Only 2 Black Billionaires Make 2016 Forbes 400 Richest Americans List

By: Errol Mars

Robert F. Smith

Forbes magazine has published is annually ranking of the 400 Richest Americans for 2016. Again only two black Americans were on the list this year, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.

"The country’s 400 richest are wealthier than ever, with a combined net worth of $2.4 trillion and an average net worth of $6 billion, both record highs. The minimum net worth for entry was $1.7 billion, the same as it was a year ago. A record 153 billionaires were too poor to make the exclusive club," said Forbes.

Ms. Winfrey's net worth is down by $100 million to $2.9 billion from her appearance on the billionaires list earlier this year. Her lost is mainly due to her investment in Weight Watchers, which is not off to such a good start, as shares have fallen significantly since she took a 10% stake in October 2015. The company's CEO resigned in September; Winfrey will help with the search for a replacement.

Mr. Smith's net worth remains at $2.5 billion. Earlier this year he announced a $50 million gift to his alma mater Cornell University, which renamed its school of chemical and bioengineering after him. In June he was named chairman of Carnegie Hall. He also contributed $20 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, making him the museum’s second-highest private donor.

Bill Gates has been the richest American for the 23 years running, with a 2016 net worth of $81 billion. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos net worth is up by $20 billion, more than anyone else in America. That was enough to boost his net worth to $67 billion, making him the second-richest. Warren Buffett, was third on the list for the first time in 15 years. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is now worth $55.5 billion, moved into fourth place, his highest rank ever, while Oracle founder Larry Ellison fell to No. 5 for the first time since 2007.


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