Six from Tampa Bay make list of Forbes billionaires; Bezos tops list

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was ranked first on Forbes list of 2018 billionaries with a fortune of $112 billion. [Times Files]
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was ranked first on Forbes list of 2018 billionaries with a fortune of $112 billion. [Times Files]
Published March 6, 2018

TAMPA — Six people who make their home in the Tampa Bay area were recognized by Forbes on its annual list of billionaires around the world.

Meanwhile, a new name sits at the top as Amazon chieftain Jeff Bezos toppled longtime No. 1 Bill Gates.

Two Tampa residents lead the local list, topped by real estate mogul and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. ($2.7 billion, ranked 887) and Kenneth Feld of Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Monster Jam and Disney on Ice ($2.5 billion, No. 965).

Other billionaires who live in the Tampa area: Thomas James of Raymond James Financial ,($1.32 billion, No. 1,867) and Ronald Wanek, founder of Ashley Furniture ($2.1 billion, No. 1,157), who reside in St. Petersburg; and Robert Duggan, a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur ($2 billion, No. 1,215) and Todd Christopher, a hair care product designer ($2.1 billion, No. 1,157), who live in Clearwater.

Howard Jenkins, Publix Super Markets former chairman and son of Publix's founder George Jenkins, was on last year's list with a net worth of $1 billion, but didn't make the cut this time.

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Bezos moved atop the list of 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries by amassing a fortune of $112 billion, according to Forbes. He becomes the the first person to reach 12-figures.

Gates, the founder of Microsoft, slipped to second with an estimated worth of $90 billion. That $22 billion gap is the largest on the Forbes list since 2001.

Next up are investor Warren Buffett (No. 3, $84 billion), French investor and art collector Bernard Arnault (No. 4, $72 billion) and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (No. 5, $71 billion).

Florida's richest billionaire was still Thomas Peterffy at No. 47 ($20.3 billion). He made his mark and his money in the discount brokerage business.

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Other notables on the list include the Koch brothers (tied for 8th, $60 billion each), former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (11th, $50 billion) and Google co-founder Larry Page (No. 12, $48.8 billion).

The U.S. has the most billionaires with 585, more than 200 above China with 373.

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