Forbes Releases List Of Richest Self-Made Women, Oprah And Beyonce Captured
on Wednesday unveiled its third annual list of the richest self-made women in the United States.
The list is comprised of the 60 wealthiest women in the country who started out with next to nothing and rose to build fortunes whose combined net worth totals $61.5billion.
The wealthiest self-made woman in the US is Marian Ilitch, who co-founded the Little Caesars pizza chain with her late husband, Mike Ilitch.
The Ilitches built a corporate empire that includes Little Caesars, the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, and the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, among other properties.
Marian Ilitch, whose net worth has been pegged by Forbes at $5.1billion, took over the top spot from last year’s reigning businesswoman, Diane Hendricks.
Hendricks is the co-founder and chairwoman of ABC Supply, one of the biggest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding, and windows.
Her net worth is estimated at $4.9billion.
Tied for third place are Judy Love – who co-founded the Love’s gas station chain – and daytime television queen Oprah Winfrey.
Love and Winfrey each have a net worth valued at $2.9billion.
Doris Fisher, who co-founded the Gap clothing brand in San Francisco with her late husband, Don, in 1969, is fifth on the list.
She is estimated to be worth $2.6billion.
Judy Faulkner, the founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which provides software for cataloguing medical records, is the sixth wealthiest self-made woman.
Her net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $2.5billion.
Meg Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard, is next on the list. Her wealth is estimated to be valued at $2.6billion.
Whitman has amassed a long career as a successful executive, most notably at eBay.
During her ten-year stint at the helm of the online auction site, eBay went from $4million in sales to $8billion.
Johnelle Hunt, who along with her late husband founded a rice hull packaging operation, built a fortune estimated to be worth $2.4billion, according to Forbes.
She is the eighth richest self-made woman in America.
Elaine Wynn, a board member and co-founder of Wynn Resorts, is believed worth $2.2billion.
She co-founded Wynn Resorts with her ex-husband, Steve Wynn.
Rounding out the top 10 is Lynda Resnick, whose $2billion fortune was built on the strength of the thousands of acres of almond, pistachio, orange and pomegranate orchards that she and her husband own in California, Texas, and Mexico.
The Resnicks used those resources to build Wonderful Company, which markets brand names including Pom Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios, and Fiji Water.
The list is comprised of women for whom it took decades to accumulate their wealth.
There are notable exceptions, however, with three of women on the list under 40 years of age 40 and eight others younger than 50.
Covering the magazine is jewelry mogul Carolyn Rafaelian who is valued at an impressive $1billion, thanks to the phenomenal success of her brand Alex and Ani, which she founded back in 2004.
Meanwhile singer Taylor Swift, just 27 years old, made the list with an estimated net worth of $280million.
Swift is the 55th richest self-made woman.
Another crooner, Beyonce, has been on the list for each of the three years it has been compiled by Forbes.
Her fortune is valued at a whopping $350million, making her No. 46 on the list.
Jamie Kern Lima, a former television news anchor, went on to found IT Cosmetics, which she eventually sold to L’Oreal for $1.2billion.
At just age 39, she is worth an estimated $410million.