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These Texan billionaires are among Forbes richest Americans

Written by: Leonard Parker | Houston Business News | 05th October

Forbes has released its annual list of the 400 Richest People in America, and this year 16 very wealthy Texans made the cut. Of course there is Elon, who is battling it out with ol' Jeff "do you like my cowboy hat" Bezos for the top spot. (Who is No. 1 changes depending on factors like the stock market and which one of them is vacationing in space that particular day.)

"It’s a good time to be a billionaire. On average, America’s 400 wealthiest people are 40 percent richer than one year ago," writes Forbes in a sentence that certainly resonates with the millions of Americans who lost their jobs or struggled to pay bills during the pandemic. 

Of those who saw a boon in personal wealth, Tesla founder/newish Texan Elon Musk saw a 180 percent surge in his overall personal wealth in the last year to catapult him to the No. 2 spot. As of markets closing on October 4, Forbes ranked his personal wealth $190.5 billion. Also notable is the magazine points to Musk's residence as Austin, Texas, which has never officially been confirmed. 

The richest American woman is also a Texan. Fort Worth-based Alice Walton, as in the Walmart Waltons, is No. 12 with a net worth of $67.9 billion. 

And while he's not a Texan, also notable is Donald Trump, who fell off the list this year. 

Elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Michael Dell, of Austin, ranks No. 18 with personal fortune of $50.1 billion. At No. 70 is Stanley Kroenke, who owns the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, and England's Arsenal soccer club. He lives in the tiny town of Electra in North Texas and has a net worth of $10.7 billion.

Dallas-based Andrew Beal, a banker, comes in at No. 78 with $9.9 billion. Ann Walton Kroenke may be married to No. 70, but she's a billionaire in her own right as card-carrying member of the Walmart dynasty. Walton Kroenke has a personal net worth of $9.3 billion and the No. 83 spot on Forbes' richest Americans list.

Overall character/Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is next in the 86th spot with a $9.1 billion fortune. Richard Kinder is the No. 128 wealthiest American with a fortune of $7.1 billion. Naturally, the Houston-based billionaire made his fortune in oil and gas.

Austin-based Robert F. Smith, who founded private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, ranks 141 with a personal fortune of $6.7 billion. Smith made headlines in 2019 when he vowed to wipe out the student debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College during his commencement address. 

Rounding out the list is financier Ken Fisher at No. 151, of Dallas and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta is No. 158. Houston-based oil-and-gas heirs Dannine Avara, Scott Duncan, Milane Duncan Frantz, and Randa Duncan Williams. The siblings tied for No. 161. Duncan Williams is also the owner of Texas Monthly.

Ray Lee Hunt, one of legendary oil scions H.L. Hunt's 15 children, lands at No. 188 Robert Bass, a member of the Fort Worth Bass family, is No. 212 Tito's Vodka founder Tito Beveridge is No. 224 tech entrepreneur Robert Brockman is No. 229 oil tycoon Jeffery Hildebrand ranks 240th financier David Bonderman, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and energy tycoon Trevor Rees-Jones tie at No. 247 Gulf States Toyota franchise owner Dan Friedkin is No. 253; Robert Rowling, who turned his family's oil empire into an investment in Omni Hotels, is No. 261 Houston Texans owner Janice McNair is No. 269 Margot Birmingham Perot, widow of technology entrepreneur H. Ross Perot, Sr., and IT entrepreneur Thai Lee tie at No. 273  Energy mogul Kelcy Warren is 289th Financier John Arnold and hearing air manufacturer Bill Austin tie at No. 358 Ross Perot Jr. is No. 363  Joe Liemandt and Drayton McLane tie at No. 377 Facebook investor Jim Breyer is No. 389