The Billionaire Girls’ Club
This year’s list of the world’s 500 richest people features 172 women. Of the top ten, not one is self-made. All inherited or married into their wealth.
The motto here is surviving your birth or marrying well has its rewards.
#1 Christy Walton. With a personal fortune of $36.7 billion, Christy Walton is officially the richest woman in the world for 2014. Thank you Walmart shoppers!
#2 Liliane Bettancourt. Frances richest person is the world’s second wealthiest woman. This in spite of being taken for 22 million euros (about $27 million) by famed swindler, Bernie Madoff a few years ago. Bettancourt, an only child, inherited the L’Oreal cosmetics company from her father in 1957.
#3 Alice Walton. Sam Walton’s daughter is Christy Walton’s sister-in-law. She’s brought culture to the Ozarks by opening a modern art museum filled with paintings by well such well known artists as Rothko and Pollack in 2011.
#4 Jacqueline Badger Mars. She’s the heir to Mars Inc., the largest candy company in the world, entitling her $20 billion and all the M&Ms she can eat.
#5 Gina Rinehart. Rinehart is no coal miner’s daughter. She’s the richest person in Australia and the fifth richest woman in the world. Also known for advising the poor to stop drinking and smoking and work harder. Oh, Rinehart inherited her wealth.
#6 Susanne Klatten. Along with her mother (Johanna, also on this list), Susanne inherited about 50% of BMW from her late father, Herbert. The married Klatten was mired in a sordid sex scandal involving a Swiss con man who demanded money, and a BMW. He threatened to release sex tapes of them unless she handed over a few million and the car. The blackmailing gigolo was finally caught and Klatten carried on, poorer by about $9 million.
#7 Abigail Johnson. Her dad is CEO and her granddad founded Fidelity Investments. Is supposed to be “in the running” to take over for her father, Edward Johnson when he retires. Quotes intended.
#8 Anne Cox Chambers. The oldest woman on the list is a spry 94 years old and still sits on the Board of Directors for media conglomerate, Cox Enterprises. This former ambassador to Belgium inherited (there’s that word again) the company from her father, James M. Cox.
#9 Laurene Powell Jobs. The brainy Mrs. Jobs attended Wharton and Stanford years before she met Steve. While it’s unknown how many shares of Apple she currently owns, what is certain is that she’s the largest individual shareholder in Disney. All of which makes her the richest woman in Silicon Valley.
#10 Johanna Quandt. Started out as a secretary to BMW President Herbert Quandt. Later, she became his third wife and mother to #6 Susanne Klatten. Herbert’s death in 1982 made the publicity shy Johanna a major shareholder in BMW and uber rich.