Forbes Rich List 2020: The wealthiest people in America, from Jeff Bezos to Zoom founder Eric Yuan

‘Remarkable growth in fortunes stands out at a time of pandemic-induced economic upheaval’, says Forbes boss

Sarah Young
Tuesday 08 September 2020 15:56
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Jeff Bezos in 1999 on the future of the internet

The richest people in America have been named in an annual list released by Forbes.

On Tuesday, the global media company shared its 39th annual Forbes 400 list, which ranks the wealthiest Americans alongside a comprehensive report about how much each person is worth and how they are using their money to drive change.

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, topped the list for the third year running, with an estimated fortune of $179 (£137) billion, which Forbes states is up 57 per cent from last year.

Second on the list is Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a net worth of $111 (£85) billion, followed by CEO and co-founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, with $85 (£65) billion.

Other names to feature in the top 20 include Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, who has a net worth of $68 (£52) billion, Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Bezos, with a fortune of $57 (£43) billion and Phil Knight, the founder of shoe giant Nike, with an estimated net worth of $39.2 (£30) billion.

Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editor of wealth at Forbes pointed out that while the coronavirus outbreak brought much of the world to a near standstill, it did not stop some of America’s most successful entrepreneurs.

“The remarkable growth in fortunes of The Forbes 400 stands out at a time of pandemic-induced economic upheaval,” Dolan said.

“Much of the wealth is highly concentrated. The top 21 richest on the list (there is a tie at number 20) account for 42 per cent of the total wealth.”

The pandemic even helped propel some new names onto this year’s list, including Eric Yuan, the man behind videoconferencing company Zoom.

According to Forbes, Zoom’s stock has risen by nearly 300 per cent since it went public in April 2019 and revenues surged by 96 per cent to $146 (£111) million in the second quarter of 2020, driven by rising demand during the pandemic.

Another new name on the list is 94-year-old Alice Schwartz, whose biotech firm Bio-Rad Laboratories produced Covid-19 diagnostic tests.

Forbes states that Schwartz and her late husband David founded the company in 1952 but did not take it public until 1966. Bio-Rad stock has skyrocketed since the World Health Organisation declared the global pandemic in March, rising by 49 per cent through late July on the back of increased demand for its diagnostic tests.

Here are the top 10 richest people in America of 2020:

Jeff Bezos - $179bn (£137bn)

Bill Gates - $111bn (£85bn)

Mark Zukerberg - $85bn (£65bn)

Warren Buffett - $73.5bn (£56bn)

Larry Ellison - $72bn (£55bn)

Steve Ballmer - $69bn (£52bn)

Elon Musk - $68bn (£52bn)

Larry Page - $67.5bn (£51bn)

Sergey Brin - $65.7bn (£50bn)

Alice Walton - $62.3bn (£47bn)

The full Forbes 400 list can be found here.

You can find out who made the list of the world’s highest-paid actors here.

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