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The 10 Richest Women In The United States (WMT, AAPL)

Author: Ethan Jackson

A list of the 10 richest women in the United States contains several household names, as well as some women relatively unknown to the general public. The s of their fortunes span a variety of industries from technology to candy. The Walton, Cox, and Duncan families have a dynastic presence, each occupying more than one place in the top 10. (The net worth figures in this article are taken from Forbes and reflect May 2015 estimates.)

  1. Christy Walton. Christy Walton is the richest woman in the US, with an estimated net worth of $38.9 billion. Born in 1955, she is the widow of John T. Walton, the son of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) founder Sam Walton. After John Walton died in an airplane crash in 2005, she inherited his fortune. The majority of her wealth is derived from holdings in the retail behemoth. However, a successful early investment by her late husband in the solar panel maker First Solar propelled her to be the wealthiest of the Waltons. Her philanthropic work includes serving on the board of directors of the Children's Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance towards the education of low-income children.
  2. Alice Walton. Alice Walton, born in 1949, is the sister-in-law of Christy Walton and takes the second place with an estimated net worth of $36.5 billion. Alice was educated at Trinity University where she earned a BA in economics and finance. After graduation, she worked as an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation. Since childhood, Alice was interested in art and she played a leading role in developing the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which opened in 2011.
  3. Jacqueline Mars. Jacqueline Mars, born in 1939, is the granddaughter Frank Mars who founded what is now the world's largest candy company, Mars Inc. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a degree in anthropology. Mars owns the privately held company along with her two brothers and has a net worth of $25.8 billion. The Mars heirs serve on the Board of Directors but are not actively involved in managing the company. Mars sits on the Board of Trustees of the US Equestrian Team Foundation and Washington National Opera.
  4. Laurene Powell Jobs. Laurene Powell Jobs, born in 1963, is the widow of Steve Jobs, the co-founder and former CEO of Apple, Inc. (AAPL). Early in her career, Powell Jobs worked at Goldman Sachs as a fixed-income trading strategist and earned an MBA from Stanford University. Powell Jobs founded the Emerson Collective, which supports individuals and organizations working in education, immigration reform, social justice, and conservation. Powell Jobs has an estimated fortune of $20.3 billion.
  5. Anne Cox Chambers. Anne Cox Chambers, born in 1919, is the daughter of James M. Cox, the founder of Cox Enterprises and 1920 Democratic Presidential nominee. Her estimated net worth of $16.9 billion is based on her stake in Cox Enterprises, a media company that includes newspaper, television, radio, and cable television holdings. Cox Chambers presently sits on the Board of Directors of Cox Enterprises. She attended Finch College and was ambassador to Belgium under President Jimmy Carter.
  6. Abigail Johnson. Abigail Johnson, born in 1961, is the CEO of Fidelity Investments, a leading financial services company. Boston-based Fidelity was founded by her grandfather Edward Johnson II in 1946 and remains privately held. After receiving an MBA from Harvard, she started working at Fidelity as an analyst and portfolio manager, working her way up to senior executive management. Johnson currently serves as a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Johnson has an estimated net worth of $13.4 billion.
  7. Blair Parry-Okeden. Blair Parry-Okeden, born 1952, is the granddaughter of James M. Cox, the founder of Cox Enterprises and the niece of Anne Cox Chambers. Parry-Okeden inherited a 25% share of Cox Enterprises from her mother but is not actively involved with the company's management. She has an estimated net worth of $8.5 billion.
  8. Pauline MacMillan Keinath. Pauline MacMillan Keinath, born in 1934, is the great-granddaughter of William W. Cargill, founder of the agribusiness company Cargill, Inc. Cargill's wide-ranging business includes providing agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services. Cargill dates back to 1865 and is the largest privately held company in America. MacMillan Keinath has an estimated net worth of $6 billion.
  9. Dannine Avara. Dannine Avara, born in 1974, is the daughter of Dan Duncan who co-founded Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD), a natural gas and crude oil pipeline company. Since its IPO in 1998, Enterprise Products Partners grew its assets from $715 million to $43 billion in 2014. Dannine Avara has an estimated net worth of $6 billion and is not actively involved in the management of Enterprise Products Partners.
  10. Milane Frantz. Milane Frantz, born in 1970, is the sister of Dannine Avara and daughter of Enterprise Products Partners co-founder Dan Duncan. She has an estimated net worth of $6 billion. Like her sister Dannine, she is not actively involved in the management of the pipeline giant. Franz serves of the executive committee of the Board of Directors of Hermann Park Conservancy.

The Bottom Line

In several respects, the 10 richest women in America are not a very diverse group. They are all white, they all inherited the bulk of their fortunes, and they are all over the age of 40. The majority do not currently take an active role in the management of the companies from which their wealth is derived, with the exceptions of Anne Cox Chambers and Abigail Johnson. Potential newcomers to the Top 10 list include 31 year-old Elizabeth Holmes who has a self-made fortune of $4.7 billion from her blood testing company Theranos.

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