According to Forbes Magazine, there are currently four Black Billionaires in America. For your convenience, I will list them here, information taken from Forbes (which includes their ranking # in the list of the world’s billionaires).
Regarded by most as the NBA’s greatest all-time player, Michael Jordan won six titles with the Chicago Bulls.
His total playing salary during his career totaled $90 million, but he has earned another $1.4 billion (pre-tax) from corporate partners.
Jordan bought a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets in 2010 for a grossed-up value of $175 million.
The Hornets are now worth $1.05 billion with Jordan owning 90% of the team.
In addition to Nike, Jordan still has sponsorship deals with Hanes, Gatorade and Upper Deck 15 years after hanging up his hightops.
Oprah Winfrey has transitioned her hit talk show into a media and business empire.
Winfrey parlayed her role as a news anchor into a 25-year talk show gig. Reinvested, the profits from her show add up to nearly $2 billion.
In 2011, Winfrey bid goodbye to her show and launched cable channel OWN. Her 25.5% of the network is worth about $75 million.
The ‘Oprah effect’ has spread to Weight Watchers: she owns an 8% stake in the company and acts as a brand ambassador.
She has donated $425 million throughout her career, including over $100 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
David Steward is the cofounder and chairman of IT provider World Wide Technology.
In 1990, he put up $250,000 he earned from two previous auditing ventures to start the St. Louis-based business.
In the early days, Steward frequently went without a paycheck and once watched his car get repossessed from the office parking lot.
Today Steward is majority owner of the $10.4 billion (sales) company, whose customers include Citi, Verizon and the federal government.
He grew up in the segregated South with seven siblings; his father worked as a mechanic, janitor and trash collector.
And the richest Black person in American is. . .
Robert Smith founded private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in 2000. It focuses exclusively on investing in software companies.
With over $30 billion in assets, Vista is one of the best-performing private equity firms, posting annualized returns of 22% since inception.
As a college student, Smith secured an internship at Bell Labs after calling the company every week for five months.
An engineer by training, he worked at Kraft Foods and Goodyear Tire before getting his MBA at Columbia University.
A Cornell grad, Smith pledged $50 million (personally and through a foundation) to the university in 2016.
Perhaps I’ll be on the list someday?
Oh, shut up.