It’s good to get rich. It’s even better to stay rich.
Ochicken Forbes released the first Forbes 400 list in 1982, it took just $100 million ($300 million in today’s dollars) to rank among the 400 richest people in the country. Steve Jobs made the cut, as did Yoko Ono and mob fundraiser Meyer Lansky. The richest person in the United States was shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig, who had a net worth of $2 billion ($6.1 billion today).
In the four decades since, thousands of people have claimed a spot on The Forbes 400 just to die, give away, or squander their fortunes. Yet even though the threshold has risen to $2.7 billion, giving the ultra-rich an even larger share of America’s wealth, 17 people from the original Forbes 400 list remain in the 2022 ranking, our number one. 40th anniversary.
Some, like Warren Buffett and Nike co-founder Phil Knight, never left this elite group. Others, including Donald Trump, have been on a rollercoaster ride – creating, missing, then remaking The Forbes 400, sometimes multiple times, since 1982.
Here are the 17 people (in order of richest) who made the original 1982 Forbes 400 and are now on the 2022 list. (Current net worth is as of September 2, 2022.)
Wealth in 1982: $250 million / Wealth in 2022: $97 billion
Source of wealth: finances and investments
The Oracle of Omaha had already made a name for himself by investing in 1982, although his fortune was still on the rise. We’ve pegged his net worth at $250 million ($770 million today), less than 1% of his current worth. But some things never change. “Lives modestly,” we wrote. “Like buying when ‘the bears give it away’.”
1982: $266 million / 2022: $56 billion
“Brothers. Oil,” read Charles Koch’s 1982 entry on The Forbes 400, which he shared with his two siblings, David and William. Four decades later, he’s the only Koch brother among the 400. richest in the country David died in 2019, his widow Julia Koch now takes his place on the list William sold his stake in the family conglomerate in 1983 and battled his brothers for more than a decade over the amount He eventually lost the case and is now worth around $1.5 billion, less than 3% of Charles.
1982: $275 million / 2022: $41.5 billion
Fashion and retail
When he made the first Forbes list – 18 years after starting the company with his former college track coach – Nike was making $458 million in revenue. Last year, the company sold $44.5 billion worth of shoes, clothes and other products worldwide, helping to make Knight the 17th richest person in America.
1982: $125 million / 2022: $21.9 billion
Fashion and retail
Lauder joined his mother’s cosmetics company, Estée Lauder, in 1958 and had recently been named CEO when we published the first Forbes 400. He spent nearly two decades in the top job before retiring in as Managing Director in 1999. He offered a massive Cubist art collection. , worth more than $1 billion, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013.
1982: $350 million / 2022: $17.4 million
It was worth around $350 million ($1.1 billion today) in 1982, but playing the long real estate game is lucrative. Today, Bren is America’s wealthiest real estate magnate thanks to the Irvine Company, which is responsible for much of the planning and development in Orange County, California, and is well known for his creation of the City of Irvine and Newport Coast.
1982: $600 million / 2022: $11.4 billion
Media and entertainment
Son of Samuel I. Newhouse, Sr., who built a newspaper empire in the 20th century, Donald Newhouse appeared on the first Forbes 400 alongside his brother, Si. Advance Publications remains a private, family-owned business. Donald is co-chair with his son Steven; Si, who ran magazine publisher Conde Nast for years, died in 2017.
1982: $1 billion / 2022: $11 billion
Finances and investments
One of 13 billionaires on the original Forbes 400 list, Anschutz was heavily involved in oil in 1982. Since then, he has diversified his portfolio across a wide range of holdings, including wind power, real estate and manufacturing. of frozen pancakes from Wafelbakkers. It also owns the LA Galaxy football team, is the majority owner of the LA Kings hockey team, and owns the Crypto.com Arena (formerly LA Staples Center) where the Kings play. Its AEG Worldwide has stadiums and concert halls throughout the country, with significant international holdings in the UK and Western Europe.
1982: $500 million / 2022: $7.6 billion
He sold the Hartz pet supply company, which his father Max founded in 1932, for $350 million in 2000, and added to his fortune by expanding into real estate. His company Hartz Mountain has an extensive portfolio of industrial, office and retail properties, which include the Soho Grand and Roxy hotels in New York.
1982: $125 million / 2022: $7.5 billion
The Intel co-founder is known for “Moore’s Law,” predicting that computer processing power would double approximately every two years. His fortune hasn’t grown as quickly, but he’s still nearly 20 times richer than he was four decades ago, even after adjusting for inflation, thanks to Intel stock.
1982: $100 million / 2022: $6 billion
Fashion and retail
Wexner was taking over America’s malls in the 1980s, when he made the nation’s first wealth chart. Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and The Limited of its L brands have been physical mainstays for decades. Wexner – who faced backlash for his ties to Jeffrey Epstein – took a step back. He sold most of his stake in publicly traded L Brands in 2021 for $2 billion.
Ray Lee Hunt
1982: $200 million / 2022: $5.7 billion
One of 15 children of legendary oil hunter HL Hunt – who is said to have inspired JR Ewing’s character in the TV show Dallas—Ray Lee Hunt was one of 11 Hunts on the original Forbes 400. He is now the wealthiest of the bunch, thanks to oil and gas, real estate and investment businesses.
1982: $100 million / 2022: $5.4 billion
Media and entertainment
four months later Return of the Jedi Released in theaters, the Star Wars creator made the rich list thanks to his production company, Lucasfilm. “If Lucasfilm Ltd. were sold,” we wrote, “it could easily gross over $100 million.” Lucas wisely waited, eventually selling to Disney in 2012 for $4.1 billion in cash and stock.
1982: $100 million / 2022: $4.7 billion
Fred Smith’s idea for an overnight delivery service, which earned him a C on a paper at Yale, catapulted him to the Forbes 400 list of 1982. Today, FedEx delivers packages to more than 220 countries and territories and generates $94 billion in annual revenue.
1982: $125 million / 2022: $4.6 billion
Fashion and retail
Youngest son of Estée Lauder, he spent decades as president of Clinical Laboratories and as a director of the parent company. His two daughters, Jane and Aerin, are also on The Forbes 400, as is Leonard’s son, William.
W. Herbert Hunt
1982: $1 billion / 2022: $4 billion
Ray Lee’s half-brother, Herbert Hunt is the only other Hunt heir on The Forbes 400 today. He once tried to take over the silver market with his brother, Nelson Bunker Hunt (who died in 2014), and sold his Bakken oilfield acreage to Halcon Resources in 2013 for $1.5 billion in cash and shares.
1982: $1 billion / 2022: $3.7 billion
He inherited millions from his great-uncle, oil tycoon Sid Richardson, and built up his stash with deals like the $6 billion sale of the Bass oilfields to ExxonMobil in 2017. The low-key bass has appeared on the 1982 list alongside his father, Perry Richardson Bass. (died in 2006). Today, his brother Robert is also on The Forbes 400, and brothers Edward and Lee are also billionaires.
1982: $100 million / 2022: $3.2 billion
When Donald Trump made the first issue of Forbes 400 in 1982, he was still putting the finishing touches on Trump Tower and trying to step out of the shadow of his real estate magnate father, with whom he shared his place on the list. “Consummate self-promoter,” we wrote. “Sharing a fortune estimated at over $200 million. Donald is asking for $500 million. Four decades of bold bets, big bankruptcies and a right-wing shift into politics later, Trump joins The Forbes 400 in 2022, having dropped out in 2021.
SEE THE FULL 2022 FORBES 400 LIST