NEW YORK (CBS Seattle/AP) — Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates is still America’s richest man, taking the top spot in the Forbes 400 list for the 20th-straight year with a net worth of $72 billion – and reclaiming the title of world’s richest person from Mexico’s Carlos Slim.
Investor Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., remains in second place with $58.5 billion, while Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison stays third with $41 billion.
Brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries Inc., stay tied for fourth with $36 billion each.
Forbes says America’s super rich continued to increase their wealth over the past year, with the 400 people on the annual list posting a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago.
That marks the super-wealthy group’s highest combined value ever, with 61 American billionaires not even making the cut.
Forbes attributed the growth to strong stock and real estate markets, saying that “five years after the financial crisis sent the fortunes of many in the U.S. and around the world tumbling, the wealthiest as a group have finally gained back all they lost.”
According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record of $2.02 trillion — about the equivalent of Russia’s GDP.
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