Forbes unveils America's richest in 2012

1:52 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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  • In their annual celebration of the nation's wealthiest, Forbes has unleashed their list of the 400 richest Americans.

    Holding the top spot for the 19th year in a row is Bill Gates. His net worth stands at $66 billion -- an increase of $7 billion from 2011 (see top 10 below).

    Photos: Forbes list of America's richest in 2012

    Warren Buffett, who also increased his net worth by $7 billion since last year, is the second-richest American with $46 billion.

    Larry Ellison rounds out the top three with $41 billion.

    Two fellas tied to Cleveland also made the top 400 list. Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavs, ranked 250th with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Jimmy Haslam, the new owner of the Browns, was 360th with a net worth of $1.2 billion.

    In total, the top 10 wealthiest Americans are worth $347.1 billion. The combined wealth of all 400 of America's richest is $1.7 trillion, up from $1.5 trillion in 2011, in due part to the rising stock market, a rebound in real estate values -- especially in cities like Los Angeles and New York, and rising values for art works. 

    The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion last year, and the highest in at least a decade.

    According to Forbes, the biggest flameouts in 2012 were social media moguls who lost a combined 411 billion this year, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (No. 36) who fell $8.1 billion to a net worth of $9.4 billion.

    Overall, 241 of the 400 saw their net worth increase.

    The 10 most wealthy Americans in 2012:

    1. Bill Gates. Net worth: $66 billion. Age: 56. Source: Microsoft.

    2. Warren Buffet. Net worth: $46 billion. Age: 82. Source: Berkshire Hathaway.

    3. Larry Ellison. Net worth: $41 billion. Age: 68. Source: Oracle.

    4. Charles Koch. Net worth: $31 billion. Age: 76. Source: diversified.

    5. David Koch. Net worth: $31 billion. Age: 72. Source: diversified.

    6. Christy Walton and family. Net worth: $27.9 billion. Age: 57. Source: Wal-Mart.

    7. Jim Walton. Net worth $26.8 billion. Age: 64. Source: Wal-Mart.

    8. Alice Walton. Net worth: $26.3 billion. Age: 62. Source: Wal-Mart.

    9. S. Robson Walton. Net worth: $26.1 billion. Age 68. Source: Wal-Mart.

    10. Michael Bloomberg. Net worth: $25 billion. Age: 70. Source: Bloomberg LP

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