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The world's richest bachelors
Chaniga Vorasarun, Forbes | May 04, 2006
There may no longer be a need to troll online dating sites looking for The One. If you are looking for a wealthy mate, we have the definitive list of the world's most eligible bachelors -- 80 billionaires -- and their stats.
Billionaire bachelors have an average net worth of $3.6 billion, 13% more than their average net worth in 2005. They hail from 17 countries. Thirty-one have never been married, including high-profile types like Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Red Bull creator Dietrich Mateschitz.
The rest are divorced, like Ronald Burkle, the supermarket magnate who was the target of an alleged extortion plot by a New York Post gossip writer. New additions to the list of divorcees: corporate raider Ronald Perelman, who just split with his fourth wife, actress Ellen Barkin.
The best place to find unattached billionaires is in the U.S., where a whopping 52 of them live. The West Coast would seem the perfect setting for meeting your match, with its hotbed of tech firms to the north and Hollywood to the south. You'll find Google guys Sergey Brin and Larry Page near company headquarters in Silicon Valley and DreamWorks' David Geffen living along California's star-studded coastline.
Be strategic about your search. In some cases, you can find more than one eligible single in the same family. Take David and Austin Hearst -- grandsons of newspaper legend William Randolph Hearst -- and S. Robson and Alice Walton, children of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton.
Royalty is another smart bet. One of the youngest billionaire bachelors, Albert von Thurn und Taxis, is a 23-year-old German prince who inherited his fortune when he turned 18. The twice-divorced Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia made his fortune mostly through shrewd investments like his stake in the world's largest public company, Citigroup. He's now the world's eighth richest person.
You'll especially admire the billionaire singles who rose from modest beginnings. Forty-eight of them are self-made, including eBay's first president, Jeffrey Skoll, who pumped gas in his native Canada before getting his MBA at Stanford and becoming the online auctioneer's second-largest shareholder.
But beware: There can actually be downsides to roping in a billionaire bachelor.
Depending on your goals, the humblest ones may be a mixed bag. One of Google's early investors, tech guru Andreas von Bechtolsheim, opts for a small apartment in Palo Alto, Calif.
Billionaires can also come with their own unique set of baggage. Some may feel the need to prove themselves in their father's shadow. James Packer, Australia's richest man, has a tough act to follow: his recently deceased father, media mogul Kerry Packer. Richard Li, a Stanford dropout who later led his Pacific Century Group into diversified investments, is the son of Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing.
Of course, you should also watch out for those already tied up with supermodel friends, like online gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre or reputed playboy Russian Roustam Tariko, both 44 years old.