Bill Gates remains richest American, followed by Warren Buffett

Bill Gates retained his top spot as the richest American — with $54 billion, Forbes magazine said Wednesday evening.

Warren Buffett is second — with $45 billion, according to this year’s Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

Five Atlantans made the list: Anne Cox Chambers, a principal owner of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises; James Kennedy, Chambers’ nephew and the chairman of Cox Enterprises, which owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A; and Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. Blank now owns the Atlanta Falcons.

Ted Turner, who is considered a resident of Lamont, Fla., also made the list (No. 205 worth $1.9 billion.)

This year’s list reflects an increase in wealth among the Forbes 400, who are worth a combined $1.37 trillion. That’s up from $1.27 trillion last year.

Wealth rose for 217 members of this year’s list, while only 85 saw a decline, Forbes said.

But their combined wealth is still below 2008, when it hit $1.57 trillion.

Forbes said the cost of admission to its top 400 was back up to $1 billion. It had fallen to $950 million in 2009.

Here are highlights (top 10 followed by top Atlantans):

Top 10

1. Bill Gates — $54 billion

2. Warren Buffett — $45 billion

3. Lawrence Ellison — $27 billion

4. Christy Walton & family — $24 billion

5 (tie). Charles Koch — $21.5 billion

5 (tie). David Koch — $21.5 billion

7. Jim C. Walton — $20.1 billion

8. Alice Walton — $20 billion

9. S. Robson Walton — $19.7 billion

10. Michael Bloomberg — $18 billion

Top Atlantans

19. Anne Cox Chambers — $12.5 billion

38. James Kennedy — $6.2 billion

252. Truett Cathy — $1.6 billion

269. Bernie Marcus — $1.5 billion

332. Arthur Blank — $1.2 billion

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49 comments Add your comment

big Jon

September 22nd, 2010
6:16 pm

No. 300,000,000. of the richest Americans —– big jon —- Mtn.Park, Georgia $ 1.47, One dollar and 47/cents- oh crap just bought a lotto ticket now I am worth 47cents. but I’m happy, priceless…


September 22nd, 2010
6:23 pm

big Jon–Love it! Go be happy!


September 22nd, 2010
6:31 pm

Hey BigJon can u loan me 7cents /(* . . *)\

Not as rich as big jon

September 22nd, 2010
6:41 pm

No. 499,999,999….just counted my change..standing a firm 46 cents.

Lil' Scrappy

September 22nd, 2010
7:07 pm

Big Jon….thanks for the laugh!!!!!! Priceless!


September 22nd, 2010
8:26 pm

Big jon you just gave me a bit of something they say money can’t buy – happiness. your comments are indeed priceless. i pray that you may win the lotto


September 22nd, 2010
11:18 pm

hey, If you have a job paying “less” than minimum wage, then you are much richer than I am. lol I do not even have enough money to buy a lottery ticket. But I am looking forward to my riches in Heaven. :-)


September 23rd, 2010
12:51 am

The rich get richer. The more things change…

The Walton heirs are worth more than $100 billion. Wonder how that compares to some of the old money extended families.

The Camel and the Needle’s Eye

Robert Sheaffer

Many fundamentalists seek to explain away the obvious hostility to wealth in the saying attributed to Jesus, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). Fundamentalists today constantly tell each other that the “eye of the needle” was a narrow gate into Jerusalem through which a camel could just barely squeeze, implying that even rich people can get into Heaven, provided that they walk a straight and narrow path.

While believing this no doubt lowers the cognitive dissonance they suffer between the resentment against wealth that is integral to the Christian religion they revere, and their own desire to achieve, it is nonetheless a silly legend, like the alligators in the sewers. The Jerome Biblical Commentary is a standard reference work found in many libraries, written by Catholic scholars. Its commentary on Matthew 19:24 states bluntly, “the figure of the camel and the eye of the needle means exactly what is said; it does not refer to a cable or a small gate of Jerusalem.” The Abingdon Interpreter’s Bible is a major reference work compiled by Protestant scholars, and its analysis of this passage is in full agreement. Unfortunately for the fundamentalists, the concensus of New Testament scholars is that Matthew’s passage barring rich people from heaven means exactly what it says. It remains to be seen how many of them are willing to give up all their wealth in accordance with the ideals they claim to profess.

I Missed it by That Much

September 23rd, 2010
12:22 pm

I almost made that list. Oh, I thought they were speaking of the poor list. LOL If I can pay my bills & have some change left over, I am happy. More money, More problems, so I guess I shouldn’t have many problems. Be thankful for what you got. That money & the cost/price of money comes with a very heavy burden people. Be thankful & be happy.

The Important Things in Life Are Priceless

September 23rd, 2010
12:24 pm

If you can get out of bed in the morning, have health insurance, have a roof over your head, eat three or more times a day, get in your car & go to your job, then you are wealthier than you can ever imagine.

$30,000 millonaire

September 23rd, 2010
12:29 pm

my BMW just got repoed again


September 23rd, 2010
1:08 pm

Important Things – you are spot on! That is truely where the blessings are. I would only add that your family be healthy too.

Raymond chase

September 23rd, 2010
1:20 pm

I wanna know why Oprah is not on this list?

Captain Midnight

September 23rd, 2010
2:04 pm

Oprah aint got 18 billion and she don’t live in da Atl.


September 23rd, 2010
2:05 pm

Good for Mr. Blank. He said he wants to give us a Super Bowl Championship…a “ring”. He can trade in his current wife and get an upgrade on that too.

Steve Jobs

September 23rd, 2010
2:11 pm

The Truth

September 23rd, 2010
2:13 pm

The way the Obamas spend money, you would think he would be #1 with a worth of $17 Trillion, even Dictators are more fiscally responsible. Mrs. Obama travels and vacations more than Paris Hilton..and this is what we voted for?


September 23rd, 2010
2:32 pm

Oprah is on the list, just not in the top 10. She’s number 400.


September 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm

Wow, to the Truth-there is always a dumb idiot in the group. Congratulations to the millionaires.

Tea Party Meber

September 23rd, 2010
2:34 pm


Joel K. Jones

September 23rd, 2010
3:07 pm

I might could say that I am living on welfare. My wife and I are indeed living on our monthly checks from our social security. We pay our bills, we pay out tithe to the Church, and if aanything is left, we eat. So far, we haven’t gone hungry.

Grady Jackson *Barber Shop*

September 23rd, 2010
3:09 pm

Combine that WalMart Walton family and
they blow Bill Gates away.

All that WalMart money, and shopping in their stores is still not a pleasure.


September 23rd, 2010
3:18 pm

Yes there is Mechelle, and apparently you are it.

. . Mother Teresa . .

September 23rd, 2010
3:19 pm

What is the status of
Eddie Long, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White,
and Creflo Dollar ?


September 23rd, 2010
3:21 pm

Eddie Long didn’t make it? Oh yea,he made it but different topic.

El Oko

September 23rd, 2010
3:34 pm

Tea Party “Meber”–From the looks of it, you “are going” to get some of that money too, so make sure you thank Obama and who ever “printid” this list..


September 23rd, 2010
4:07 pm

For the truth, If you knew anything about spending you would have wrote
this article six years ago. Ask your last president about spending, the numbers don’t lie.


September 23rd, 2010
4:24 pm

Come on people, can’t we have one fun comment blog? Back to Big Jon … I got ya beat, I just checked under the seats of my VW and found 7 cents, that puts me at a total of 52 cents … and I bought my lotto tickets yesterday …. Yah! and .. payday is only 7 days away, I think I can make it.

Billion Me

September 23rd, 2010
6:25 pm

Bill’s worth $65 billion–which is 65,000 millions! Bill, can I have one of those millions? I’ll do good deeds with it—promise.

Wana Be

September 25th, 2010
8:46 am

I wana be a billionair sooooo fxxxxxxxxxxxig bad!


September 25th, 2010
9:36 am

white folk smoke crack too. they buy plenty of it.

Quadruple Spending

September 25th, 2010
9:52 am

BHO has spent more than all the combined past presidents. Part of the deficit that GWB handed to BHO was TARP which has since been repaid. One thing we can agree on though is we are spending way to much. You could combine the wealth in the whole Forbes list and it still would not be enough to cover the hole we are in. And we are only at the beginning of the spending pain of the health care and financial reform bill…those meant to make things better will punish us as a nation. And while we are at it how many think the top folks on this list pay income tax like a regular person? They don’t draw a normal paycheck like the other working stiffs. If we do nothing to stop the madness we are headed down the European road. We are building the perfect utopia welfare state.


September 25th, 2010
9:56 am

Please: Convince one of the Atlanta’s Millionaries to buy the Braves!!!!!!! NOW

Thank you

September 25th, 2010
10:12 am

Biggg Jon, you have such a great attitude! You know a lot more than most people. Be blessed and may you always have peace in your household…billions or no billions :)

a fundraiser

September 25th, 2010
10:23 am

There’s plenty of good news here, most of these people are very philanthropic and give away alot of money – locally, nationally and internationally to fund from the very basic of needs of the poor, to interests that enrich the lives of all of us: the arts, conservation, education, medical research, just to name a few. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Ted Turner are leaders in more than just business. In fact, Ted Turner is a partner in the Nuclear Threat Initiative along with another great Georgian, Sen. Sam Nunn. These dudes spend their time saving the world – you would not believe how many thousands of nuclear bombs can be launched within one minute of someone pushing a button. But that’s another story. My point is, most of these folks aren’t just chillin’ and eating from silver spoons. It’s far more likely that they are using the same skills that helped them make their way to the top (or stay at the top if they are heirs) to benefit others with leadership and financial support.

Thank goodness for generous people everywhere. And if they are on this list and generous – better still.

Alternative Minimum

September 25th, 2010
1:19 pm

It’s easy to be a philanthropist when your a Billionaire. Let’s not forget these same Billionaires don’t mind paying into the higher tax brackets. These folks that make this list WANT to give their money away because extreme wealth is a HUGE burden.

These kind of lists are the very reason the $250K -$1M crowd should NOT be considered wealthy.

The Billionaire’s of the World have no problem giving away their money – LET THEM!

Alternative Minimum

September 25th, 2010
1:23 pm

Bless you – big Jon! Your kind of thinking is a gift, be Thankful! The more money you have the more problems and responsibility that comes along with it. Trust me – been there done that!

Reality Club

September 25th, 2010
2:21 pm

Oh right, Big Jon is obviously happy without money, that’s why he’s spending his last buck on lottery tickets. lol

Winfield J. Abbe

September 25th, 2010
2:33 pm

Andrew Carnegie’s Father was put out of work by the invention of the steam engine. He was a loom operator in Scotland. He couldn’t find work there so he brought the family to America. His son Andrew went to work in an unsafe, unpleasant textile mill in Pennsylvania as a bobbin boy for about 3 cents per hour in 1848. His child labor job would likely have been outlawed by government today. He supported the family since his Father couldn’t get work here either. But Andrew didn’t complain. He worked hard and used his intelligence. In about 50 more years he was the richest man in the world. Before he died he gave away over 90% of his earned wealth to create libraries and schools and colleges and cultural institutions all over the country to aid others to climb the same ladder he rose on. The story of his life is what America is all about and what the Founders envisioned. Do you think Andrew would have accomplished such great things if government had bailed the family out? Everyone should read his book “The Gospel of Wealth” by Andrew Carnegie published in about 1889. Andrew Carnegie was the best of the best, like the champion boxer or the champion baseball player or the best scientist; the best industrialist of the world. Andrew Carnegie is whom every school child should read about and idolize and emulate. He set the standard of excellence for all who followed to emulate. Andrew Carnegie was an American genius. Remember he started out at about 3 cents per hour. Kids today working in air conditioned buildings for $7.00 per hour make about 233 times what Andrew made then; not bad is it?


September 25th, 2010
3:52 pm

TO ALL THOSE THAT THINK THIS ECONOMY IS IN THIS SHAPE BECAUSE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA, GET OVER YOURSELF; How is a man making 400 thousand a year can not DANG AFFORD TO GO ON A VACATION? Do you honestly think the ObaMAS ARE USING YOUR MONEY? Trust and believe that will be in the dang paper before the aircraft land. So what she goes on vacation, she wants normal life for her family as much as possible. You are idoits. Thanks to the Bush family they are richer and the mess they left behind is worst one man can not clean up this garbage, that is why they let that ding bat , palin be a running mate, to make sure they did not win, so the Obamas could take the fall for this hot azz economy. No your facts better yet know your HISTORY DUMAZZ. To tea party meber, you need to hope that you can get welfare. You are killing me thinking That every person is on damn welfare. I have been disabled for 6 years, I have to pay my rent lights water gas and food out of this once a month check, and to say the least I still must take care of my 13 year old child. So please give me a reason to slap you in the HEAD WITH SOME KNOWLEDGE, YOU ARE A DING BAT

Motocross Survivor

September 25th, 2010
4:27 pm

Ain’t it funny how peckerhead Gates always makes sure he’s #1…After “giving away”
hundreds of millions, he’s actually *up* to $54 bil this year.

Shame on Cox family

September 25th, 2010
4:32 pm

Are you kidding me? “There’s plenty of good news here, most of these people are very philanthropic and give away alot of money…”

Anne Cox Chambers and James Cox Kenned are cheapskates who give far, far below their income levels to charity. They are as cheap as the Walton family. Too bad the Cox clan is letting the AJC sink down a rat hole, when they could easily fund it forever to rival the New York Times. But better to hoard that money, right?

November 2nd

September 25th, 2010
5:01 pm


It’s people like you that America is sick and tired of. Your attitude is repulsive and chances are your “disability” is all in your head! Give up the Internet and maybe that will help with your rent payment.

Shame on Shame

September 25th, 2010
5:21 pm

@ Shame Are you the Cox family tax attorney or accountant? How do you know what the Cox family does with their money? I bet the state of Arkansas and it’s citizens place high value on the Walton family and what they have done for that area of the country.

The point is it is THEIR money. Let’s not forget that not everyone wants publicity over what they have donated. Many philanthropists prefer to remain anonymous to the public. Not everyone wants a shoutout like the Hollywood “look at me” crowd.


September 25th, 2010
8:27 pm

Money doesn’t mean a darn thing unless you know what to do with it. Live below your means.


September 28th, 2010
1:21 pm


September 28th, 2010
1:40 pm

My Wife and I will be celebrating our 25th. Wedding Anniversary this coming April. We don’t have any money, we’ve gone through our pension and savings over the past few years to survive, but that’s ok…we still have our house and paying the bills, with little money left. We have never aruged about money or how broke we might be. I probably wont be able to do anything special for our 25th. anniversary, but at least we still have each other. We both love the North Georgia Mountains, maybe I can save enough money to rent a cabin for the week. Just remember money can’t buy happiness, no matter they say.


September 28th, 2010
1:44 pm

This is blog is boring. Let’s talk about firing UGA coaches.

Charles White

September 28th, 2010
2:46 pm

Check this guy he is head to head with Bill Gates and he is MEXICANNNN!!!!!