The Jewish Billionaires of Forbes


Twenty-five years ago, Forbes began to pursue the world’s billionaires. The magazine’s annual list netted a record 1,226 billionaires this year, worth a total of $4.6 trillion. Because Bubbe has been ragging you to marry up, Jspace has profiled the 17 Jews of Forbes’ list worth more than $10 billion.

Larry Ellison: Net Worth $36 Billion

College dropout Larry Ellison is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle, one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. At the age of 67, he ranks sixth in Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, and is the third richest man in America. He is rumored to be one of the men interested in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, and is an avid yachter.

J-Connection: Larry Ellison’s mother was an unwed 19-year-old at the time of his birth. After he contracted pneumonia at the age of nine months, his Jewish mother allowed her aunt and uncle to adopt him.

Sheldon Adelson: Net Worth $24.9 Billion

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is also a college dropout. The Las Vegas bigwig ranks 14th on Forbes list of billionaires and seventh in the United States. He has made waves in the American political community by donating millions towards Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.

J-Connection: Sheldon Adelson is the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. The prominent Jewish philanthropist has donated extensively to Yad Vashem and Birthright Israel.

Michael Bloomberg: Net Worth $22 Billion

New York City’s Mayor Mike is in his final term, but claims to have no designs on the White House. His media empire continues to flourish as he pursues social change through Mayors for Freedom to Marry. He ranks 20th on Forbes list, and is the 11th most wealthy American.

J-Connection: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the son of Jewish immigrants.

George Soros: Net Worth $20 Billion

Forbes 22nd billionaire is a legendary investor. George Soros transformed his hedge fund into a family office last year to avoid new disclosure requirements. The 12th richest man in the US recently criticized the euro for its “flawed” design.

J-Connection: George Soros was born to Hungarian Jews. Soros survived the Holocaust and emigrated to England in 1947 to live with his Orthodox Jewish uncle.

Sergey Brin: Net Worth $18.7 Billion

Thirty-eight year-old Google co-founder Sergey Brin is 24 on Forbes list of billionaires. Though his fortune dropped alongside Google stock prices in the past year, Brin is still the 13th wealthiest man in the United States. Brin is currently head of Google’s special projects, including a secretive laboratory known only as Google X.

J-Connection: Sergey Brin was born in Moscow to Russian Jews. He endured anti-Semitism at the hands of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party before attending graduate school in the United States.

Larry Page: Net Worth $18.7 Billion

Fellow Google co-founder Larry Page is tied with Brin for both Forbes’ and American rankings. He took over as CEO from Eric Schmidt last year, and has been criticized for engineering Google’s new privacy policy.

J-Connection: Larry Page’s mother was Jewish, but he was raised without religion.

Mark Zuckerberg: Net Worth $17.5 Billion

Facebook’s infamous young founder ranks 35th on Forbes list of billionaires and 16th in the United States. Interest in the company has spiked as Facebook filed paperwork to go public in February.

J-Connection: Mark Zuckerberg is Jewish, and had a bar mitzvah, but says that he’s an “atheist.”

Michael Dell: Net Worth $15.9 Billion

Michael Dell was using his dorm room as an incubator before Zuckerberg even conceived of Facebook. His fortune has grown $1.3 billion thanks to Dell’s rising stock, placing him 41st in Forbes rankings and 17th in the United States.

J-Connection: Michael Dell is the Jewish son of a Texan orthodontist and stockbroker.

Steve Ballmer: Net Worth $15.7 Billion

As the Chief Executive of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has brought company shares to a decade high. Recent new products for Forbes 44th billionaire include mobile software, the Kinect for Xbox and cloud-computing services. Ballmer is the 18th richest man in America.

J-Connection: Steve Ballmer’s mother is Jewish, and he grew up in Michigan.

Mikhail Fridman: Net Worth $13.4 Billion

The sixth richest man in Russia runs the biggest financial and industrial group in the country. The businessman ranks 57th on Forbes’ list of billionaires.

J-Connection: Mikhail Fridman is a Jewish Russian businessman. He is one of the founders of the Russian Jewish Congress and donates to the European Jewish Fund.

John Paulson: Net Worth $12.5 Billion

Hedge fund titan John Paulson ranks 61st on Forbes’ list and 25th in the United States. However, his flagship Paulson Advantage fund sank 36 percent in 2011, and he took a $3 billion personal hit.

J-Connection: John Paulson is Jewish and attended school at the Whitestone Hebrew Centre in New York.

Viktor Vekselberg: Net Worth $12.4 Billion

Viktor Vekselberg, the eighth wealthiest man in Russia, is heading the government’s effort to create the country’s own Silicon Valley. He ranks 64th on Forbes’ list.

J-Connection: Viktor Vekselberg is a Russian Jewish magnate and art collector.

Roman Abramovich: Net Worth $12.1 Billion

Once the richest man in Russia, now Roman Abamovich ranks ninth in his country and 68th on Forbes’ list. He still owns the world’s largest yacht at 533-feet, though!

J-Connection: Roman Abramovich was born to a Russian Jewish family, but was orphaned as a child.

Ronald Perelman: Net Worth $12 Billion

Though he lost $16 million in a lawsuit brought by his former business associate Donald Drapkin, Ronald Perelman still ranks 69th in Forbes’ billionaires and 27th in America. Perelman’s investments include Revlon and Humvee maker AM General.

J-Connection: Ronald Perelman was raised in a Jewish family. In 2006, he donated $4.7 million to Princeton University to create the Ronald Perelman Institute for Jewish Studies.

Len Blavatnik: Net Worth $11.9 Billion

Russian-American industrialist Len Blavatnik, ranking 72 for Forbes and 29th in the US, bought Warner Music in 2011. The billionaire immigrated to the United States without a penny to his name, subsequently earning a masters from Columbia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

J-Connection: Len Blavatnik is Jewish, and sponsors a Colel Chabad food bank in Israel that sends monthly food shipments to impoverished families.

James Simons: Net Worth $10.7 Billion

Affectionately called the “Quant King,” James Simons retired from his $20 billion hedge fund in 2010. Also a theoretical mathematician and code breaker, Simmons used computer modeling to predict inefficiencies in highly liquid securities. He ranks 82nd on Forbes billionaire list and 31st in the United States.

J-Connection: James Harris Simons is an American Jew.

George Kaiser: Net Worth $10 Billion

Our last Jewish billionaire is George Kaiser, who has earned more attention for failed solar company Solyndra than for his successes. The 88th Forbes billionaire is now pursing oil plays in North Dakota, Wyoming and Canada.

J-Connection: George Kaiser is the son of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany who settled in Oklahoma.

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