Bill Gates pips Warren Buffett to head list of richest Americans

Google and Apple might be snapping at the heels of software giant Microsoft, but founder Bill Gates is still on top of the pile that matters most.

Google and Apple might be snapping at the heels of software giant Microsoft, but founder Bill Gates is still on top of the pile that matters most.

Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans has Gates on top with a fortune of $US57 billion, just ahead of genius investor Warren Buffett, who has $US50 billion. There is a long gap to the third richest person, Oracle founder Lawrence Ellison, with $US27 billion.

Gates dominance is all the more impressive because of the fact he has given away $35 billion in the last few years to charity. “His inflation-adjusted net worth would top $90 billion if he hadn’t given away any cash,” Forbes says.

Not surprisingly, many of the members of the list have seen their fortunes slip in the last few months as a result of the turmoil on financial markets.

Not even Warren Buffett is has been immune – $12 billion was sliced of his fortune in the last six months as markets plummeted.

RANK

NAME

WORTH ($US b)

AGE

SOURCE

1

William Gates III

57

52

Microsoft

2

Warren Buffett

50

78

Berkshire Hathaway

3

Lawrence Ellison

27

64

Oracle

4

Jim Walton

23.4

60

Wal-Mart

5

S Robson Walton

23.3

64

Wal-Mart

6

Alice Walton

23.2

59

Wal-Mart

6

Christy Walton & family

23.2

53

Wal-Mart inheritance

8

Michael Bloomberg

20

66

Bloomberg

9

Charles Koch

19

72

Manufacturing, energy

9

David Koch

19

68

Manufacturing, energy

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