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Robert Trigaux

Forbes 400 richest Americans: 26 in Florida and one -- Eddie DeBartolo -- in Tampa Bay



forbes400magazinecover9.2010.gifWake up and good morning. Forbes magazine just published its annual list of the 400 richest Americans and once again Florida boasts a healthy share of the mega-rich. In fact, Florida ranked fourth, with 26 list members -- ages 93 to just 28 years old --claiming the Sunshine State as their home. California (83) was first, followed by New York (64) and Texas (45).

Overall, Microsoft founder Bill Gates maintained his No. 1 spot on the list with $54 billion in net worth, followed by investor Warren Buffett, with $45 billion. But the fortunes of Gates, Buffett and other billionaires remain noticeably below their levels in 2008, right before the financial crisis reached full force, the New York Times notes. Yet when compared to last year's list, this year's results show the rich are once again getting richer: 217 on the list saw their net worth increase, while only 85 saw a drop. Gainers included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who hit No. 35 with a net worth that increased a whopping 245 percent since 2009.

Atop the Florida list at No. 69 was Micky Arison, chairman of cruise line giant Carnival Corp. and majority partner of the Miami Heat. His estimated net worth of $4.1 billion was down from $4.3 billion in 2009. The 2010 value was estimated in August 2010 -- after the team signed LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

Second on the rich list in Florida is William Koch of Palm Beach who is peripherally famous these days because two of his far richer brothers, David and Charles Koch, are bankrolling the Tea Party. This New Yorker magazine article takes a long and deep look at the two.

Also of note from Palm Beach, of course, is Malcolm Glazer and family, owner of the now 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and whose fortune rose to $2.6 billion. Says the Forbes mini-profile: "Owns NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers (team valued at $1 billion); controls English soccer's Manchester United, worth $1.84 billion (the sport's most valuable team burdened by a near 50% debt load). Inherited watch business from father at 15; formed real estate company First Allied. Today owns more than 6.7 million square feet of retail space. Opening of Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa slated for September. Sons now manage family assets."

edwarddebartolo.jpgThe richest at $1.5 billion and ranked No. 269 from Tampa Bay (in fact, the only billionaire on the list from this area now that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away) is again Tampa-based Edward DeBartolo Jr. (photo, right), the real estate, restaurant and sports management tycoon.

Says Forbes: "Dad helped pioneer shopping mall concept in late 1940s. DeBartolo Jr. led DeBartolo Realty Corp.'s merger with Simon Property Group in 1996 to create largest public REIT in North America. San Francisco 49ers won NFL-record 5 Super Bowl championships during his 23-year ownership. No longer owns team; swapped his share with sister Denise for hefty stake in industry giant Simon Property Group following federal bribery conviction in 2000. Today "Mr. D." owns 14.8 million SPG shares; shares up 50% since last year. Also owns stake in Famous Famiglia pizza joints, DeBartolo Sports & Entertainment."

Here are all 26 of the Forbes 400 from Florida:

No. 69 Micky Arison, $4.1 billion, 61 years old, Bal Harbour, Carnival Cruises
No. 90 William Koch, $3.4 billion, 70 years old, Palm Beach, oil, investments
No. 110 Terrence Pegula, $3 billion, 59 years old, Boca Raton, East Resources (oil/energy)
No. 136 Malcolm Glazer & family, $2.6 billion, 82 years old, Palm Beach, sports teams, real estate
No. 144 Igor Olenicoff, $2.5 billion, Lighthouse Point, real estate
No. 170 H. Wayne Huizenga, $2.1 billion, 72 years old Fort Lauderdale, entrepreneur, investments
No. 182 (tied) Phillip Frost, $2 billion, 73 years old,  Miami, pharmaceuticals
No. 182 (tied) Robert Rich, $2 billion, 69 years old, Islamorada, Rich Products Corp. (food)
No. 205 (tied) Robert E. (Ted) Turner, $1.9 billion, 71 years old, Lamont, cable television (CNN founder)
No. 205 (tied) Wilbur Ross, $1.9 billion, 72 years old, Palm Beach, investments (including troubled Florida banks)
No. 217 Albert Ueltschi, $1.85 billion, 93 years old, Vero Beach, FlightSafety (pilot training)
No. 221 (tied) Fred DeLuca, $1.8 billion, 63 years old, Fort Lauderdale, Subway
No. 221 (tied) Jeffrey Greene, $1.8 billion, 55 years old, Palm Beach, real estate, investments (lost Senate primary to Kendrick Meek).
No. 250 Isaac Perlmutter, $1.65 billion, 67 years old, Palm Beach, Marvel (comic books)
No. 252 (tied) Michael Heisley, $1.6 billion, 73 years old, Jupiter Island, manufacturing, owns NBA Memphis Grizzlies
No. 252 (tied) Bharat Desai & family, $1.6 billion, 57 years old, Fisher Island, Syntel (outsourcing)
No. 269 (tied) Edward DeBartolo Jr., $1.5 billion, 63 years old, Tampa, shopping centers, sports management
No. 269 (tied) S. Daniel Abraham, $1.5 billion, 86 years old, Palm Beach, Slim-Fast (diet supplements)
No. 269 (tied) George Lindemann & family, $1.5 billion, 74 years old, Palm Beach, investments
No. 269 (tied) Norman Braman, $1.5 billion, 78, Miami, art, car dealerships
No. 332 (tied) Charlotte Colket Weber, $1.2 billion, 67 years old, Ocala, Campbell Soup inheritance
No. 332 (tied) Tom Golisano, $1.2 billion, 68 years old, Naples, Paychex (payroll, HR services), owns NHL Buffalo Sabres
No. 332 (tied) Alfred James Clark, $1.2 billion, 82 years old, Vero Beach, construction
No. 356 Eduardo Saverin, $1.15 billion, 28 years old, Miami, Facebook (co-founded with Mark Zuckerberg)
No. 365 (tied) Peter Lewis, $1.1 billion, 76 year sold, Coconut Grove, Progressive Corp. (auto insurance)
No. 365 (tied) Edmund Ansin, $1.1 billion, 74 years old, Miami, Sunbeam Broadcasting

Here's the list of Florida's 26 billionaires (with more details) on the list. And here's the complete list of the Forbes 400.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist



[Last modified: Friday, September 24, 2010 5:51am]


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