Oprah Only Black On 400 Richest American List 2011

Forbes magazine has released it's annual ranking of America's 400 richest people. This years list are worth a combined $1.53 trillion, nearly equivalent to the GDP of our Canada. Their total wealth is up 12% in the year through August 26. An all-time high 70% of this year’s list are self-made, up from 55% in 1997. This year $1.05 billion, was the price of admission to the list. At lease 12 billionaires did not make this years list.

For the 18th straight year, America's richest man is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with an estimated net worth of $59 billion. Warren Buffett, who lost $6 billion from his personal balance sheet this year is America's second-richest citizen, worth 39 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 on The Forbes 400: Oracle founder Larry Ellison ($33 billion), industrialists Charles and David Koch ($25 billion apiece), Wal-Mart heirs Christy Walton ($24.5 billion), Jim C. Walton ($21.1 billion) and Alice Walton ($20.9 billion), hedge fund investor George Soros ($22 billion), and casino king Sheldon Adelson  ($21.5 billion).

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, age 27, who added $10.6 billion to his fortune, making him the year’s biggest gainer and pushing him into the top 20 for the first time – he ranks no. 14 with a net worth of $17.5 billion. 

Oprah Winfrey, age 57, is once again the only Black American on the Forbes 400 list, worth $2.7 billion, making her the 139th richest American. After wrapping the last episode of her 25-year-long daytime show in May, Oprah Winfrey transferred her attention to her struggling cable network, OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey's company Harpo and cable powerhouse Discovery Communications. To combat weak ratings, Winfrey named herself the network's CEO and chief creative officer in July, in addition to her previous role as chairman.

Forbes named Sean Combs, net worth: $550 million, one of the likeliest to make it into the ranks of the 400 list. Through his vodka deal with beverage giant Diageo, Diddy receives an annual cut of profits and a big chunk of cash if the Ciroc brand is ever sold. With the spirit’s value soaring toward $1 billion, and stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, marketing firm Blue Flame and record label Bad Boy, Diddy may beat buddy Jay-Z, featured on last year’s cover, to The Forbes 400.

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