Black Excellence: 7 Richest Black Americans

by Duke Magazine

Forbes’s annual billionaires’ list has really shown that the wealth of the world’s richest are doubling even amid the pandemic. According to the publication, the world’s richest persons are $5 trillion richer than they were a year ago.

Also, the list saw the addition of 660 more billionaires than a year ago, expanding Forbes’ billionaire list to 2,755. The U.S. still has more billionaires on the list than any other country in the world with 724, followed by China with 698, India with 140, Germany with 136, and Russia with 117.

Meanwhile, the Forbes list also saw 493 newbies, including 210 from China and Hong Kong, and 98 from the U.S. The richest on the list of newcomers is Miriam Adelson of Nevada, who is worth $38.2 billion. Forbes reports that she inherited her husband Sheldon Adelson’s casino empire, following his death in January.

Another new entrant in the list is African-American film actor, producer, and entrepreneur Tyler Perry, while Whitney Wolfe Herd, co-founder of Bumble dating app, is the world’s youngest self-made woman billionaire.

The billionaires altogether, according to Forbes, are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list. Also, a staggering 86% of all billionaires are richer than a year ago. Despite the record number of new billionaires, as many as 250 people diminished below the billionaire status, per the list.

However, below are the richest Black Americans with their rank on the Forbes billionaire list:

Robert F. Smith

Celebrating Black Excellence

Robert F. Smith founded private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in 2000. The company, which has over $50 billion in assets, is one of the best-performing private equity firms.

David Steward

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David Steward founded IT provider firm World Wide Technology. The company’s customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.

Oprah Winfrey

Celebrating Black Excellence

Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul. She ran her own talk show for 25 years before establishing her own cable channel OWN.

Kanye West

Celebrating Black Excellence

Kanye West is a musician and an entrepreneur. His Yeezy brand raked in an estimated $1.7 billion in sales in 2020.

Michael Jordan

Celebrating Black Excellence

Michael Jordan first made his mark in NBA while playing for the Chicago Bulls. He won six titles with them.

The NBA legend is a NASCAR team co-owner. He also owned Charlotte Hornets before he agreed to sell a minority stake in a 2019 deal that valued the NBA team at $1.5 billion.


Celebrating Black Excellence

Jay-Z, just like Kanye West, makes his money from music and his businesses, Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Ussé cognac. He first became a millionaire in 2019.

Tyler Perry

Celebrating Black Excellence

Tyler Perry joined the billionaire club in 2020, according to Forbes. The actor, director, and writer makes $660 million from his “Madea” franchise.

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