Bill Gates is the richest person in America. But Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took top honors as the biggest gainer on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in the United States, CNET reported.
Forbes pegged Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, with a treasure chest of US$81 billion.
He actually added US$9 billion to his net worth over the past year, partly due to a rise in his Microsoft shares as well as growth in other investments.
But Forbes lauded the man mostly for his charitable contributions.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away US$30 billion since 2000, Forbes said. The foundation helped play a role in eliminating smallpox, reducing polio and overhauling the American educational system.
Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, retains his No. 2 spot with a net worth of US$67 billion.
Oracle founder Larry Ellison took third place with a net worth of US$48.1 billion. Ellison surprised the tech world last Thursday when he announced that he would give up his job as chief executive of the database giant to focus on the roles of chief technology officer and executive chairman of the board.
Zuckerberg, ranked No. 11, has a net worth of US$34.7 billion, up US$15 billion from last year. The increase comes from his ownership in a stock that once was dubbed a loser after the company’s disappointing initial public offering in 2012.
All together the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a staggering US$2.29 trillion, up US$270 billion from a year ago.
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