In the battle of the world’s billionaires, newly minted Texan Elon Musk comes out on top — and 15 Dallas-Fort Worth billionaires have had a pretty good year, too.
Forbes magazine’s new ranking of the world’s richest people puts Musk at No. 1, with a net worth of $219 billion. That’s up from $151 billion in 2021, $24.6 billion in 2020, $22.3 billion in 2019, and $19.9 billion in 2018. CEO of Austin-based vehicle manufacturer Tesla and leader of a host of other businesses, Musk was ranked second on Forbes’ 2021 list. He sat behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose net worth in 2021 was pegged at $177 million. This year, Forbes estimates Bezos’ net worth is $171 billion.
Nearly 30 other Texans appear in this year’s top 1,000, about half of which live in DFW. The 15 local billionaires who made the 2022 list (including their global ranking, 2022 net worth, and 2021 net worth) are:
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: tied for No. 185, $10.6 billion, up from $8.9 billion
- Banking and real estate kingpin Andy Beal: tied for No. 201, $9.9 billion, up from $7.9 billion
- Oil and real estate titan Ray Lee Hunt: tied for No. 386, $6.5 billion, up from $4.2 billion
- Money manager Ken Fisher: tied for No. 509, $5.3 billion, down from $5.5 billion
- Media magnate and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban: tied for No. 601, $4.7 billion, up from $4.4 billion
- Oil and gas guru Trevor Rees-Jones: tied for No. 637, $4.5 billion, up from $4 billion
- Hotel and investment titan Robert Rowling: tied for No. 637, $4.5 billion, up from $3.9 billion
- Oil baron W. Herbert Hunt: tied for No. 665, $4.3 billion, up from $2 billion
- Margot Birmingham Perot: widow of tech and real estate entrepreneur H. Ross Perot Sr., tied for No. 665, $4.3 billion, up from $4.1 billion
- Oil and gas tycoon Kelcy Warren: tied for No. 728, $4 billion, up from $3.4 billion
- Real estate bigwig H. Ross Perot, Jr.: tied for No. 951, $3.2 billion, up from $1.6 billion
- Walmart heiress Alice Walton: No. 18, $65.3 billion, up from $61.8 billion
- Oil and investment guru Robert Bass: tied for No. 536, $5.1 billion, unchanged from last year
- Private equity magnate David Bonderman: tied for No. 637, $4.5 billion, up from $4.1 billion
- Investor and oilman Sid Bass: tied for No. 883, $3.4 billion, up from $2.9 billion
Walton is the only daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton; as of September 2021, the Walton family still reigned as the richest family in the U.S.
Last month, Musk questioned the notion that he’s the richest person in the world. Rather, he believes a certain world leader holds that title.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, currently engaged in a bloody war against neighboring Ukraine, “is significantly richer than me,” Musk recently told an interviewer. Putin is said to control vast “ill-gotten gains,” but no one has been able to assign a dollar amount to his riches.
Musk confirmed in 2020 that he had relocated from California to Texas, but it’s not known whether he spends most of his time around Brownsville, near a major launch site developed by his SpaceX venture, or in Austin, where he continues to build his business empire. Tesla’s headquarters moved last year from California to Tesla’s new factory just outside Austin.
Four Austin billionaires join Musk in the top 1,000 on the Forbes list. They are:
- Michael Dell, founder, chairman, and CEO of Round Rock-based Dell Technologies: No. 24, $55.1 billion, up from $45.1 billion
- Venture capitalist Robert Smith: tied for No. 369, $6.7 billion, up from $6 billion
- Tito’s Vodka baron Bert “Tito” Beveridge: tied for No. 637, $4.5 billion, down from $4.6 billion
- Tech entrepreneur Thai Lee: tied for No. 709, $4.1 billion, up from $3.2 billion
Houston billionaires on the list are:
- Oil mogul Jeffery Hildebrand: tied for No. 316, $7.5 billion, up from $2 billion
- Pipeline magnate Richard Kinder: tied for No. 316, $7.5 billion, up from $7 billion
- Houston siblings and pipeline heirs Dannine Avara, Scott Duncan, Milane Frantz, and Randa Duncan Williams: each tied for No. 375, $6.6 billion, up from $6 billion
- Hospitality titan and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta: tied for No. 471, $5.6 billion, up from $4.6 billion
- Houston software entrepreneur Robert Brockman: tied for No. 601, $4.7 billion, down from $6 billion
- Toyota mega-dealer Dan Friedkin: tied for No. 665, $4.3 billion, up from $4.1 billion
- Houston Texans owner Janice McNair: tied for No. 687, $4.2 billion, up from $4.1 billion
- Hedge fund honcho John Arnold: tied for No. 913, $3.3 billion, unchanged from last year
Elsewhere in Texas:
- Sports and entertainment mogul Stan Kroenke (Vernon): tied for No. 183, $10.7 billion, up from $8.2 billion
- Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke (Vernon): tied for No. 227, $9 billion, up from $8.4 billion
- Oil tycoon Autry Stephens (Midland): tied for No. 552, $5 billion, not previously ranked
“The tumultuous stock market contributed to sharp declines in the fortunes of many of the world’s richest,” Kerry A. Dolan, assistant managing editor of Wealth at Forbes, says of this year’s ranking. “Still, more than 1,000 billionaires got wealthier over the past year. The top 20 richest alone are worth a combined $2 trillion, up from $1.8 trillion in 2021.”