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The richest Americans: Gates No. 1

September 24, 2004 13:03 IST

Bill Gates. Photo:Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesMicrosoft Chairman Bill Gates must be bored of leading the pack on the Forbes list of richest Americans. Gates continues to be the richest man in America for the 11th consecutive year. Of course, he is also the richest man on earth.

The next in line in the list of the 400 richest Americans is the Walton family -- widow and children of Sam Walton – owners of retail mammoth Wal-Mart.

Forbes' 23rd annual ranking of the 400 richest people in America shows that the combined net worth of the United States' wealthiest people increased by $5 billion to a cool $1 trillion in the last one year.

The 10 Richest Americans


William 'Bill' Henry Gates

$48.0 billion


Warren Edward Buffett

$41.0 billion


Paul Gardner Allen

$20.0 billion


Alice L Walton

$18.0 billion


Helen R Walton

$18.0 billion


Jim C Walton

$18.0 billion


John T Walton

$18.0 billion


S Robson Walton

$18.0 billion


Michael Dell

$14.2 billion


Lawrence Joseph Ellison

$13.7 billion

What's more, of the 400 richest Americans, 313 -- or 78 per cent -- are billionaires. Last year's list had 262 billionaires.

Bill Gates' net worth is estimated at $48 billion, up $2 billion from the past year. Legendary investor Warren Buffett with assets worth $41 billion is at No. 2 spot, followed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen at No. 3 with a net worth of $20 billion.

Interestingly, at number 400 is Teresa Heinz Kerry with a net worth of $750 million.

The list has 45 new names, including Google's Sergey Brin and Larry E. Page also the youngest members of the 400 at 31. The two tied for No. 43 with $4 billion each after their company's stock went public in August.

Computer maker Michael Dell was at number nine and Oracle chief Larry Ellison took the 10th slot.

Five places in the top 10 are taken up by the Walton family, which gets its wealth from the Wal-Mart retail chain.

The biggest percentage gainer is casino operator Steve Wynn, who doubled his worth to $1.3 billion, jumping from No. 377 last year to No. 215 this time.'s Jeff Bezos lost the most -- $800 million – but still managed to hold on to his 38th rank. Other losers included Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner, buyout king Teddy Forstmann, BET's Robert Johnson and's Andrew McKelvey.

The list of 400 richest Americans has 51 women.

Forbes will publish the list on 11 October.