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The Forbes 400 richest Americans: Oil, electronics and rock 'n' roll

NEW YORK -- Gordon P. Getty, son of oil magnate Jean Paul Getty, is the richest man in America and one of a dozen billionaires in the nation, Forbes magazine said Monday.

In its annual listing of the '400 richest people in America,' Forbes said Getty, a 50-year-old patron of the arts, counts as the wealthiest American even though his fortune is in the Sarah C. Getty Trust, which received $4.1 billion when Getty Oil was sold to Texaco.

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'True, Getty cannot saunter into his bank tomorrow and withdraw $4.1 billion in cash, but he alone presides over a family trust worth this amount,' the magazine said.

The 400 richest Americans have a net worth of $125 billion, Forbes said. That compares to the $126 billion all individual Americans have managed to accumulate in their savings accounts in U.S commercial banks.

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The magazine said 74 of its 400 richest Americans have fortunes derived principally from oil and gas, and 71 made their money mainly in real estate. Another 95 have fortunes derived from manufacturing.

Yoko Ono, widow of ex-Beatle John Lennon, is listed among the 400 richest Americans. The magazine said Ono parlayed Lennon's music earnings into an empire of music companies, real estate and Holstein cows, and made Lennon 'the world's richest house husband' before his death.

Forbes classified singer Michael Jackson as an 'up-and-comer,' and estimated his personal fortune at 'just under $70 million and counting.'

The billionaires included several entrepreneurs who made it big. Sam Moore Walton, founder of the Wal-Matt chain of discount stores, ranks No. 2 with an estimated $2.3 billion, Forbes said.

David Packard, 72, the co-founder of Herlett-Packard electronics firm was third with an estimated $1.8 billion, and H. Ross Perot, founder of Electronics Data System was fourth with $1.4 billion.

Gordon P. Getty, son of oil magnate Jean Paul Getty, is the richest man in America and one of a dozen billionaires in the nation, Forbes magazine said Monday.

In its annual listing of the '400 richest people in America,' Forbes said Getty, a 50-year-old patron of the arts, counts as the wealthiest American even though his fortune is in the Sarah C. Getty Trust, which received $4.1 billion when Getty Oil was sold to Texaco.

Advertisement

'True, Getty cannot saunter into his bank tomorrow and withdraw $4.1 billion in cash, but he alone presides over a family trust worth this amount,' the magazine said.

The 400 richest Americans have a net worth of $125 billion, Forbes said. That compares to the $126 billion all individual Americans have managed to accumulate in their savings accounts in U.S commercial banks.

The magazine said 74 of its 400 richest Americans have fortunes derived principally from oil and gas, and 71 made their money mainly in real estate. Another 95 have fortunes derived from manufacturing.

Yoko Ono, widow of ex-Beatle John Lennon, is listed among the 400 richest Americans. The magazine said Ono parlayed Lennon's music earnings into an empire of music companies, real estate and Holstein cows, and made Lennon 'the world's richest house husband' before his death.

Forbes classified singer Michael Jackson as an 'up-and-comer,' and estimated his personal fortune at 'just under $70 million and counting.'

The billionaires included several entrepreneurs who made it big. Sam Moore Walton, founder of the Wal-Mart chain of discount stores, ranks No. 2 with an estimated $2.3 billion, Forbes said.

David Packard, 72, the co-founder of Hewlett-Packard electronics firm was third with an estimated $1.8 billion, and H. Ross Perot, founder of Electronics Data System was fourth with $1.4 billion.

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An Wang, founder of Wang Laboratories, also made the billionaires list -- one of 21 immigrants who Forbes said rank among the 400 richest Americans.

The best way to become super-rich was to have rich relatives, Forbes said. The majority -- 241 -- started out with inherited wealth, although many added to it with their own business dealings.

Of the 12 billionaires on the list, four, Nelson Bunker Hunt, Margaret Hunt Hill, Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf, and William Herbert Hunt, are the offspring of the late oilman H.L. Hunt and share massive oil and gas trusts.

Banker David Rockefeller, who inherited a fortune as grandson of Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, made the exclusive billionaire's club. Other Rockefellers followed at lower levels, including the list's youngest member, Abby Rockefeller Simpson, 27.

There were 20 DuPonts among the Forbes 400. The DuPonts also represented the oldest fortune, dating back to 1802.

Seven people made the top of the Forbes list because John Gladwyne Sr. got the idea of taking water out of canned soup. His heirs own roughly 61 percent of Campbell's Soup.

Forbes said 44 people who made the 1983 list were dropped this year, six due to death.

Forbes hired its own appraisal firm to investigate the wealth of comedian Bob Hope, whose fortune it estimated at $200 million last year. It determined that the 81-year-old Hope is actually worth only about $80 million.

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'If I had that kind of money, I wouldn't have gone to Vietnam, I would have sent for it,' Hope said of the earlier estimates.

Former singing cowboy Gene Autry made the list, with real estate, music publishing, baseball and hotel holdings that Forbes estimated were worth at least $150 million.

Two other billionaires had oil-based fortunes: Philip Anschultz, heir to an oil drilling firm and an aggressive buyer of oil leases himself, and Marvin Davis, who made a fortune as a wildcatter and now owns half of Twentieth-Century Fox.

A dozen of Forbes' multimillionaires did not finish high school, and only slightly more than half graduated from college.

Yale has graduated the most Forbes wealthy, 29, and Harvard accounts for 9. New York claims 88 of the top 400, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth with 30 and Los Angeles with 28.

Adv for 6:30 p.m.

The best way to become super-rich was to have rich relatives, Forbes said. The majority -- 241 -- started out with inherited wealth, although many added to it with their own business dealings.

Of the 12 billionaires on the list, four, Nelson Bunker Hunt, Margaret Hunt Hill, Caroline Hunt Schoellkopf, and William Herbert Hunt, are the offspring of the late oilman H.L. Hunt and share massive oil and gas trusts.

Advertisement

Banker David Rockefeller, who inherited a fortune as grandson of Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, made the exclusive billionaire's club. Other Rockefellers followed at lower levels, including the list's youngest member, Abby Rockefeller Simpson, 27.

There were 20 DuPonts among the Forbes 400. The DuPonts also represented the oldest fortune, dating back to 1802.

Seven people made the top of the Forbes list because John Gladwyne Sr. got the idea of taking water out of canned soup. His heirs own roughly 61 percent of Campbell's Soup.

Forbes said 44 people who made the 1983 list were dropped this year, six due to death.

Forbes hired its own appraisal firm to investigate the wealth of comedian Bob Hope, whose fortune it estimated at $200 million last year. It determined that the 81-year-old Hope is actually worth only about $80 million.

'If I had that kind of money, I wouldn't have gone to Vietnam, I would have sent for it,' Hope said of the earlier estimates.

Former singing cowboy Gene Autry made the list, with real estate, music publishing, baseball and hotel holdings that Forbes estimated were worth at least $150 million.

Two other billionaires had oil-based fortunes: Philip Anschultz, heir to an oil drilling firm and an aggressive buyer of oil leases himself, and Marvin Davis, who made a fortune as a wildcatter and now owns half of Twentieth-Century Fox.

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A dozen of Forbes' multimillionaires did not finish high school, and only slightly more than half graduated from college.

Yale has graduated the most Forbes wealthy, 29, and Harvard accounts for 9. New York claims 88 of the top 400, followed by Dallas-Fort Worth with 30 and Los Angeles with 28.

Adv for 6:30 p.m.

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