It’s that time of year again when Forbes releases its annual list of the world’s billionaires, providing a fresh look at where the world's richest people make their homes.
The Central Texas region is not a prime destination for Texas billionaires — compared to the likes of Houston and Dallas — but Austin boasts three residents on the 2014 list. Of the three, one new addition joins two familiar faces.
Austin’s newest billionaire is David Booth, a cofounder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, an investment firm headquartered in Austin. With a net worth of $1.3 billion, Booth ranks at No. 1284 on the list.
Booth joins the ranks of tech tycoon Michael Dell and John Paul DeJoria, the man who earned his riches with a combo of hair products and tequila.
With a net worth of $3 billion and a ranking of No. 551, DeJoria, 70, first founded John Paul Mitchell Systems in the 1980s, later creating Patron Spirits. He even appeared as a guest judge on ABC’s Shark Tank in November 2013, which may be the new favorite hobby of the world’s richest entrepreneurs.
Michael Dell still firmly holds the title of Austin's richest individual. With a net worth of $17.5 billion, Dell is ranked No. 48 among the world’s richest people. He founded Dell Inc. more than 30 years ago, creating not only one of the largest tech corporations in the world, but also one of Central Texas’ most important employers. At the age of 49, Dell is by far one of the youngest billionaires in the state of Texas.
Along with Austin, San Antonio boasts its own list of billionaires. The familiar faces include:
- No. 121 — Chairman and CEO of H-E-B, Charles Butt, 76, $10.1 billion
- No. 731 — Natural gas tycoon Rodney Lewis, 60, $2.4 billion
- No. 1210 — Former salsa magnate, Christopher Goldsbury, 71, $1.4 billion
- No. 1210 — Car salesman and UT philanthropist Billy Joe “Red” McCombs, 86, $1.4 billion
- No. 1284 — Kinetic Concepts Inc. founder James Leininger, 68, $1.3 billion
The top of the Forbes list sees the return of Microsoft founder Bill Gates to the No. 1 position, with a net worth of $76 billion. Telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico City, Mexico falls to No. 2, ending his four-year run as the world’s richest person.