Is The Richest Person In Your State Jewish?
Forbes magazine released its annual list of the richest people in each state — and once again, Jews are overrepresented in the annals of the nation’s billionaires.
Jews top the lists in seven of the 50 states, according to Forbes’ analysis released on Monday.
They include Mark Zuckerberg, the richest person in California and the fifth-wealthiest person on earth with an estimated net worth of $74 billion.
The Facebook founder’s entry in the Golden State crowds out many other super-wealthy Jews who made their mark in Silicon Valley, including Larry Ellison of Oracle and Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.
Unsurprisingly, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is the wealthiest person in Nevada, with an estimated net worth of more than $42 billion. Adelson is known for his financial support of Republican political candidates as well as Israel-related initiatives like Birthright Israel.
Other Jews to top their state’s list include two sports team owners: real estate tycoon Ted Lerner of Maryland, the owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team and developer of millions of square feet of real estate in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area; and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert of Michigan, who owns the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and has significantly contributed to the revitalization of his hometown of Detroit.
Rounding out the list of wealthiest Jews were Ohio’s Les Wexner, who owns Victoria’s Secret; Anita Zucker, the only billionaire in South Carolina, whose family owns the chemical manufacturers InterTech Group; and Susan Alfond of Maine, whose father Henry sold the Dexter Shoe Company in 1993 for $420 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock that is now worth billions. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett later called the transaction “the worst deal I ever made.”
The richest person in New York, the state with the largest Jewish population, is businessman David Koch, whose net worth is estimated at $51.5 billion. He is closely trailed by former mayor Michael Bloomberg at $50 billion.