BILLIONAIRE ROLL CALL
According to Forbes, half of all of the world’s billionaires are less wealthy than they were in 2022. That might be true for Austin's richest billionaire Elon Musk, but that’s not the case for most other Austin-area billionaires.
The 2023 edition of Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List declared Musk's net worth at $180 billion, which is $39 billion less than his 2022 net worth of $219 billion. The Tesla and SpaceX founder is the richest person in Texas and second richest person in the world, wedging his way between No. 1 Bernard Arnault of France (overseer of the LVMH empire of 75 fashion and cosmetics brands, including Louis Vuitton and Sephora), with a net worth of $211 billion; and No. 3 Jeff Bezos, the American Amazon founder, worth $114 billion.
As CultureMap reported, Musk relocated from California to Texas in 2020, but it’s not known whether he spends most of his time around Brownsville, near a major launch site developed by his SpaceX venture, or in Austin, where he continues to build his business empire with Tesla’s new headquarters just outside the city.
Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell is Austin's second-richest man, with his net worth at $50.1 billion. He ranked No. 23 on Forbes' list, which is a single-place increase from his No. 24 rank in 2022, despite his wealth decreasing year-over-year by $5 billion. Dell and his wife are doing considerably well for themselves after investing in the WNBA last year, among other business ventures.
Michael Dell lands at No. 23. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Other Austin-area billionaires that made Forbes 2023 world’s richest list are:
- Venture capitalist Robert F. Smith: tied for No. 261, $8 billion, up from $6.7 billion
- Tech entrepreneur Thai Lee: tied for No. 567, $4.8 billion, up from $4.1 billion
- Tito's Vodka baron Bert Beveridge: tied for No. 591, $4.6 billion, up from $4.5 billion
- Software investor Joseph Liemandt: tied for No. 611, $4.5 billion, up from $3 billion
- Patrón Spirits founder John Paul DeJoria: tied for No. 1027, $2.9 billion, up from $2.8 billion
- Finance chief exec David Booth: tied for No. 1725, $1.7 billion, unchanged from last year
An honorable mention (and billionaire newbie) is Eleanor Butt Crook, the 90-year-old heiress to the fortune of Texas' favorite grocery chain H-E-B. Forbes lists her residence in San Marcos, just south of Austin. Her net worth is $2.8 billion, making her No. 1067 on the list. Fellow H-E-B heirs and family membersHoward Butt III and Stephen Butt also made the list, both tied for No. 1575 with the same net worth of $1.9 billion.
The Fort Worth-based Walmart family heiress Alice Walton earned a spot on Forbes’ list as the third richest woman in the world. Her fortune is pegged at $56.7 billion, down slightly from $65.3 billion last year.