Monday, September 17, 2007

Bill Gates, pauper?

All-time richest Americans with wealth reported in billions of 2006 valued dollars according to Bernstein & Swan:

John D Rockefeller: 305.3
Andrew Carnegie: 281.2
Cornelius Vanderbilt: 162.4
John Jacob Astor: 1o2.1
Stephen Girard: 95.6
Richard Mellon: 82.3
A.T. Stewart: 80.8
Fredrick Weyerhauser: 72.2
Marshall Field: 60.1
Sam Walton: 58.6
Jay Gould: 58.2
Henry Ford: 54.3
Bill Gates: 53.0
Andrew Mellon: 50.5
Warren Buffett: 46.0

Of these 15, 3 were born in the 1700s (Vanderbilt, Astor, Girard), 9 in the 1800s and 3 in the 1900s (Walton, Buffett, Gates). The biggest time gap between mogul births is 55 years (from 1863 (Ford) to 1918 (Walton)).

Most of these names are quite familiar, but I'd never heard tell of Girard or Stewart.

Stewart was apparently the original Sam Walton: Stewart knew that the key to success was not where the store was placed, but rather where “to obtain wholesale trade to undersell competitors.”

Girard was a banker and political gadfly.

hat tip to Tyler