commerce and streaming platform Amazon in February 2021. However, his influence over the tech world remains intact for having built Amazon into the giant it is today.
As is the case with confident famous founders, Bezos came from humble beginnings. Having been born to a teenage woman, a father that was the owner of a tiny bike shop, and witnessing divorce at the age of four, it is safe to say that Bezos beat all odds in the establishment of his wealth and fame.
Net Worth: $5.5B
Family Business: LucasFilm
Prominent Member: George Lucas
Star Wars has countless fans worldwide, and George Lucas capitalized on its fame by gaining exclusive franchise rights of Star Wars from the monopolizing 20th Century Fox. The following movies’ visual effects were the reason for its fame and financial prosperity, which then allowed Lucas to begin some extremely profitable enterprises.
Building several film companies from the wealth that Star Wars afforded him, Lucas began the popular LucasFilm, home to some of Hollywood’s most popular movies, as well as the company that revolutionized sound technology for all time to come, THX.
Net Worth: $1.9B
Family Business: The Charlotte Hornets
Industry: Sports, Entertainment
Prominent Member: Michael Jordan
Most people know MJ as the star performer of the famous NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, but most people fail to recognize Michael Jordan’s tactical business exploits made off the basketball court.
Of course, Space Jam was one of these business ventures and his famous (and of course, lucrative) endorsements for Hanes and Nike. But the clincher for the wealth of Number 23 proved to be Air Jordan, his signature line of sports shoes, which contributed largely to his family’s fortune of $2 billion.
Net Worth: $47.8 billion
Family Business: Los Angeles Clippers
Prominent Member: Steve Ballmer
Another giant within the sports industry, Steve Ballmer, is one of the richest men globally with the majority shares of the favorite NBA team, the LA Clippers. However, Steve Ballmer is better known for his previous role as CEO of Microsoft. While Ballmer’s fame may not equal Gates’, his wealth certainly does.
Having begun as one of the first employees ever to be hired at Microsoft, Ballmer finally retired in 2014 and became a proud owner of the LA Clippers, which he bought for a whopping $2 million.
Net Worth: $11.5B
Family Business: Mellon Bank
Prominent Member: Matthew Mellon
The wealth of this family can be traced to 1869, when the Mellon Bank was first established. However, their wealth was their thoughtful investments in Gulf Oil (later known as Chevron-Texaco).
The family continued investing in a wide range of companies, including The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Carborundum Corporation, and Alcoa, and New York Shipbuilding. Now, not only has the family founded the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, but they also have a university and several museums in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Net Worth: $98.7B
Family Business: Koch Industries
Prominent Member: David Koch
The Investment industry proved to be a boon to another family yet again, with the Koch Brothers (David and Charles) heading the family’s empire most of their lives. The Koch Brothers are also notoriously popular for the numerous donations and immense support they provided to the Republican party.
Not only this, but the Koch Brothers have managed to do something that most others who are the head of a company of this magnitude have failed to do – they have managed to keep every last share of their company within their family itself – a huge feat, indeed!
Net Worth: $13.7B
Family Business: Hunt Oil Company
Prominent Member: Caroline Rose Hunt
H.L. Hunt will forever be immortalized as J.R Ewing, a character on the hit TV show Dallas, who was modeled upon him. However, this is not the only reason Hunt will be known for in history books. Hunt struck rich when he entered the oil business with his Hunt Oil Company.
Finding his beginnings in American oil, Hunt has made several lucrative investments in varied industries. Further, Hunt’s sons and daughter have made a name for themselves as well, with one of his sons overseeing the family business, while the other pursues his fortune in the oil and gas sector. His daughter moved away from the family business by establishing Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which she sold after a while.
Net Worth: $50 million
Family Business: TeenNick
Prominent Member: Nick Cannon
The entertainment has shined upon Nick Cannon, as he produced some best-selling music over the years of his insanely successful career as an award-winning producer, rapper, and even actor.
Cannon’s popularity went to an all-new high, thanks to hit singles like “Can I Live?”, “Nick’s Story,” and “Teach Me How to Dougie.” Cannon then went ahead and started own rap label and then a small record company. When it comes to expanding and growing his wealth, Nick isn’t afraid to take risks.
Net Worth: $19.8B
Family Business: News Corp.
Prominent Member: Rupert Murdoch
An Australian by birth, Rupert Murdoch attained American citizenship in 1985. While the Murdoch family has always been players in the media industry, Murdoch brought them the riches they enjoy today.
Murdoch established news Corporation after he refused to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps. His risk paid off, didn’t it?
Net Worth: $400M
Family Business: Acting Career
Prominent Member: Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson is best known as one of the greatest actors to have ever lived, having won the Oscars three times, and nominated no less than 12 times. His innovative (and sometimes bizarre) investments caused him to multiply his wealth to become one of the world’s richest men today.
One of his strange investments included a purchase of the former Hollywood house of Marlon Brando (which cost him over $6 million), only to raze it to the ground for its asbestos infection.
Net Worth: $800M
Family Business: TGR
Prominent Member: Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren
Investments have helped yet another sports legend compound his wealth. Tiger Woods, the golf champ, has achieved the status as one of the wealthiest men in America, with his investments currently joined under TGR, his parent company.
Woods’ family takes after him, with his son Charlie entering the father-son PNC tournament with Tiger himself, making his debut appearance in golf.
Net Worth: $300M
Family Business: Plan B Productions
Industry: Film & TV
Prominent Member: Brad Pitt
Actor and heartthrob Brad Pitt shot to fame in the 90s while playing a significant role in the entertainment industry.
The son of a trucker, Pitt not only began acting, but he also began working as a producer, finally winning the Oscar for his masterpiece, 12 Years a Slave. The incredible wealth that Pitt has amassed from his movies has gone into vineyards and real estate, as well as the establishment of Pitt’s line of olive oil and wine.
Net Worth: $2B
Family Business: Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Industry: Media, Cosmetics
Prominent Member: Kylie Jenner
Keeping up with the Kardashians has made the Kardashian family a household name now and famous for… being famous. One of the longest-running reality shows globally, the show has helped the Kardashian-Jenner family establish their own businesses in the fashion and beauty industry.
While the billionaire status was given (and rescinded) to Kylie Jenner, recently, the American-Armenian family continues to mint money as promoters on their social media accounts.
Net Worth: $89.7B
Family Business: Mars Inc.
Prominent Member: Jacqueline Mars
The Milky Way chocolate bar invented by Franklin Clarence Mars is the secret to this family’s business, along with Snickers, Big Red gum, Skittles, and M&M’s that followed in quick succession.
Mars learned the art of hand-dipping candy from his mother and went on to establish the lucrative company in 1911. Now, Mars Incorporated boasts of products other than chocolate as well, including drinks, pet products, life science, and symbioscience.
Net Worth: $24.5B
Family Business: Hearst Corporation
Prominent Member: Patricia Hearst
Being the son of a wealthy miner, William Randolph Hearst already came from money when he invested in purchasing The San Francisco Examiner, which then grew to become the gigantic TV, news, and radio empire that it is today.
Having gone into the business at 24, Hearst was rumored to be the inspiration for Citizen Kane by Orson Wells, and the resemblances are undoubtedly uncanny. Predictable, Hearts’ son soon followed him into the business, even winning the Pulitzer Prize for his journalism.
Net Worth: $3.9B
Family Business: 2929 Entertainment, the Dallas Mavericks
Industry: Film Production, Sports
Prominent Member: Mark Cuban
Sports and entertainment have done it yet again for this legend. Mark Cuban came from a working-class background, but his ventures in the software industry showed him a peek at success, which he continued to chase all his life.
Hollywood soon saw Cuban with 2929 Entertainment, his very own film company, which saw immediate success with the famous six-time Oscar-winning movie Good Night, and Good Luck, starring George Clooney. Hearst now proudly hosts more wealth than he could possibly spend in a lifetime, along with several film companies and an NBA team.
Net Worth: $17.1B
Family Business: Campbell’s Soup
Prominent Member: John Dorrance, Jr.
It’s almost unsurprising that the Dorrance family that invented soup is one of the world’s richest. 1987 introduced John Dorrance’s formula for condensed soup, which led to Campbell’s Soup’s establishment, a business passed down in the family for years.
While eleven members of the Dorrance Family are actively involved in Campbell’s Soup even today, the family has even managed to establish subsidiaries such as V8, Pepperidge Farms, as well as Prego.
Net Worth: $26B
Family Business: Enterprise Products Partner
Industry: Oil and Gas
Prominent Member: Randa Williams
The Duncan Family is quite the epitome of The American Dream. Having been raised by his grandmother in rural Texas, in the poorest of conditions possible, Dan Duncan quite literally struck oil and established Enterprise Products Partners.
America’s booming oil industry helped in this company’s immense success, and oil and gas continue to amass wealth for the Duncan family till today.
Net Worth: $12B
Family Business: Koch Industries
Prominent Member: J. Howard II
The Marshall family is another prime example of wealthy American lineage forged from oil. Howard Marshall II was the founding patriarch of this empire. He owned shares in the Great Northern Oil Company but then traded them for what would become a 15% stake in Koch Industries, one of America’s most profitable investment companies.
Howard’s son, who is infamous for involving his family in a series of legal battles, ended up inheriting all of his father’s shares.
Net Worth: $35B
Family Business: Stryker Corp.
Prominent Member: John W. Brown
The mobile hospital bed, an invention that has revolutionized the medical industry, was among Homer Stryker’s many revolutionary innovations.
Having begun in 1941, the Stryker family continue to dominate the med-tech business of America, with the reigns of the company being passed over to Stryker’s son, Lee, and Lee’s three children, Ronda, Patricia, and Jon, after Lee’s untimely accident in a plane crash.
Net Worth: $1.3B
Family Business: Roc Nation
Prominent Member: Beyoncé, Jay-Z
Jay-Z and Beyoncé have long since been considered one of the biggest power couples in the world. Unsurprisingly, the Carter family also holds a net worth of about $1.3 billion.
Most of the Carter family’s wealth comes from Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s immensely successful record company, which has time and again produced some of the decade’s best-selling albums.
Net Worth: $5.4B
Family Business: Contran Corporation
Prominent Member: Dee Simmons
The Simmons family was able to make its wealth through what essentially was corporate raiding. The family acquired new wealth. Sr. Harold worked at a drug store before launching his own capital company.
Notorious for their corporate takeovers (Simmons was even given the title “feared raider” by a popular publication), the family made their wealth from buying out companies that went under, stripping them down, turning them around, and reaping the profits.
Net Worth: $18.5B
Family Business: Advance Publications
Prominent Member: Donald Newhouse
The publishing industry proved a boon to the Newhouse family, which is renowned for being one of America’s oldest, and of course, most powerful families in the industry. Advance Publications, initially founded by Sam Newhouse, passed on to Newhouse’s two sons, Donald and Si, who made it their business to become moguls in the industry.
The company has gone global, earning its reputation as one of the world’s biggest magazine businesses. The two brothers have also acquired Conde Naste Publications, which has made its own mark in the publishing industry with giants such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and the ever-popular Vogue.
Net Worth: $1.9B
Family Business: The Trinchero Family Estates
Prominent Member: Roger Trinchero
Alcohol has been the Trinchero family’s business for a few years now, with the Trinchero Family Business being one of America’s largest producers of wine and wine products (fourth, to be more precise).
1947 saw the two Trinchero brothers John and Mario Trinchero in their pursuits of purchasing the Sutter Home Winery, which is located in St. Helena, California. With John’s retirement, the family business moved on to Mario’s son, who now manages the company that encompasses the impressive portfolio of more than fifty well-known wine producers.
Net Worth: $28.5B
Family Business: Fidelity
Prominent Member: Abigail Johnson
The investment business proves, yet again, to be the source of the majority of the wealth of another one of the families on our list. The Johnson Family, having founded Fidelity Investments, watched as it grew to become one of the largest investment companies in America. The company has continued to be passed down from one generation to the next, from Edward C. Johnson II (the founder of the company) to Edward Johnson III (his son who sports the nickname “Ned”), and finally to Abigail, Ned’s daughter. She now acts as the official chairwoman, CEO, and president of the company.
Ned continues as chairman emeritus, as Abigail has grown the company to an international presence, employing approximately 45,000 the world over.
Net Worth: $3.3B
Family Business: WWE
Prominent Member: Vince McMahon
WWE is now a household name synonymous with wrestling, and the McMahon family is the origin of this lucrative wrestling and entertainment business. While WWE was McMahon’s father’s brainchild, McMahon has since taken over as chairman and CEO.
McMahon, a WWE athlete, also established Alpha Entertainment, which became home to various popular athletic businesses, including the popular XFL Football. Hailing from a family of promoters, entertainment comes easily to McMahon, who retired from his stage persona (as Mr. McMahon) to become an announcer as well.
Net Worth: $59.9B
Family Business: Oracle Corporation
Prominent Member: Larry Ellison
Tech empire Oracle Corporation is why Larry Ellison (co-founder of the company) is now among the world’s top ten richest men. Having invested his own money into beginning the company (with a total investment of about $2000, Larry Ellison grew the company into the tech pioneer that it is today, within a mere ten years.
Known for its state-of-the-art hardware and software products, the company’s wealth has trickled down the generations to Ellison’s two children, David and Megan Ellison as well. In a clever move, the children have used the money they received to finance several Hollywood films.
Net Worth: $1.5B
Family Business: AIG
Prominent Member: Maurice Greenberg
American International Group, one of the world’s largest insurance and finance companies, is publicly traded and headed by Maurice “Mark” Greenberg, who functions as the company’s CEO. Thus, the Greenberg family’s wealth continues to remain in New York City, where the company is located.
Mark Greenberg is also known for his impressive Army stats. During World War II, a captain in the Army is a war veteran and a recipient of the Bronze Star.
Net Worth: $151.5B
Family Business: Walmart, Inc.
Prominent Member: Sam Walton
Walmart, a company that is now synonymous with retailers, was the Walton family’s offspring, who beat everyone else on this list as the richest family in America. The largest retailer in America, Walmart, is among the world’s most lucrative companies in modern history.
The family has been able to pocket more than a hundred billion dollars from Walmart’s insanely successful business, which brings in almost $482 billion in annual revenues.
Net Worth: $11.9B
Family Business: Hospital Corporation of America
Prominent Member: Thomas Frist, Jr.
Thomas Frist, Jr. is Tennessee’s richest man, and of course, one of the wealthiest men in America. Hailing from a family of doctors, Frist, along with his father, founded the Hospital Corporation of America in the late 60s.
The business proved to be an immediate hit, crossing the billion-dollar mark in just a few years. The father and son continued to make their way globally, chairing big businesses such as IBM. What’s more, Frist will go down in history as having made the biggest buyout to date, in 2006.
Net Worth: $33.8B
Family Business: Nike
Prominent Member: Phil Knight
The definition of a self-made billionaire, Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, began his journey when he was refused a summer job by his own father, who believed that Phil would benefit more from carving his own path in life.
Undeterred, Knight found himself making his way into sports, even the US Army, and, as we all know it, Japanese shoes. Knight’s father’s brilliant parenting skills paid off, as Knight eventually established his own flagship sportswear company, Nike, which is now one of the most dominant companies in the business.
Net Worth: $8.3B
Family Business: Kohler Company
Industry: Plumbing Fixtures
Prominent Member: Herbert Kohler, Jr.
Billionaire Herbert Kohler, Jr. now heads the gigantic Kohler Company, which is America’s biggest supplier of plumbing products. The long line of the family business is based in Wisconsin.
At age 33, Kohler found himself the head of the company, running its day-to-day affairs with a flair for business that is a family trait. And, of course, the family has invested most of its wealth in manufacturing, hospitality, and government.
Net Worth: $7.3B
Family Business: Meijer
Prominent Member: Hank Meijer
An immigrant from the Netherlands, Hendrik Meijer, founded the all-too-popular Meijer supermarkets. This Michigan-based private company is famous amongst Midwesterners, and rightly so, it is currently one of the biggest chains of supermarkets in America.
Funnily enough, one of Meijer supermarket’s first employees turned out to the 14-year-old son of Hendrick. However, soon, the company became so successful that it boasted of a net worth that ran into billions by the 1960s.
Net Worth: $7B
Family Business: Hobby Lobby
Prominent Member: David Green
$600 was all David Green had, and he used it all to invest in himself and his brainchild, Hobby Lobby. Within a mere two years, Hobby Lobby mushroomed into one of the biggest arts and crafts chain of stories, as well as David Green’s flagship empire.
While Green and his family have flourished under Hobby Lobby’s banner, which they privately own, they have also gotten into trouble for their investments into several religious causes worldwide.
Net Worth: $6.6B
Family Business: The Sobrato Organization
Industry: Real Estate
Prominent Member: John A. Sobrato
John A. Sobrato’s mother’s genius is the reason he is the owner of one of the biggest real estate firms in America and the wealthiest men in the world today. With her inheritance, Sobrato’s mother pioneered the real estate industry for the Sobrato family.
John A. Sobrato, when he was old enough, established the Sobrato Organization, his private real estate business. The company is known for owning hordes of land, residential areas, and popular office spaces throughout the country.
Net Worth: $7B
Family Business: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Industry: Retail, Gas Stations
Prominent Member: Tom Love
Beginning as a small service station that the husband-and-wife duo (Tom and Judy Love) converted themselves, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores (popularly known as Love’s) are littered across the country. From one small service station, the duo managed to expand all over the country in a mere decade.
Forming some of the most convenient pit-stops for road trippers and country hikers, Love’s is now one of America’s largest gas and convenient chain of stores.
Net Worth: $6B
Family Business: LeFrak
Industry: Real Estate
Prominent Member: Richard LeFrak
Real estate proves to be the reason for yet another American family’s success. This time around, it is the LeFrak family, the proud owner of the eponymous real estate empire, LeFrak. In recent years, LeFrak has managed to expand throughout America.
With Richard LeFrak now acting as the company chairman and running its day-to-day affairs, the company has taken on make-or-break projects such as Beverly Hills and South Beach, from which they emerged immensely triumphant. What’s more, the reconstruction of Jersey City is even credited to the LeFrak family.
Net Worth: $5.9B
Family Business: New Balance
Prominent Member: Jim Davis
Nike seems to have more collectibles in sportswear, but there is no denial of New Balance (originally known as New Balance Arch Support Company). New Balance continues to be one of America’s favorite producers of sports shoes, under billionaire Jim Davis’s chairmanship.
The company, which is more than a hundred years old, has flourished under Jim Davis’s leadership, whose ingenuity has caused sales to remain at a record high continually. To add to this, Davis has had the timely sense to invest in Major Leagues Lacrosse, an act which compounded his wealth by a considerable amount.
Net Worth: $5.7B
Family Business: Cablevision
Prominent Member: Charles Dolan
Cable TV now rules the world, and so does the media mogul Charles Dolan, the founder of HBO, the company that proved to be the revolution that changed the face of Cable TV forever. With timeless hits such as The Wire, Mad Men, and the recently popular Game of Thrones, HBO has impacted the media industry.
However, Charles Dolan did not just stop at HBO. He created Cablevision, his flagship company, which proved to be the beginnings of viral cable channels such as the Sundance Channel, AMC, and the IFC. While Dolan is no longer the owner of HBO or Cablevision, his influence has been undeniable.
Net Worth: $3.3B
Family Business: Bechtel Corporation
Prominent Member: Stephen Bechtel Jr.
Originally a cattle farmer, Warren Bechtel founded the massively successful Bechtel Corporation. The construction company began building railroads for places all over the country within just a few decades of its establishment.
The biggest project, which is why the family continues to mint money, remains the historical project of the 1930s, i.e., the construction of the iconic Hoover Dam.
Net Worth: $5.8B
Family Business: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Prominent Member: Henry Kravis
One of the world’s largest investment companies, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, continues to manage massive portfolios, leading to its massive success in the investment world.
Minting over a billion dollars in revenue annually, the company found its origins in Henry Kravis and his fellow alumni from Bear Sterns. The most significant risk that the company took (and one that paid them back multi-fold) was the buyout of Nabisco in the late 80s, which, at the time, was the single largest buyout in the country.
Net Worth: $4.9B
Family Business: Yahoo!
Prominent Member: David Filo
The beginning of the Internet in the mid-90s saw the establishment of a tiny business by David Filo. This, as we all know, eventually turned into the legend Yahoo! With Filo’s innovative software code acting as the spine and support system for the search engine even today.
With the success of Yahoo!, Filo was immediately transformed into a crucial backbone of Silicon Valley. 2017 proved to be Filo’s most lucrative year yet, with a majority sale to Verizon Communications, which compounded Filo’s wealth manifold.
Net Worth: $10.7B
Family Business: E & J Gallo Winery
Prominent Member: Gina Gallo
Having been in the wine business for more than a hundred years, the Gallos have been dubbed as “America’s First Family” in the industry. The Gallo family traces their beginnings back to Guiseppe Gallo, an immigrant who came to America in the early 1900s from Fossano, Italy.
Having worked menial labor jobs as an immigrant, Giuseppe found his winery upon his entry into the vintner business. Upon Giuseppe’s death, the winery has been passed down to Giuseppe’s two sons, Julio and Ernest.
Net Worth: $13.4B
Family Business: Budweiser
Prominent Member: August Busch IV
Budweiser Beer, now one of the most popular beer brands globally, began in 1876 when the beer was brewed for the first time by Adolphus Busch.
As successful as it is today, the company faced some significant hiccups along its journey. Prohibition nearly caused the company to go under. But the Busch family pulled through, selling ice-cream and soda to sustain themselves. Now, the Budweiser label is almost synonymous with beer. However, the company was recently subject to a hostile takeover by some Belgian investors.
Net Worth: $160M
Family Business: Jolie Pas
Industry: Film & TV
Prominent Member: Angelina Jolie
Offspring of the insanely famous and Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie already came from money. However, Jolie was not about to ride under her father’s name for long. She took the entertainment industry by storm, not only as the daughter of a famous actor but also as a brilliant performer herself.
Her movies, which proved to be massively successful, are now one of the primary reasons for her wealth.
Net Worth: $2B (estimated)
Family Business: The Michael Jackson Estate
Prominent Member: Michael Jackson
The King of Pop has left his family generations to come, especially with his untimely death in 2009, which revived interest in his music once again, with people buying records faster than ever.
Not only is Jackson’s family getting rich from his music, but also his estate. Neverland Ranch, which brings in millions, is considered one of the country’s priciest pieces of real estate.
Net Worth: $2B
Family Business: The Penske Corporation
Industry: Auto Racing
Prominent Member: Roger Penske
Roger Penske set out to build a transportation service in the late 1960s, which has now bloomed into one of the biggest transportation service corporations on the planet. A mogul in the auto maintenance company, Roger Penske, has held the company privately for years.
Of course, you might not be surprised to find out that Penske was famous even before the establishment of his billion-dollar company. Earning the spot of Driver of the Year at Sports Illustrated in 1961, Penske was the most popular auto racer in the country in the 60s.
Net Worth: $2.6B
Family Business: Yahoo!
Prominent Member: Jerry Yang
The second most prominent of the team at Yahoo! makes it onto our list, with Taiwanese-American electronic engineer Jerry Yang, who was instrumental in launching the then tiny web portal with David Filo.
Neither Yang nor Filo saw it coming, but the company soon turned into an internet empire, with Yang heading the business side of things. Under his leadership, the company spearheaded several massive buys, including a significant stake in Alibaba.
Net Worth: $2.6B
Family Business: AutoNation, Blockbuster Video
Prominent Member: Wayne Huizenga
Another immigrant family that struck gold in America, the Huizenga clan, comes from a long line of Dutch cabinet-makers, garbage collectors, and wagoners. The family cemented themselves in American history with their various pursuits in hotel and waste management.
In modern times, however, one member of the Huizenga family (Wayne) put the family on the radar with his extremely lucrative investment in Blockbuster Video in 1987. The acquisition of Blockbuster has now resulted in the Huizenga family becoming one of the country’s richest families to have ever existed.
Net Worth: $8.5B
Family Business: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
Prominent Member: Stan Kroenke
The Kroenke family, one of the leading moguls within the sports industry, owns several leading sports teams across several popular professional sports, almost in the manner of collectibles. The family owns teams that span basketball, ice hockey, football, and even lacrosse.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the family’s flagship umbrella conglomerate, provides the family with several dividends, leading to various other fortuitous pursuits in real estate, media production, and radio well.
Net Worth: $3.1B
Family Business: Paychex
Industry: Payroll Services
Prominent Member: Tom Golisano
Having founded a payroll service early in the 1970s, Tom Golisano watched as his company, Paychex, grew into one of America’s biggest payroll service providers to employers across the country.
Boasting more than half a billion clients, Paychex continued to grow rapidly, finally hitting the $2 billion mark by the year 2010.
Net Worth: $33.6B
Family Business: Cox Enterprises
Prominent Member: James Cox Kennedy
1898 was the beginning of it all for the Cox family when James M. Cox purchased a local publication (called The Dayton Evening News). With his brilliant entrepreneurial capacity, Cox expanded the business into a massive telecom service, venturing out into other media services, including radio, television, and cable, as well as broadband Internet service.
Cox Enterprises and Cox Media Group, the family’s two flagship enterprises, has contributed to shaping the country’s entire telecom sector, particularly in the Internet age.
Net Worth: $300M
Family Business: The Music of Mariah Carey
Prominent Member: Mariah Carey
Singing sensation Mariah Carey has taken the world by a storm, with her record sales alone placing her amongst the ranks of the best-selling artists of all time to come.
A Platinum-selling singer, Carey also undertook several profitable world tours, sponsorship deals, and music licenses, ventures which all have led to wealth unimaginable to Carey’s family, including her two young children.
Net Worth: $13.7B
Family Business: Solil Management
Industry: Real Estate
Prominent Member: Jane Goldman
The son of a Brooklyn-based grocer, Sol Goldman, decided to venture his way into real estate during the Great Depression, finally making money on foreclosed properties.
Having bought these properties for throwaway prices from his neighbors at the age of 16, Goldman waited out the period of The Depression. In the 1950s, he partnered up with Alex DiLorenzo to continue to purchase lucrative real estate.
Net Worth: $300 million
Family Business: FUBU
Prominent Member: Daymond John
This rags-to-riches story is probably a familiar one, primarily since it resulted in the now-familiar logo of FUBU. Daymond John and his mother began with selling 10$ hats in their tiny Queens apartment, eventually expanding to include t-shirts.
Now one of the most popular t-shirt brands in the country, FUBU began with countless person-hours, numerous loans, and celebrity endorsements. However, Daymond’s success is now undeniable, having appeared as a judge of Shark Tank on season five.
Net Worth: $42.3B
Family Business: Cargill, Inc.
Prominent Member: Martha MacMillan
Sporting more than 14 billionaires in the same family, the Cargill-Macmillan’s are not only one of America’s wealthiest families, but the world’s as well. The family’s flagship empire, Cargill, was founded in 1865 by young entrepreneur William W. Cargill.
One of America’s biggest private corporations (perhaps the biggest), Cargill, produces palm oil and grains. The company also trades in energy, transport, and steel, as well as livestock and feed production.
Net Worth: $4B
Family Business: Platinum Equity
Industry: Private Equity
Prominent Member: Tom Gores
The Gores family relocated from the Christian city of Nazareth (modern-day Israel) to America in the 70s, when they began their ventures in buyouts, eventually establishing their flagship company, Platinum Equity, under the leadership of Tom Gores.
The company was an immediate success, with its initial years reaping nearly a billion dollars. This Beverly Hills-based company now has a global reach with its leveraged buyouts. The company’s wealth and success have also resulted in several funds as well.
Net Worth: $1.5B
Family Business: Yeezy
Industry: Music, apparel
Prominent Member: Kanye West
Having sold more records than any other musician in the world’s history, Kanye West is undoubtedly one of the richest musicians in the world.
However, some of West’s business ventures are questionable, with his personal investments in such businesses as Tidal (a streaming label) and Yeezy (an apparel company).
Net Worth: $28.2B
Family Business: S.C. Johnson
Industry: Household Goods
Prominent Member: Herbert Johnson III
A big player in household goods production, S.C Johnson, is completely owned by the Johnson family. Founded in 1886, the company began with parquet flooring.
Having found its success in floor wax, S.C Johnson went on to produce a wide range of cleaning products, including the prosperous Pledge and Glade.
Net Worth: $2.2B
Family Business: Netflix
Prominent Member: Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings is well-known for his entrepreneurial brainchild, Netflix. But what most people don’t know is that he began his career in the Marines and then acted as a member of the Peace Corps before working his first tech job at a software company (Adaptive).
This Boston-born Stanford graduate also founded Pure Software, which was one of his lesser successful ventures. Pure Software was bought out by Rational Software and diminished in value over the years. But his success with Netflix is what places him on our list.
Net Worth: $2.5B
Family Business: Tito’s Vodka
Prominent Member: Bert Beveridge
Alcohol proved to be the ticket to success for the Beveridge family, with Bert “Tito” Beveridge establishing Tito’s Handmade Vodka in Texas. Beveridge, who was in the oil and gas business before alcohol, also dabbled in the mortgage trade before leaving it all behind to pursue a career in the alcohol industry.
The company saw success in its initial years, selling almost 45 million bottles of vodka.
Net Worth: $3.4B
Family Business: Melaleuca
Prominent Member: Frank Vandersloot
Frank Vadersloot’s brother-in-law founded Oil of Melaleuca, which dabbled in the sale of tea tree oil. However, the company did not make a dent in the market at the time.
Unfortunately, due to issues with the FDA (it was accused of inflating medical stats to boost sales), the company had to be shut down. Frank even called it “a mess” during one of his interviews. However, this was after the company brought with it a large influx of income for the family.
Net Worth: $2.8B
Family Business: Samumed
Prominent Member: Osman Kibar
While Kibar is known for having founded Samumed, a leading biotech firm, the Kibar family has played the biotech industry for a long time. Finding its footing in anti-aging drugs, the company now has a net worth of $12.4 billion under the leadership of Osman Kibar, who acts as the CEO of the company.
2018 brought with it Kibar’s successful attempt to raise $438 million without any disclosure with regard to the investors’ names. Notably, Kibar also founded two other companies but did not serve in a leadership position in either of the companies.
Net Worth: $3B
Family Business: Arizona Beverages
Prominent Member: Don Vultaggio
Arizona Beverages was begun by Don Voltaggio, a highly intriguing billionaire whose first job was selling soda and beer, and his office space was the back of a van. In Brooklyn’s seedy street, Voltaggio started his business. Now, Arizona Beverages is known for their signature “tallboy” cans of popular beverages such as green tea, iced tea, fruit punch, and so on.
Arizona Beverages is now of the leading manufacturers of beverages in the country, mainly known for its unique blend of iced tea and lemonade known as “Arnold Palmer.”
Net Worth: $3B
Family Business: AQR Capital Management
Prominent Member: Clifford Asness
A family with a background in the capital and venture organization, the Asness family is a huge financer family headed by Cliff Asness. Born in New York City, the billionaire completed his education from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Perhaps one of Asness’s most daring pursuits was his disputation of the famous market theorist theories of the time, Eugene Fama. Coming up with his own idea about the nature of profit-making in business, Asness was hired at Goldman Sachs upon the completion of his Ph.D.
Net Worth: $5.6B
Family Business: Outcome Health
Industry: Medical Technology
Prominent Member: Rishi Shah
A college dropout, Rishi Shah is the head of one of his own successful ventures, Outcome Health. Shah serves the company (which is a pioneer and leader in the healthcare media industry) in CEO capacity.
While Outcome Health rakes in money from their advertisements on touchscreens (which also collects patient information to make more informed health decisions), the company is better known for its integration of new technology in hospital waiting rooms. The company revolutionized waiting rooms with tablets and touchscreens in both doctor’s offices and their waiting rooms. It is no wonder, therefore, that the net worth of this family now runs into billions.
Net Worth: $4B
Family Business: Ashkenazy Acquisitions
Industry: Real Estate
Prominent Member: Ben Ashkenazy
Another family that mints money from the real estate business, the Ashkenazy family, got their start in real estate with the Patriarch Ben Ashkenazy beginning his pursuits at just seventeen years of age. As a young man, Ashkenazy’s dream was to own a place in the Bronx for the establishment of his own fast-food joint.
When he found that the place he found was much below market value, Ashkenazy decided to lease it out instead. This was his inspiration to get into the real estate business, with his company, Ashkenazy Acquisitions, which saw immediate success.
Net Worth: $3B
Family Business: Trident Seafoods
Prominent Member: Chuck Bundrant
Trident Seafoods, one of North America’s largest vertically-integrated fish companies, is run by the Bundrant family. The billion-dollar company is known for harvesting and processing fresh and frozen seafood while also doing its marketing.
Trident Seafoods was able to rake in the money by selling its products to large chains such as Safeway, Long John Silver’s, Costco, and various other fast-food chains. Pollock, popularly known as a “trash fish,” was converted into an edible fish by Trident. As such, the net worth of the Bundrant family stands at nearly $3 billion today.
Net Worth: $14.3B
Family Business: Du Pont Chemicals
Prominent Member: John E. Du Pont
The two World Wars proved extremely lucrative to the Du Pont family in North America, how profited from their booming business in gunpowder during those turbulent years. The Du Pont family is now one of the most prominent players in the country’s chemical business, with a net worth of more than $14 billion.
Finding their beginnings from the mid-nineteenth century, the Du Ponts expanded into the automotive and chemical business in the twentieth century. The family also possesses large estates, including some of the country’s finest museums, parks, and luxurious gardens, which are occasionally open to the public.
Net Worth: $1B
Family Business: PartyGaming
Industry: Online Poker
Prominent Member: Ruth Parasol
Ruth Parasol’s first big idea that of an online casino was an immediate hit. Initially working as an engineer, she began her first Caribbean-based online casino in the late 90s. After its massive success, the company was rebranded as the popular PartyPoker.com.
The company soon saw annual revenue of more than half a billion dollars. Thus, PartyPoker and PartyGaming became the source for the Parasol family’s outrageous fame and fortune. The Parasol family now boasts of a net worth of more than a billion dollars.
Net Worth: $1.4B
Family Business: Twitter
Prominent Member: Omid Kordestani
Omid Kordestani is one of the biggest electrical engineering geniuses ever existed on the planet, who made his name as a business developer and sales manager at the famous company Netscape. Netscape, however, was merely the beginning for the tech genius.
Kordestani’s efforts at Netscape caught the attention of Google, who offered him the position of Chief Business Officer in the 1990s. Kordestani did not pass up this opportunity that is perhaps one of the biggest in the tech industry. Under his leadership, Google turned into a global powerhouse at the turn of the millennium.
Net Worth: $3.8B
Family Business: Broadcom Corporation
Prominent Member: Henry Samueli
Broadcom Corporation, one of the world’s biggest companies to produce leading-edge electronics and semiconductors, is owned and managed by Henry Samueli, the prosperous Samueli family’s patriarch.
With an initial investment of about $10,000, Samueli started when he was a UCLA professor. To his luck, the company took off, eventually going public in the late 90s, branding it as one of the most valuable firms in the tech industry and bringing the Samueli family’s net worth to a whopping $3.8 billion.
Net Worth: $3.7B
Family Business: Milken Institute
Prominent Member: Michael Milken
Milken is a name that will go down in history for the infamous insider trading scandal that Michael Milken was involved in. This was a scam that shook Wall Street for several lifetimes and one that will be talked about for generations to come.
Milken is credited as the architect of poorly rated high-yield bonds grouped by various financers. These are junk bonds that scam investors and creditors in purchasing them. These junk bonds shook the world with a massive rippling effect of defaults in the late 80s. Despite the scam, however, the Milken family remains one of the most influential in the country today, with a net worth of more than $3 billion.
Net Worth: $13B
Family Business: Purdue Pharma
Prominent Member: Madeleine Sackler
Purdue Pharma is the product of one of the country’s richest (and perhaps one of the most controversial) families. The company was established by Raymond and Mortimer Sackler, which set out towards the production of pharmaceuticals. The company saw immediate success and became of the biggest producers in no time.
However, Purdue Pharma’s infamous product, Oxycontin (a strong painkiller), is the big reason for the opioid crisis that America is currently facing. The humungous amount of Oxycontin that the company pumped out into the market (not to mention directly marketed) added fuel to the fire of the opioid crisis.
Net Worth: $39.3 million
Family Business: Politics
Prominent Member: Kellyanne Conway
One of the most prominent political families in the country, the Conway family, boasts a net worth of almost $40 million, most of which comes from entrepreneurial ventures. The famous Lincoln Project is George Conway’s brainchild, while his wife (Kellyanne) served as the counselor and consultant to the President.
Kellyanne Conway is the most well-known member of this family. She regularly appears on major networks of the country to provide her opinions on the goings-on at Washington. At the age of 28, Kellyanne, a graduate fresh from the school of law at Washington University, established a political polling company that she later sold for millions.
Net Worth: $11 billion
Family Business: Chick-Fil-A
Prominent Member: Dan T. Cathy
Chick-Fil-A is known for its exemplary customer service, with meme after meme pointing it out in recent years. Founded in 1946 by Samuel Cathy, Chick-Fil-A has made a name for its brilliant customer chicken and its delectable chicken and waffle fries.
When Cathy passed away in 2014, the company’s management moved from his hands into his sons, Dan and Don, who hold the titles of CEO and VP of the company. With a net worth of $5.5 billion each, the Cathy siblings have managed to retain the fast-food corporation within the family, which is by no means an easy feat for fast-food chains. As such, the family continues to remain tycoons in the fast-food industry.
Net Worth: $12.3 billion
Family Business: Brown-Forman Corp.
Prominent Member: Owsley Brown III
A bona fide alcohol dynasty, the Brown family, owns the Brown-Forman Corporation, including legendary brand names such as Jack Daniels, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve. While Owsley Brown is the most visible member of the family, 25 members are actively involved in the family business, owning more than half the corporation.
The business began with pharmaceutical salesman George Garvin Brown, who set up the company in 1870. Now, the company rakes in annual revenue of more than $3 billion. The company’s headquarters can be found in Louisville, Kentucky, which hosts several of the Brown family’s distilleries.
Net Worth: $13.3 billion
Family Business: ExxonMobile
Prominent Member: Sid Bass
John D. Rockefeller has been long known as one of the wealthiest men in the world, and ExxonMobil, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the globe, is the product of his genius. Having descended from the successful Standard Oil, which Rockefeller founded, Exxon and Mobil merged before the turn of the century, making it the powerhouse that it is today.
From ExxonMobil, oil Tycoon Sid Richardson has left his nephews, Robert, Si, Lee, and Edward Bass $2.8 million each. From 1959, when they have left the money, to recent years, the nephews were able to convert the $2.8 million each into $5.6 billion in stock, as they sold their company to ExxonMobil, with their payouts touching billions.
Net Worth: $4.5 billion
Family Business: Marriott Corporation
Prominent Member: Bill Marriott
We have all heard of Marriott hotels. They are known as some of the most excellent hotels to stay on vacation. Marriott Corporation, the business behind the hotels, comprises one of the largest hospitality, food service, and hotel chains in the world. Founded in the early twentieth century, Marriott has pretty much stayed in the family, thanks to the family trust.
The family’s trust fund (JWM Family Enterprises) possesses over $2.7 billion worth of stock (around 24 million shares), with Bill Marriott, the chairman of the company, alone possessing more than 15 million shares. The total comes up to a whopping $4.5 billion.
Net Worth: $10.2 billion
Family Business: Material Service
Industry: Construction, Sports, Tech, Hotels
Prominent Member: Lester Crown
Another consistent Forbes headline-maker is the Crown family. Henry Crown was the founder of Material Service, sand, stone, and gravel company. Crown founded Material Service with his brothers right before the Great Depression Hit. Material survived, and decades later, it was the largest building materials distributor in the world.
In the late 1950s, Material Service formed a merger with General Dynamics, with the family owning a large stake in General Dynamics. The company passed into Lester’s hands in 1990, which has since expanded into technology, real estate, hotels, and professional sports teams. The Crown family now has a net worth of more than $10 billion to their name.
Net Worth: $10.2 billion
Family Business: Public Storage, American Homes 4 Rent
Industry: Real Estate, Storage
Prominent Member: B. Wayne Hughes Sr.
B. Wayne Hughes is the wealthiest member of the Hughes family, which has a net worth of over $10 billion. The source of their wealth dates back to the 1970s when B. Wayne Hughes started Public Storage. Public Storage is a self-storage company that owns over 2,700 facilities in America and Europe. The board of the company is headed by Hughes’ children, B. Wayne Jr., and Tamara.
Hughes also began dabbling in the real estate business with his company, American Homes 4 Rent, in 2012. The Hughes family is also the proud owner of a 1,200-acre Spendthrift farm. Hughes’ philanthropic side was much appreciated when the world found out that he made a donation to USC (to the tune of $360 million) under a false name.
Net Worth: $9 billion
Family Business: U-Haul
Industry: Truck/Trailer Rental
Prominent Member: Joe Shoen
During World War II, Anne Mary and L.S Shoen, a married couple, founded the popular U-Haul. With a net worth of over $9 billion, the Shoen family is known for a notorious coup headed by Joe Shoen, who took over the family business. His father was forced to retire, and his dozen siblings were kicked out of the company.
The litigation case went on for years (25, to be exact), coming to a resolution in 2012. Joe Shoen managed to retain his position as chairman and president of the company, which rakes in over $3.8 billion in sales every year
Net Worth: $8.8 billion
Family Business: Publix
Prominent Member: Carole Jenkins Barnett
A Florida stable with more than 1,200 stores scattered across the South-eastern cities of America, Publix Super Markets was founded by George Jenkins in 1930. He ditched his rival to establish what is now one of the largest employee-owned companies in America. The workers at Publix own up to 80% of the company, while the rest is owned by the Jenkins family (which comes up to a whopping $8.8 billion).
The Publix board features two prominent members of the family, Jennifer, and Howard Jenkins, while Ed Crenshaw (George Jenkins’ grandson) acted as the CEO from 2008 for eight years. The company brought in a jaw-dropping revenue of $38 billion in 2019 alone.
Net Worth: $8.6 billion
Family Business: Westlake Chemical Corp
Prominent Member: Albert Chao
T.T. Chao, a Taiwanese immigrant who moved to America in 1985, founded Westlake Chemicals to pursue his dreams. Now, the company is managed by TT’s son, Albert, and ranks as one of the biggest producers of low-density polythene used for packaging of food and other products in America second-largest producer of PVC in the world.
The Chao family benefits from the company immensely, with Albert’s siblings owning up to 75% of the NYSE-listed, billion-dollar company.
Net Worth: $8.6 billion
Family Business: Carnegie Steel, Bessemer Trust
Industry: Steel, Finances
Prominent Member: Howard Phipps
The Phipps family’s wealth can be traced back to Henry Phipps, who was the business partner of Andrew Carnegie, the founder of Carnegie Steel. A dominant player in the early twentieth-century market, Carnegie yielded $50 million to Phipps when it was sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901.
Phipps used this unimaginable sum of money (which is equivalent to $1.532 billion today) to build the Bessemer Trust, which is now a financial powerhouse, with client assets that come up to than a hundred billion dollars. The extensive family of Phipps (over 300 members) owns several luxury estates from the early 1990s and is easily one of the most prominent families in Long Island.
Net Worth: $8.1 billion
Family Business: The Durst Organization
Industry: Real Estate
Prominent Member: Douglas Durst
Arriving from Poland in 1903 with just three dollars in his pocket, Joseph Durst established the Durst Organization in 1915.
With over 16 million square footage of real estate spread across New York and Philadelphia, The Durst Organization is now a real estate conglomerate. It also owns a 10% stake in the World Trade Center. The Durst family assets are worth more than $8 billion, and Douglas and Jody Durst are notable leaders of the company.
Net Worth: $7.8 billion
Family Business: National Rent-A-Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent-A-Car
Industry: Car Rental
Prominent Member: Chrissy Taylor
The Taylor family is now known as a huge car rental dynasty. It all began with Jack Taylor, who, after his stint in the Navy during WWII, founded the car-rental company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, in the year 1957. Taylor also established National and Alamo Rent-A-Car, of which his granddaughter Chrissy is now the president and CEO.
Employing more than 80,000 people across 100 countries, the company brings in annual revenue of nearly $22.5 billion.
Net Worth: $7.7 billion
Family Business: J.R. Simplot Company
Industry: Potatoes, Mining, Fertilizer
Prominent Member: Scott Simplot
You might be surprised to know that the first commercially-viable frozen fries resulted from the J.R Simplot Company, which was initially set up by J.R. Simplot, a school dropout who began the company with a potato farm bought with money that he earned working odd jobs.
As McDonald’s exclusive supplier of frozen French fries, the company is now one of the largest producers of French fries globally, with annual revenue of $6 billion. The company has also expanded into phosphate-mining and fertilizer industries.
Net Worth: $3 million
Family Business: Acting
Prominent Member: Christopher Reeve
Having starred in the lucrative Superman movies as the titular hero himself, Christopher Reeve was worth $3 million right before his death. The acting legacy lives on in his family, with his children, Matthew, Alexandra, and William, all following in his footsteps. You will find William in movies such as Everyone’s Hero, The Brooke Ellison Story, and The Gloaming.
Reeve continues to change the world even after his death with his Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which pumps in large amounts of money to research afflictions related to the spinal cord.
Net Worth: $400 million
Family Business: Acting, Directing, Producing
Prominent Member: Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola will go down in history forever as the director of the iconic The Godfather, as well as Dracula, Apocalypse Now, and several other Hollywood classics. The pioneer of the New Hollywood movement, he heads a family of other well-known actors and actresses, including his nephews, Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwartzmann.
While his sons, Gian-Carlo and Roman also active in show business, his daughter, Sofia Coppola, has made a name for herself with movies such as The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, and Marie Antoinette. Thus, arguably the greatest film-maker of all time has left his family wealthy and famous for generations to come.
Net Worth: $195 million
Family Business: Acting, Singing
Prominent Member: Bill Hudson, Goldie Hawn
Another famous Hollywood dynasty, the Hawn/Hudson family’s wealth and prosperity, began with Bill Hudson, the founder and lead singer of the favorite 60’s band, The Hudson Brothers. However, the most famous family member is Goldie Hawn, whom Bill Hudson married in 1976.
While the couple split in 1982, Hawn remains an influential figure in Hollywood till today. Not only is she married to Kurt Russel, but she is also the mother of the brilliant Kate Hudson, who has movies such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and You, Me, and Dupree to her name.
Net Worth: $2.4 billion
Family Business: The Gates Corporation
Industry: Oil & Gas, Real Estate, Water
Prominent Member: Diane Gates Wallach
Did you know that the Gates family has its origins, not with Bill and Melinda’s tech genius, but with Charles C. Gates Sr. who came to mine gold in Colorado in the early twentieth century.
His earnings allowed him to buy Gates Tire & Leather, which grew to become a manufacturer of all kinds of rubber products. The company continued to grow, with investments in cattle ranches as well as Learjet. 1996 brought around a merger for Gates Corporation with Tomkins plc, bringing its worth up to $1.1 billion. Gates Capital Partners now invest the Gates family’s wealth, which is compounded by their stakes in profitable sectors such as real estate, oil, and gas.
Net Worth: $5 billion
Family Business: Warner Bros.
Prominent Member: Jimmy Warner
The Warner Brothers (Harry, Jack, Albert, and Sam) are Polish immigrants who arrived in Canada. The late 1800s provided the brothers with their start in show business when they purchased a movie projector to showcase films such as Life of an American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
It comes as no surprise that the Warner Brothers opened their first theatre in 1903, which grew into a movie production company by the 1920s. The company proved to be the pioneer of the color film industry and is still one of the industry’s big players, with two billion-dollar films being released within one year in 2015.
Net Worth: $414 million
Family Business: Acting, Singing
Prominent Member: Will Smith
Hollywood tycoon Will Smith is known for his brilliant acting career, beginning with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to hits such as The Pursuit of Happyness, Ali, and Men in Black.
Married to Gotham and A Different World star, Jada Pinkett Smith, Smith is father to Jaden and Willow Smith, who are celebrity actors and singers. Jaden, who starred alongside his father for some movies, is now the owner of his company, Just Water.
Net Worth: $98.1 billion
Family Business: Facebook, Inc.
Industry: Social Media
Prominent Member: Mark Zuckerberg
Sitting on a pretty penny of almost $100 billion, Mark Zuckerberg is perhaps the tech industry’s biggest name for his entrepreneurial genius, Facebook.
Having founded the company in his dorm room at Harvard in 2004, the company saw immediate success, even going public in 2012. With a current value of about $527 billion, the company has made all its founders billionaires. However, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to donate 99% of all their income from their stakes in the company.
Net Worth: $170 million
Family Business: Acting, Producing, Singing, Comedy
Prominent Member: Keenen Wayans
The ten children of Howell Wayans (a grocery store manager) and Elvira Wayans (a social worker) are all big names in show business. While the three brothers, Damon, Keenen, and Dwayne, were the first to make a name for themselves, Nadia, Kim, Marlon, and Shawn have followed suit.
Keenen is now the wealthiest family member, with a net worth of nearly $65 million, with blockbuster hits such as the Scary Movie franchise and the popular show, In Living Color.