45 American Families Have a Combined Net Worth of Over $10 Billion, Waltons Surpass Elon Musk in Wealth

The Forbes List of America’s Wealthiest Families: How They Built Their Empires and Kept Their Fortunes

The Forbes list of America’s wealthiest families has been released and there are 45 families worth at least $10 billion each. At the top of the list are the Sam Walton heirs, with a net worth of $267 billion, which surpasses even that of Elon Musk. The combined wealth of these 45 families is approximately $1.3 trillion, ten times the personal fortune of Warren Buffett.

The second-richest family on the list is the Mars family, with a fortune tied to their confectionery industry valued at $117 billion. Other notable names include the Koch, Lauder, Hearst, and Marriott families. However, some historically wealthy families such as the Carnegies, Vanderbilts, and Gettys have fallen off the rankings due to various reasons including stock performance, legal disputes, taxes and charitable giving.

Many of these wealthy families have accumulated their fortunes through ownership of large private companies or significant stakes in public companies. Some have sold off their businesses entirely like Busch family selling their stake in Anheuser-Busch and Haslam family selling their stake in Pilot Travel Centers to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

The list suggests that creating a massive and long-lasting business is key to building substantial generational wealth whether it remains within the family or eventually gets sold to others.

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