More than 30 Florida billionaires make the Forbes’ 400 list

by Kerrie Kennedy

Florida is home to 33 billionaires, according to Forbes’ recent 38th annual ranking of the world’s billionaires.

The highest number of them live in Palm Beach, including chewing gum magnate William Wrigley ($3 billion), investor C. Dean Metropoulos ($2.5 billion), hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II ($5 billion) and founder and CEO of electronic brokerage firm International Brokers Group Thomas Petterffy, who at $17.5 billion, heads the list as Florida’s wealthiest person.

In Miami, hedge fund investor and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, at $12 billion, also made the list, as did Miami auto vendor Norman Braman ($2.5 billion), and former U.S. Airways CEO Rakesh Gangwai ($3.8 billion).

In Bal Harbour, Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison ($8.1 billion) was ranked 59, while Coral Gables resident Herbert Wertheim, at 3.1 billion, was ranked 275. Wertheim is the son of Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany, coming to Hollywood, Florida in 1945. A dyslexic, Wertheim struggled in school but became an optometrist and a highly successful investor.

The youngest Florida resident to make the list was 49-year-old Del Ray Beach resident and Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, whose fortune is estimated at $3.9 billion.

No Florida women made the Forbes 400 list this year.

Nationally, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with a fortune of $114 billion, topped the list, while Microsoft founder Bill Gates came in second at $106 billion. Berkshire Hathaway owner and CEO Warren Buffet was third at $80.8 billion and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was fourth at $69.6 billion.

The most successful real estate mogul on the list was Newport Beach resident Donald Bren, chairman and owner of the Irvine Company, which owns more than 115 million square feet of real estate in Californian and New York.

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