Forbes' billionaires list includes 20 from Michigan
Forbes' annual list of the richest people on the planet features 20 people with ties to Michigan.
The list includes 10 people currently living in Michigan, two fewer than last year after Amway co-founder Richard DeVos died in September and former Stryker Corp. Chairman John Brown moved to Atlanta, according to Forbes. The billionaires reside in, grew up in or have a strong connection to the Great Lakes State.
Amazon.com Inc.'s chief Jeff Bezos topped the overall list for the second consecutive year with with $131 billion. Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates was again No. 2 with $96.5 billion, and investor Warren Buffett was third at $82.5 billion.
Here's how the Michigan billionaires ranked globally:
No. 10 Larry Page
Larry Page, CEO of Google parent Alphabet Inc., placed within the top 10 billionaires in the world with $50.8 billion. Page was born in East Lansing in 1973 and attended the University of Michigan. Page co-founded the internet search engine company in 1998. Today he resides in Palo Alto, California.
No. 19 Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, was No. 19 with a net worth of $41.2 billion. Ballmer was born in Detroit in 1956 and graduated from Detroit Country Day School. He led Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, maneuvering it through the dot.com crash.
No. 158 Andrew Beal
Andrew Beal, owner of Texas bank Beal Financial Corp., landed at No. 158 with $9.1 billion. He was born in Lansing, earning cash as a teenager by fixing used televisions. Beal dropped out of both Michigan State and Baylor universities. He made money during the Great Recession by purchasing distressed assets, including mortgages, bonds backed by commercial planes and debts to power plants. He resides in Dallas.
No. 191 Stephen Ross
Stephen Ross is chairman of real estate firm The Related Companies L.P. and was No. 191 with $7.6 billion. He was born in Detroit in 1940 and attended the University of Michigan for his bachelor's degree and Wayne State University for his law degree. He is the largest donor to UM and its business school is named for him. His company is behind the $25 billion Hudson Yards in Manhattan, one of the largest private development projects in America. He lives in New York.
No. 224 Hank & Doug Meijer
The brothers who formerly were co-chairmen of Grand Rapids-based Meijer Inc. moved up from No. 328 a year ago to No. 224, surpassing Detroit businessman Daniel Gilbert. They were valued at $6.8 billion. In 1990, the brothers took over the family-owned grocer from their father, Frederick, who with their grandfather, Hendrick, started in the company in 1934. Meijer operates more than 230 stores.
No. 233 Eli Broad
Eli Broad, co-founder of homebuilder Kaufman & Broad, landed at No. 233 with $6.7 billion. Broad was born in New York, but moved to Detroit when he was 6. He attended Detroit Public Schools and graduated from Detroit Central High School. He attended Michigan State University. In 1957, he started KB Homes with $25,000 borrowed from his in-laws. He later bought Sun Life Insurance, grew it into annuities giant SunAmerica and sold it to AIG Life Holdings Inc. for $18 billion in stock. He and his wife have started philanthropic foundations with billions in assets and now live in Los Angeles.
No. 233 Dan Gilbert
Tied with Broad, Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Inc. chairman, landed at No. 233 with $6.7 billion. He co-founded what is now the largest online mortgage lender in 1985. He sold the company to financial software company Intuit Inc. for $532 million in 1999, but bought it back three years later for $64 million. Gilbert moved the company's headquarters to Detroit in 2010 and has invested billions in purchasing and rehabilitating downtown buildings. He resides in Franklin.
No. 298 Ronda Stryker
Ronda Stryker is director of Kalamazoo-based medical equipment firm Stryker Corp. She was No. 298 on Forbes' list with $5.8 billion. Her grandfather, Homer, founded the company in 1941. She inherited a stake from her parents and is the only one of her siblings to serve on its board. In 2011, she and her husband donated $100 million to create a new Homer Stryker medical school at Western Michigan University, where she earned her master's degree. Stryker lives in Portage.
No. 478 Marian Ilitch
Marian Ilitch and her late husband, Mike, co-founded Detroit-based Little Caesars Pizza in 1959. She placed No. 478 with $4.1 billion.
The pizza chain has more than $4 billion in annual sales. Ilitch also owns the Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino Hotel. Her husband's Detroit Tigers is held in a family trust. "Mrs. I" and her family also are developing the sports and entertainment District Detroit around Little Caesars Arena. She resides in Bingham Farms.
No. 504 Tom Gores
Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons, landed at No. 504 with $4 billion. The Gores family moved from Israel to Michigan when he was 4, and he stocked shelves at his father's grocery store in Flint when he was young. He oversees more than 25 companies with around $13 billion in assets through his Beverly Hills-based private equity firm Platinum Equity LLC. He purchased a stake in the Pistons in 2011 and became the sole owner in 2015. A year later, Gores launched a $25 million economic development program called FlintNow. He lives in Beverly Hills.
No. 529 John Brown
At No. 529 on the list, John Brown's net worth is $3.9 billion. He ran Stryker Corp. for 32 years before retiring as chairman in 2009. Revenues climbed from $17 million to $6.7 billion under his leadership, and he led the company's initial public offering in 1979. He resides in Atlanta.
No. 645 Jon Stryker
Jon Stryker landed at No. 645 with $3.4 billion. Stryker is a grandson of Homer Stryker and brother to Ronda Stryker. He is president and founder of the Arcus Foundation, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and the conservation of great apes. He also is a supporter of his alma mater Kalamazoo College, last year donating $20 million to establish a 10-year scholarship program for students of color, first-generation students and those from low-income families. He lives in New York.
No. 962 Pat Stryker
Pat Stryker, Ronda and Jon Stryker's sister, placed at No. 962 with $2.4 billion. She has given millions and founded the Bohemian Foundation, which supports communities through music, the arts and civic programs. She and her brother also gave a combined $10 million in 2016 to fund the nation's first memorial to the victims of racial terror lynchings. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
No. 1,008 William Young
William C. Young placed at No. 1,008 with $2.3 billion in net worth. He is the CEO of Plymouth-based plastic container maker Plastipak Packaging Inc. He and his father — William P. Young, who bought Absopure Water Co. Inc. in 1957 — founded the company in 1967, shortly after Young graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy. Six years later, the duo sold a majority stake to food processor Beatrice Foods Co. but bought back Plastripak in 1982. Three decades later, they sold a minority stake to a division of investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Young lives in Ypsilanti.
No. 1,057 Alec Gores
Private equity firm The Gores Group founder Alec Gores landed at No. 1,057 with $2.2 billion. He is the older brother to Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. They worked together in the beginning of their careers but parted ways in 1995 and have competed for deals since. He founded tech firm Executive Business System in 1978, using proceeds to launch his private equity career. Gores graduated from Western Michigan University and lives in Beverly Hills.
No. 1,281 Manuel Moroun & family
Manuel "Matty" Moroun and his family were No. 1,281 on Forbes' list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Moroun owns Detroit's Ambassador Bridge and is CEO of its holding company CenTra Inc. as well as other family-held transportation and logistics companies. He also owns a number of Detroit properties, and his son, Matthew, announced last summer they had sold Corktown's Michigan Central Station to Ford Motor Co. for $90 million. He lives in Grosse Pointe Shores.
No. 1,511 Roger Penske
Race driver turned car dealer Roger Penske landed at No. 1,511 with $1.5 billion. He is founder and chairman of Penske Corp., which operates car and truck dealerships and is known for its yellow rental trucks. He started with one dealership in 1965, opening it with a $75,000 loan from his father. Penske lives in Birmingham.
No. 1,605 Martha Ford
Martha Firestone Ford placed at No. 1,605 with $1.4 billion. She is the widow of William C. Ford, who was the grandson of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford. Her son, Bill Ford Jr., is executive chairman of the automaker. Martha Ford's own paternal grandparents founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. After her husband died in 2014, she inherited the Detroit Lions. She lives in Grosse Pointe Shores.
No. 1,717 Donald Foss
Donald Foss rounds out Michigan's billionaires at No. 1,717 with $1.3 billion. He is founder and former chairman of Southfield-based auto lender Credit Acceptance Corp. He launched the company in 1972, one of the first to offer loan programs to help dealers sell cars to customers with poor or no credit. He ran the company as CEO for three decades and took it public in 1992. In 2017, he retired. He lives in Farmington Hills.