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Melvin J. Gordon, Longtime Chief Executive of Tootsie Roll Industries, Has Died

Melvin J. Gordon, Longtime Chief Executive of Tootsie Roll Industries, Has Died

Following the death of its chairman and chief executive, Tootsie Roll Industries is speculated to be the target of a potential takeover.

Melvin J. Gordon, the chief executive of Tootsie Roll Industries for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 95, reports The New York Times.

His wife Ellen, whom he married in 1950, was the daughter of William Rubin, then the president of the Sweets Company of America, the maker of Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops. Though the Rubins did not establish the Sweets Company of America, the family gained control during the 1930s.

Together, the couple is described as having maintained tight control over the business, and ran the organization like a privately held company despite being publicly traded. Court documents indicate that the Gordons owned a large majority of the company’s voting stock.

Their expenses included a Chicago apartment that cost more than $10,000 to rent each month, and the “lavish use of the company plane” to travel between the apartment and their home in Massachusetts.

During his tenure, Gordon expanded Tootsie Roll Industries’ product line to include Blow Pop, Junior Mints, Dubble Bubble, Andes, Charleston Chew, and others.

Gordon is survived by his wife, who is expected to take over his role at the company, and their four daughters.

“Melvin's life represented the very highest values in business, wisdom, generosity, and integrity. Tootsie Roll has seen great growth and success during his time as chairman,” said Ellen Gordon in a statement.


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Harvard dropout and Microsoft visionary preparing to give up day-to-day involvement in company he cofounded 32 years ago to spend more time focused on his philanthropic endeavors. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation manages $33 billion, donates to causes aimed at bringing financial tools to the poor, speeding up the development of vaccines (for AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis), bettering America's lagging high schools. Sells 20 million Microsoft shares every quarter, proceeds going to private investment vehicle Cascade more than half of net worth now outside of Microsoft. Company's new operating system, Vista, debuted in January to mixed reviews shares up 12% in past year. Pressing on Google 's turf (and vice versa) spent $6 billion to land Web ad firm Aquantive in May. Would-be rival to Apple 's iPod, the Zune, not yet a hit. Believes Microsoft's far-flung bets, including 10-year affair with Internet-based television, may soon pay off says next 10 years will be the "most interesting" in software history. Early goal: put "a computer on every desk and in every home." Soon more than 1 billion computers will run Windows. Days as world's richest man may be over Mexican Carlos Slim Helú also worth $59 billion.

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Nation's most beloved investor is $6 billion richer this year despite handing over $2.1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock to charity in July. Berkshire shares up 24% over past 12 months have averaged 21.4% annual return since 1965. Son of Nebraska politician delivered newspapers as a boy. Filed first tax return at age 13, claiming $35 deduction for bicycle. Studied under value investing guru Benjamin Graham at Columbia. Took over textile firm Berkshire Hathaway 1965. Today holding company invested in insurance (Geico, General Re), jewelry (Borsheim's), utilities ( MidAmerican Energy ), food (Dairy Queen, See's Candies). Also has noncontrolling stakes in Anheuser-Busch , Coca-Cola , Wells Fargo . Last year bought Israeli cutting-tool business Iscar and electronic components distributor TTI. Longtime critic of efforts to repeal estate tax says wealth should not pass exclusively to members of "lucky sperm club." The Oracle of Omaha had long promised to give away his fortune posthumously. Last summer irrevocably earmarked the majority of his Berkshire shares to charity, mostly to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gift was valued at $31 billion on day of announcement donation will far exceed that sum so long as Berkshire shares continue to rise.

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Cabdriver's son borrowed $200 from uncle to sell newspapers at age 12. Studied voice in teens, later dropped out of City College in New York City to become court reporter. Made first fortune in trade shows. Created computer industry's marquee event, Comdex, mid-1980s sold show to Japan's Softbank for $862 million 1995. Then Vegas: bought Sands Hotel & Casino for $128 million, demolished it to build the $1.5 billion all-suites Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Convention Center. Changed the way casinos do business by enticing conventioneers to Sin City midweek, taking emphasis off gambling. Sold suites for $250 a night, added high-end retailers, celebrity-chef restaurants. Took Las Vegas Sands public December 2004 shares up 260% since. Nearing completion of $1.8 billion Palazzo resort next to nemesis Steve Wynn's (see) Wynn Las Vegas. All in on Asia: opened $265 million Sands Macau Casino May 2004, recouped entire investment in one year. Unveiled $2.4 billion Venetian Macau in August 10.5-million-square-foot mega-resort features 3,400 slots, 800 tables, 3,000 suites and a convention center. Won coveted Singapore gaming license last year building $3.6 billion Marina Bay Sands on 51-acre site with a view of city's skyline.

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With partner Larry Page (see), Google Guy cracks the top 10 of the Forbes 400 both were worth a mere $4 billion in 2004. Instaquadrupling outpaces early years of Bill Gates, Larry Ellison (see both). Brin emigrated from Russia, Page grew up in Michigan both sons of professors. Met in computer science Ph.D. program at Stanford dropped out to start Google in 1998 from friend's garage. Initially financed by Stanford endowment, angel investors K. Ram Shriram (see), Andy von Bechtolsheim. Raised another $25 million from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital in 1999. Hired seasoned tech exec Eric Schmidt (see) in 2001 to run operations. Took quirky ad-cum-search engine public 2004 shares up 510% since. Sales: $10.5 billion, net margins 30%. Brin serves as president of technology, Page heads product division. Extending ad business into TV, cell phones, various online venues bought Web video portal YouTube for $1.65 billion last year recently partnered with EchoStar, LG Electronics, Salesforce.com. Switched Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to solar power this summer part of plan to "do no evil."

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With partner Sergey Brin (see), Google Guy cracks the top 10 of the Forbes 400 both were worth a mere $4 billion in 2004. Instaquadrupling outpaces early years of Bill Gates, Larry Ellison (see both). Brin emigrated from Russia, Page grew up in Michigan both sons of professors. Met in computer science Ph.D. program at Stanford dropped out to start Google in 1998 from friend's garage. Initially financed by Stanford endowment, angel investors K. Ram Shriram (see), Andy von Bechtolsheim. Raised another $25 million from venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital in 1999. Hired seasoned tech exec Eric Schmidt (see) in 2001 to run operations. Took quirky ad-cum-search engine public 2004 shares up 510% since. Sales: $10.5 billion, net margins 30%. Brin serves as president of technology, Page heads product division. Extending ad business into TV, cell phones, various online venues bought Web video portal YouTube for $1.65 billion last year recently partnered with EchoStar, LG Electronics, Salesforce.com. Switched Mountain View, Calif. headquarters to solar power this summer part of plan to "do no evil."

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Son of Armenian immigrant fruit farmer dropped out of school in eighth grade. Trained U.S., British fighter pilots during WWII. Flew surplus Air Force planes across Atlantic after war before building charter flights company Trans International Airlines sold for $104 million profit 1966. Acquired Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas 1967, built International Hotel 1969. Sold both properties to Hilton Hotels 1970. Went Hollywood: made billions buying and selling movie studio MGM, 3 times since 1969. Back to Vegas: nabbed Steve Wynn's (see) Mirage Resorts for $6.4 billion 2000, then Mandalay Bay Resorts for $7.9 billion 4 years later. Today MGM Mirage owns more than half the hotel rooms on Las Vegas Strip shares up 140% in past 12 months. Attempted to personally buy Bellagio casino, unfinished 76-acre resort complex CityCenter from MGM Mirage this spring pulled out after company struck deal with Kerzner International to develop 40 acres of land on Strip. In August sold half of CityCenter, 9.5% chunk of MGM to Middle East investment firm Dubai World for $5 billion. Spent 20 frustrating months fighting to reshape General Motors believed to have sold entire stake last November.

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Soft-spoken Texan reclaimed chief executive spot at Dell Computer in January for first time since 2004 after numerous setbacks pummeled company's shares. Lost No. 1 spot in PC market to Hewlett-Packard last year as company's long-standing practice of shunning retail outlets and selling desktop PCs directly to customers over the phone or Internet floundered. Hired former Motorola exec Ronald Garriques to lead company's global expansion, cut 10% of company's workforce, struck deals to sell desktop computers in Wal-Mart , Sam's Club stores. Shares up 25% in past 12 months. Battling HP for China market. Started selling computers from U. of Texas dorm room 1984 with $1,000 dropped out to start Dell. Took public 1988, grew fast with direct-sales model. Most of net worth now outside Dell. Reinvests via private investment vehicle MSD Capital: equities, real estate, private equity. Republican sits on U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. Wife, Susan, created upper-crust (and unaffordable) fashion label Phi.

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Son of Koch Industries founder Fred C. Koch (d. 1967), MIT grad who invented method of refining gasoline from heavy oil. Took refining innovation to Soviet Union 1929 returned home 1930s, became fervently anticommunist. Sons Frederick, Charles (see), David and William (see) inherited Koch Industries after father's death duo bought out William and Frederick for $1.1 billion in 1983. Long-running fraternal feud over deal settled 2001. Today brother Charles lords over nation's largest privately held company: chemicals, pipelines, ranching, commodities trading, lumber, paper also refining operations in Alaska, Texas and Minnesota. Estimated sales: $90 billion. Bought Georgia-Pacific for $21 billion in 2005. Company owns ranch land abutting Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Texas. David: ran as vice presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980.

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For the first time since 1989 there isn't a Walton in Top 10 of The Forbes 400 Wal-Mart shares flat over past 12 months as bigger gainers passed by famously secretive children and daughter-in-law of Sam Walton (d. 1992). Mom, Helen, passed away April matriarch's fortune to pass to charity over next few years. Sam began retail career 1940 making $75 a month as J.C. Penney clerk. Opened Ben Franklin 5-and-10 store in Newport, Ark. 5 years later lost lease 1950. With brother James opened chain of general stores in Bentonville, Ark. 1962. Took Wal-Mart public 1970, now world's largest retailer, with more than 7,000 stores in 14 countries 1.9 million employees serve 176 million customers a week. Sales: $345 billion. Family controls 40%. Christy: widow of John Walton (d. 2005) supports school choice programs for underprivileged kids.

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For the first time since 1989 there isn't a Walton in Top 10 of The Forbes 400 Wal-Mart shares flat over past 12 months as bigger gainers passed by famously secretive children and daughter-in-law of Sam Walton (d. 1992). Mom, Helen, passed away April matriarch's fortune to pass to charity over next few years. Sam began retail career 1940 making $75 a month as J.C. Penney clerk. Opened Ben Franklin 5-and-10 store in Newport, Ark. 5 years later lost lease 1950. With brother James opened chain of general stores in Bentonville, Ark. 1962. Took Wal-Mart public 1970, now world's largest retailer, with more than 7,000 stores in 14 countries 1.9 million employees serve 176 million customers a week. Sales: $345 billion. Family controls 40%. Jim: oversees family banking business.

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For the first time since 1989 there isn't a Walton in Top 10 of The Forbes 400 Wal-Mart shares flat over past 12 months as bigger gainers passed by famously secretive children and daughter-in-law of Sam Walton (d. 1992). Mom, Helen, passed away April matriarch's fortune to pass to charity over next few years. Sam began retail career 1940 making $75 a month as J.C. Penney clerk. Opened Ben Franklin 5-and-10 store in Newport, Ark. 5 years later lost lease 1950. With brother James opened chain of general stores in Bentonville, Ark. 1962. Took Wal-Mart public 1970, now world's largest retailer, with more than 7,000 stores in 14 countries 1.9 million employees serve 176 million customers a week. Sales: $345 billion. Family controls 40%. Rob: company's first lawyer now chairman.

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For the first time since 1989 there isn't a Walton in Top 10 of The Forbes 400 Wal-Mart shares flat over past 12 months as bigger gainers passed by famously secretive children and daughter-in-law of Sam Walton (d. 1992). Mom, Helen, passed away April matriarch's fortune to pass to charity over next few years. Sam began retail career 1940 making $75 a month as J.C. Penney clerk. Opened Ben Franklin 5-and-10 store in Newport, Ark. 5 years later lost lease 1950. With brother James opened chain of general stores in Bentonville, Ark. 1962. Took Wal-Mart public 1970, now world's largest retailer, with more than 7,000 stores in 14 countries 1.9 million employees serve 176 million customers a week. Sales: $345 billion. Family controls 40%. Alice: raises horses, founded American art museum in Bentonville.

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Zealous chief navigates Microsoft's midlife crisis. Google is "it girl" now. Acquired online ad shop Aquantive in May for $6 billion in cash (20% of bankroll). Vista, Windows overhaul, released to mixed reviews. Detroit native dropped out of Stanford M.B.A. program to join former Harvard classmate Gates (see) in 1980. Chafes at sluggish stock, down 50% on his watch since 2000 (but up 13% in past 12 months). Pushes patience: "Great things in this business don't happen overnight." Rarely sells shares.

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With family controls Fidelity Investments, America's largest mutual fund company. Assets under management: $1.5 trillion. Father Edward III (see) joined company as an analyst in 1957, president 15 years later. "Abby" studied art history at Hobart & William Smith Colleges then earned Harvard M.B.A. Joined family business 1988, tracked industrial equipment stocks. Ran her first diversified fund 1993. Father reduced his ownership in 1995 Abby inherited a 24% stake. Became president of company's mutual fund division 2001. Now runs Employer Services division, which administers payroll and employee stock plans. Who owns what? Once clearly defined, Fidelity stakes amongst Johnson family members are now one of the best-kept secrets in capitalism. Company says Abby has sold some of her shares to other family members family still controls 49% of company.

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Grew up NYC's Queens. Studied philosophy at Princeton. Went to Wall Street with $4,000 in poker winnings. Gained reputation for buying into troubled companies, forcing management to improve, restructure, buy back stock scores in 1980s with Texaco, USX. Once considered the world's most dangerous shareholder activist now having trouble effecting vast management changes. Requested Time Warner buy back stock, split company into 4 individual parts 2005 media firm repurchased $20 billion in shares but never split. Failed to land board seat with cell phone producer Motorola in May initially demanded company chief Ed Zander buy back shares, now pushing for cost cuts, reorganization. Sold private hedge fund outfit to American Real Estate Partners owns 90% stake in the publicly traded holding company that controls casinos, real estate, home fashion. Reason: power. Renaming company Icahn Enterprises shares up 140% over past 12 months.

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Left Washington U. to serve in Navy became fighter pilot on U.S.S. Enterprise during WWII. Sold cars after war, became sales manager for St. Louis Cadillac distributor. Backed by boss, took 50% pay cut to start own car-leasing business offered rentals as temporary replacements for stolen, wrecked cars. Business boomed in 1970s after courts made insurance companies pay for replacement rentals. Today Enterprise Rent-A-Car sales exceed $9 billion. Son, Andrew, began working for dad "as soon as I could drive" now chairman and chief executive. Daughter, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, is president of charitable Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation. Increasing presence at airports through holding company, bought Vanguard Auto Group, operator of National and Alamo car rental companies, for an estimated $1.2 billion earlier this summer.

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Son of Hollywood producer attended U. of Washington on skiing scholarship halted Olympics bid after injury 1956. Built first house with $10,000 loan 1958. Developed 10,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo in California, sold to Philip Morris 1967. With partners bought real estate developer Irvine Co. for $337 million 1977. Became sole owner 1996. Today portfolio includes 25,000 undeveloped acres in Orange County (13,000 can be developed), 400 office buildings, 40 retail centers, 90 apartment communities, hotels, marinas, golf courses. Gave $20 million to UC, Irvine's law school in August.

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Daughter of James M. Cox (d. 1957), newspaper reporter who bought the Dayton Evening News for $26,000 in 1898. High school dropout became 3-term governor of Ohio Democratic presidential nominee in 1920 with FDR as his running mate. Built media empire. Today Cox Enterprises owns 17 newspapers, 15 TV stations, 80 radio stations, Manheim Auctions (used cars), stake in AutoTrader.com (online classifieds). Sales now $13 billion. Sister Barbara Cox Anthony died in May.

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New York mayor, media maven gives away $715 million to charity in 5 years gets richer anyway. Says he won't run for President. Running for mayor is cheaper spent $85 million on reelection in 2005 ($11 million more than in first election 2001, despite 67% approval rating). Boston-born son of accountant studied engineering at Johns Hopkins. Then Harvard M.B.A. Trader at Salomon Brothers 1970s, quit with $10 million in stock after merger. Created firm in 1981 to sell financial data, analytic tools to Wall Street. Renamed Bloomberg LP 1987 added news service to take on Dow Jones and Reuters 3 years later. Then magazine, cable network, radio station. Bloomberg sales: $4.7 billion. Operating margins believed to approach 30%. Plans to sell his 68% stake one day ( Merrill Lynch , private investors hold 32%), perhaps give away fortune. Maybe Rupert Murdoch (see) should buy it.

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Family fled Nazi Germany 1938, settled in Oklahoma. Parents developed oil and gas business. Took over 1969 expanded into real estate, banking, derivatives. Today Kaiser-Francis produces 12 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalents annually. Owns 45 million shares of BOK Financial worth $2.3 billion. Also runs liquefied natural gas outfit Excelerate Energy has invested more than $1 billion in LNG ships and terminals over past few years. Fights childhood poverty through George Kaiser Family Foundation pledged $60 million to redevelop a blighted community alongside a 42-mile stretch of Arkansas River.

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Former Frito-Lay analyst switched to selling satellite dishes 1980, later expanded into broadcasting. Founder of direct-satellite service EchoStar. Today boasts 13.5 million subscribers, gaining on DirecTV 's 16 million 5 years ago DirecTV had more than twice the subs of EchoStar. Sales: $9.8 billion. Federal court in 2006 said EchoStar violated rules by providing 900,000 subscribers with broadcast channels from outside their local markets under appeal. Partnering with Google to better focus ads: E-Trade targets stock traders by demographics and region company pays only when a viewer watches a spot.

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With family, controls Fidelity Investments, America's largest mutual fund company. Assets under management: $1.5 trillion. Father, Edward II, founded Fidelity Management & Research Co. 1946 phenomenal stock picker. "Ned" joined firm as an analyst 1957, president 15 years later. Created mutual funds for almost every investment strategy to increase market share. Renowned for frugality, reduced ownership for estate planning 1995 family owns 49%.

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Wharton grad left father's buyout business in his 30s bought $1.9 million stake in jewelry distributor Cohen-Hatfield 1978. Sold jewelry operation to Sam Walton 7 years later. Purchased licorice maker MacAndrews & Forbes, used as a holding company for buyouts. Bought cosmetics company Revlon 1985 stake once worth billions is valued at less than $350 million today. Sold Golden State Bancorp with Gerald Ford (see) to Citigroup in 2002 for $6 billion. Sold camping gear outfit Coleman to Sunbeam 1998 took Morgan Stanley to court 7 years later after learning the investment bank had not informed him that Sunbeam's financial statements were cooked. Won jury trial appeals court overturned the ruling earlier this year. Betting on biotech: Siga Technologies looking for ways to battle bioterrorism TransTech Pharma trying to cure Alzheimer's. Owns 75 acres of prime East Hampton, N.Y. real estate.

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Shoe baron ran track for U. of Oregon, teamed up with coach to start sneaker company 1964. Gained traction with innovative waffle sole, swoosh logo, superstar endorsements. Today Nike commands 45% of the U.S. athletic shoe market. Sales: $16.3 billion. Shares up 38% in past year. Partnered with Apple to create Nike iPod Sport Kits units allow runners to synch sneakers with iPod Nanos to track workout data, exercise to favorite tunes. Recently signed sponsorship deal with 2008 Beijing Olympics. Last year gave $105 million to Stanford Business School largest single donation ever made to a business program.

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German immigrant studied at Columbia U. started with television stations. Amassed fortune buying and selling broadcast, cellular properties. Sold out to WorldCom for $1.3 billion. Became richest man in America 1989, lost title to Bill Gates (see) 3 years later. Today holds a wide range of investments: restaurants (Ponderosa, Bennigan's, Steak & Ale chains), peanuts. Collects Aboriginal art. Pledged $400 million to alma mater in April 4th-largest gift ever to an educational institution.

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French-born computer programmer launched online auction Ebay in 1995. Today more than one million people use it as primary or secondary source of income. Handed exec control to Meg Whitman (see) in 1998, remains chairman. Active blogger philanthropic via Omidyar Network finances small businesses in developing economies, donates to nonprofits. Gave $100 million to alma mater Tufts in 2005.

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Australia-born, U.S.-naturalized tabloid titan pays too much, then makes it work. In August his 20-year crush culminates in deal to buy Wall Street Journal, parent Dow Jones. Price tag: $5 billion (over 90% cash) plus $600 million in assumed debt. Bancroft family (and Dow Jones execs) succumbed after flirting with 21 other possible suitors there were no takers. Reason: Murdoch's 60% premium. Doubters said he overpaid for MySpace, too ($630 million in 2005) a year later Google agreed to pay $900 million for 3 years of access to MySpace, other Weblets. Oxford grad, started with one paper, inherited at age 23. WSJ adds class to News mass: New York Post, Fox film, broadcast and cable channels. New rival to business network CNBC debuts Oct. 15. Told FORBES in February that the Bancrofts wouldn't sell for "5, 10, 20 years. But I won't be here." Then gave $600 million in stock to his 6 kids. Reason: estate planning. Succession is still unsettled. Son James, 34, runs BSkyB in U.K. son Lachlan, 36, who quit in 2005 and stayed onboard, could yet return.

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Born in Budapest, family survived Nazi occupation of Hungary. London School of Economics founded famed Quantum Fund with "Adventure Capitalist" Jim Rogers 1969. With Stanley Druckenmiller (see), "broke" British pound in 1992, made $1 billion profit. Lost hundreds of millions with ill-timed investments in former Soviet Union 1996. Locked out new investors 2000 much of Quantum Endowment Fund's $13 billion in assets are his. Handed off day-to-day operations to sons Robert and Jonathan Robert recently stepped down as chief investment officer. Dedicated philanthropist has given away $5 billion since 1979 via his Open Society Institute and other charitable groups strives to promote democracy throughout the globe.

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Dot-com pioneer defies gravity, survives tech crash. Took company public in 1997 and expanded from bookselling into thousands of products online. Decade later books still big piece of virtual mall's $10.7 billion sales. Stock up 180% in past 12 months net income fell 50% to $190 million in 2006. Computer whiz worked at hedge funds after graduating from Princeton in 1989 quit before 30th birthday to sell books online from Seattle garage. Space cadet building base and testing center on 300,000 acres of Texas land for his Blue Origin commercial space-travel venture.

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Met partner John Sall (see) as a graduate student at North Carolina State. Cofounded SAS Institute 1976, now believed to be largest privately held software maker in the world massive databases, customer analysis, business intelligence. Sales up 13% to $1.9 billion last year. Goodnight owns two-thirds, Sall the rest. At work employees get free candy, day care, 35-hour workweek and scholarships for their kids to attend affiliated Cary Academy. Goodnight: claims U.S. should open borders to skilled overseas IT workers. "Why restrict the best and the brightest people from coming into your country?" Founded Cary Academy 1996 school emphasizes technology.

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Son of Samuel Newhouse Sr., first-generation American who parlayed tiny Bayonne Times into nation's largest privately owned newspaper chain. With brother Samuel Newhourse Jr. (see) took over after father's death in 1979 expanded, diversified. Today own, operate Bright House Cable (2.2 million subscribers) also pieces of the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel. Donald oversees weakening newspaper division (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Newark Star-Ledger). Brother heads magazines via Condé Nast (New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue). Stumbling online: nearly all Condé Nast Web sites used mainly to sell subscriptions, deliver magazine content. Launched business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio in April. Valuation revised this year to include stunning art collection (Johannes Lingelbach, Rubens).

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Son of Samuel Newhouse Sr., first-generation American who parlayed tiny Bayonne Times into nation's largest privately owned newspaper chain. With brother Donald Newhouse (see) took over after father's death in 1979 expanded, diversified. Today own, operate Bright House Cable (2.2 million subscribers) also pieces of the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel. Brother oversees weakening newspaper division (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Newark Star-Ledger). "Si" heads magazines via Condé Nast (New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue). Stumbling online: nearly all Condé Nast Web sites used mainly to sell subscriptions, deliver magazine content. Launched business magazine Condé Nast Portfolio in April. Valuation revised this year to include stunning art collection (Johannes Lingelbach, Rubens).

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Grew up poor in rural Texas mother, brother died when he was 7. Raised by grandmother: "Do the best you can every day." Started Enterprise Products with 2 trucks 1968 took public 3 decades later. Today empire stretches across 34,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines. With Anadarko Petroleum , launched natural gas processing hub and pipeline in Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. Hunter displays numerous trophy heads at Texas ranch. Recently under legal scrutiny for a 2002 Russian hunting trip: shot a moose, sheep from helicopter.

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With Peter Peterson and Hamilton James (see both) took their investment house Blackstone public in June shares down 30% since. Sold just under 10% stake to Chinese government weeks before the offering. Wall Street giant manages $90 billion across private equity, real estate, corporate debt, hedge fund operations. Schwarzman and Peterson cofounded Blackstone Group 1985 with $400,000 since then they have invested in 112 companies, with a total enterprise value of $200 billion. Net profits in 2006: $2.3 billion. Paid $39 billion for Sam Zell's (see) Equity Office Properties in February, then agreed to buy Hilton Hotels for $26 billion in July. Schwarzman attended Yale with President George W. Bush. Harvard M.B.A. Managing director at Lehman Brothers 1978 at age 31. Threw himself a 60th birthday party at New York's Park Avenue Armory in February. Was worth nearly $10 billion immediately following offering in June.

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Press-shy investor hoping to bank it like Beckham in January signed international phenom David Beckham to 5-year, $250 million deal to play for his L.A. Galaxy pro soccer squad. Owns stakes in pro basketball's L.A. Lakers, hockey's L.A. Kings. Also arenas: Staples Center in L.A., the O2 (formerly Millennium Dome) in London. Son of oil driller bought out dad 1961, struck big in Utah and Wyoming. Moved to railroads ( Union Pacific ), fiber optics (Qwest), movie theaters (Regal Cinemas), ranches. Sold $1.5 billion worth of Qwest shares in forward sales in past year. Moving down on The Forbes 400 via philanthropy: donated $100 million to U. of Colorado's medical campus, pledged $500 million in Qwest shares to Anschutz Foundation.

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Boston-born tycoon had year of living irritably: publicly dumped Tom Cruise, longtime lieutenant Tom Freston late last year. In July bought out son Brent's Viacom stake for $240 billion after a falling-out. Now clashes with daughter Shari, 53 says to succeed him she must "change her behavior" to win over board. Meaning: be less confrontational than Dad. Reality: pros, not kin, will succeed him—if he ever dies. Harvard Law 1947 joined father's theater business, now National Amusements, 1954. Expanded into TV, movies with Viacom. To boost value, split company into 2 year-end 2005: Viacom (Paramount Pictures, MTV Networks), CBS (CBS, CW, CBS Radio). CBS is up 20% since, but Viacom is down 3% S&P 500 up 19% in the same period. Last year bought DreamWorks live-action studio for $1.5 billion from founders David Geffen (see), Steven Spielberg (see), Jeffrey Katzenberg.

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Son of Texas teachers graduated from U. of Texas 1952. Got taste for takeover tactics as a bank examiner. Bought Dallas drugstore in 1961 for $5,000 cash plus $95,000 loan sold 100-store chain to Eckerd Corp. for $50 million 1973. Built publicly traded holding company Valhi with hostile takeovers. Now invested in titanium (Timet, Kronos), waste management (Waste Control Specialists), computer components ( CompX International ). Donated $175 million to build cancer center at alma mater. Expected philanthropic gifts to reach $400 million this year.

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Built barns to pay U. of Wisconsin tuition. Founded hardware store chain Menard's 1972 expanded, undercut competition pennies at a time. Now third-largest home improvement firm in U.S. behind Home Depot , Lowe's . Stores in 11 midwestern states. Estimated sales in 2005: $7.2 billion. Sports car junkie funds Team Menard at Indy 500 each year sponsors Nascar's Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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"Len" immigrated to U.S. from former Soviet Union 1978 at age 21 arrived penniless. Found way to Harvard Business School. Started industrial holding company Access Industries 1986. Partnered with school friend, now billionaire, Victor Vekselberg, and later Mikhail Fridman. Acquired stakes in newly privatized Russian companies. Trio made first fortune merging Tyumen Oil Company and British Petroleum firm became Russia's 2nd-largest oil company. Reinvested in chemicals, metals. Serves on board of Warner Music. Said to have paid $27 million for an apartment on Fifth Avenue last year.

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Son of Lithuanian immigrants born in the Bronx, raised in Detroit. Bought first patch of real estate at age 20. Cofounded Kaufman & Broad with $25,000 borrowed from his in-laws became one of nation's largest affordable home builders, focusing on homes for parents of baby boomers. Acquired Sun Life Insurance (later renamed SunAmerica) in 1971. Sold to AIG in 1998 for $18 billion stake worth $3.1 billion today. With Ronald Burkle (see), made failed bid for newspaper company Tribune earlier this year. Remains interested in buying L.A. Times. Owns art collection worth $1 billion. Favorite piece: Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog." Philanthropy focused on education reform, scientific and medical research. "American economic security is at risk without better public education."

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The grown-up at Google uses surging stock price to buy way into Web videos (YouTube), blog-hosting (blogger.com), presentation software (Tonic Systems, Zenter). Ads remain the driver of the high-profit search engine, posting 99% of sales, now past $10.5 billion a year. Net margins: 30%. Earned electrical engineering degree from Princeton and Ph.D. from UC, Berkeley. Joined Bell Labs, then Xerox . Developed Java technology at Sun Microsystems 1980s. Recruited in 2001 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin (see both) to become chief executive. Sold $600 million in stock this year reduced stake by 15%.

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Corporate lawyer joined father's Tana Oil & Gas 1980 merged production properties with Texaco (now Chevron ) for stock and cash 1989. Rebuilt Tana, sold to Unocal 1999. This year exchanged $400 million worth of shares back to Chevron for cash plus oil and gas prospects to be developed. Well diversified: largest piece of fortune in Omni Hotels. Also owns Gold's Gym, Mexican retail chain Waldo's stock in PG&E , Pogo Producing , Bank of America .

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Son of barbara cox Anthony, longtime Forbes 400 member, who died in May. Anthony: daughter of James M. Cox (d. 1957), newspaper reporter who bought the Dayton Evening News for $26,000 in 1898. High school dropout became 3-term governor of Ohio Democratic presidential nominee in 1920 with FDR as his running mate. Built media empire. Today Cox Enterprises owns 17 newspapers, 15 TV stations, 80 radio stations, Manheim Auctions (used cars), stake in AutoTrader.com (online classifieds). Sales: $13 billion. James: Cox chief since 1988.

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Hollywood's richest man cashes in on soaring art market. Sold classic drip painting by Jackson Pollock for $140 million in November, largest sum ever paid for single piece. Unloaded a Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning. U. of Texas dropout sorted mail at famed William Morris Agency. Founded Asylum Records 1970, then Geffen Records. Started DreamWorks with partners Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg (see) 1995. Holiday hit with Dreamgirls says he is done with movies. Bid against billionaires Eli Broad, Ronald Burkle (see both) for Tribune-owned Los Angeles Times all lost out to Sam Zell (see) in April. Democratic fundraiser ditching the Clintons for Obama.

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Bearded baron of Chicago real estate now writing headlines. Engineered $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of newspaper giant Tribune Co. in March beat out billionaires Eli Broad, Ron Burkle, David Geffen (see all). Sold real estate investment trust Equity Office Properties to Stephen Schwarzman's (see) Blackstone Group for $39 billion cash in February. Parents fled Poland for America weeks before Nazi invasion. With Robert Lurie (d. 1990), built business buying, selling cheap real estate. Still owns large stakes in Equity Residential and Equity Lifestyle REITs. Other investments: low-income housing projects in Egypt, shopping malls in Brazil, office parks in China.

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Smooth sailing for the admiral of world's largest cruise ship operator shares of Carnival Cruises up 20% since last summer. Now commands 82 ships across 10 brands including Carnival, Princess, Holland America shuttles 7 million buffet-loving passengers around the world each year. Sales approaching $12 billion. Katrina helped hamper business in 2005: storm left 2 ocean liners without a home after access to New Orleans was cut off hurricane fears caused fall and winter Caribbean bookings to dry up. Extended port contract with New Orleans through 2008 in July. Owns pro basketball's Miami Heat.

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Hailed as "igod" on magazine cover for advent of iPhone—slickest, most-hyped gadget ever. Black-clad digi-god suddenly a Dark Angel falling to earth. His creation sells a million units in 10 weeks at $600 instant $200 price cut riles disciples. Gets Tinseltown takedown when he tries to muscle Hollywood as he did music biz NBC Universal pulls shows from iTunes. Result: iFlop for Apple TV. Specter of options backdating still hangs SEC stops at CFO, new ex-pal Fred Anderson—who blames Jobs. New novel by "FakeSteve" (a FORBES writer) depicts him as narcissistic jerk. Options due in October. Adopted by working-class couple, drops out of Reed College, founds Apple in proverbial garage. Fired 1985. Best revenge: One year later he buys Pixar graphics startup from Star Wars creator George Lucas (see) for $10 million. Sells it to Disney 20 years later for $7.4 billion—with a "B"—thanks to heavenly hit list (Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles). In interim had second coming at Apple 1996. Now Mickey's largest individual holder, 6.7% stake worth $4.6 billion׬ times more than the value of his 0.6% bite of Apple. Never mind the setbacks. Still coolest tech superstar ever.

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Son of Texas wildcatter Perry Bass (d. 2006). Struck out on own after Dad passed family oil business to brother Sid (see). Today his Oak Hill Capital private equity firm manages $23 billion. Early investments: St. Petersburg Times, Continental Broadcasting. Sold New York's Plaza Hotel to Donald Trump (see) 1994. Led $700 million leveraged buyout of Duane Reade drugstore chain 2003. This year bought 9 TV stations from New York Times Co. for $575 million. Owns stake in private jet maker Aerion expanding freight outfit Cargo 360 with $1.4 billion order for 6 Boeing 777 planes. Dollars helping dollars: another Oak Hill company, Primus International, major Boeing parts supplier.

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Teamed up with cousin George Roberts (see) and fellow Bear Stearns colleague Jerome Kohlberg (see) to form leveraged buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts 1976. Winning strategy: use junk bonds to buy underperforming companies, rework balance sheets, sell for profit. First billion-dollar deal: Wometco 1984. Kohlberg exited 1987. Best known for famed $25 billion RJR Nabisco buyout 1989. Barbarians at the Gate took Thomas Frist's (see) HCA private with Bain Capital and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity last year for $33 billion. With David Bonderman and James Coulter's (see both) TPG and Goldman Sachs , agreed to buy power firm TXU for $45 billion in cash and assumed debt a few months later deal expected to close later this year. In 31 years firm has invested in 150 companies total transaction cost exceeds $280 billion. Net profits last year: $1.1 billion. Last year raised $5 billion on Amsterdam Stock Exchange for publicly traded limited partnership investing in western Europe. Filed to go public earlier this summer.

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Stanford grad opened doors to eponymous discount brokerage firm in 1971. Client accounts swelled during dot-com craze, then deflated when Internet bubble burst. Relinquished chief executive post in 2003 returned to helm a year later after profits fell. Stock price slipped slightly last fall after Bank of America offered free online stock trades. No problem: reported 8th consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth in April shares flat so far this year despite $2.3 billion stock buyback and $1.2 billion special dividend in August. Dyslexic opened the Charles & Helen Schwab Foundation for children with learning disabilities and ADHD in 1989.

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Studied math at MIT, then Ph.D. from UC, Berkeley. Deciphered codes for U.S. Department of Defense during Vietnam taught math at SUNY Stonybrook after war. Founded Renaissance Technologies 1982. Quantitative hedge fund uses complex computer models to analyze and trade securities. Fees as high as 5% of assets, 44% of profits. Worth the price: a $2.5 million investment in his funds in 1990 would be worth $1 billion today. Hires Ph.D.s over M.B.A.s. Vowed to retire in 2005, can't walk away. Raised $25 billion for institutional fund RIEF last year so far performing below expectations. Raising cash for a new futures-oriented fund that will go live in October.

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Built riches on a marketing surprise. Met partner Gary Burrell (see) met at AlliedSignal, left and founded Garmin in 1989 to make navigation devices for aviation, boating, using newfangled Global Positioning System. Original office: 2 folding chairs and a card table. But U.S. Army servicemen loved GPS during Gulf war (though Garmin never had a military contract), and now in Iraq. In 1998 duo realized GPS could sell to directions-starved drivers on U.S. highways, too. Spouses stop bickering. Shares soared 145% in past year. Revenue: $1.8 billion. Building third plant in Taiwan. Kao: Garmin chief executive donated $17.5 million to U. of Tennessee for science and engineering research.

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Son of Russian immigrants grew up in the Bronx. Became Brooks Brothers clerk left business school to design ties for Beau Brummel 1967. Launched Polo with $50,000 later that year. Sold 28% of company to Goldman Sachs for $138 million 1994 took public 1997. Today classic designs span men's and women's clothing, luggage, house paint, furniture, fragrances new line Rugby now experimenting with "punk meets preppy" for younger generations. Signed exclusive deal with Wimbledon to dress umpires, ballpersons in French navy RLX Tennis duds last year was first time umps didn't sport green in tennis tourney's 129-year history. Collection of European cars was on display at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston: Bugatti, Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Porsche , Jaguar. Son David runs Polo advertising, boyfriend of presidential niece Lauren Bush. Daughter Dylan runs Manhattan candy store.

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Won't this guy ever go public? Gives staff stock options anyway. Construction worker's son built computer from scratch as teenager invented an unbeatable tic-tac-toe game that won him a scholarship to MIT. Studied biophysics. Founded International Data Group 1964 launched trade rag Computerworld 1967. Added magazines MacWorld, PC World, book publishing (For Dummies series), trade shows, Web sites. Sales: $3 billion. Firm's $1.4 billion investment arm has dumped $350 million into China funding $100 million venture capital fund in Korea, $150 million fund in eastern Europe. Personally hands out cash bonuses to all 1,600 employees at Christmas.

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High school dropout drafted by Army 1943, moved to Detroit after WWII. Borrowed $1,800 to buy diner, flipped for tiny profit. Built homes in Arizona real estate market crashed, moved to California. Buyouts: Castle & Cooke (Hawaii real estate), Dole Food (bananas, pineapples). Dole's profits hampered last year by European Union's new banana tariff. Health fanatic funding $1.5 billion research campus in Kannapolis, N.C. dedicated to nutrition. "It's the most spectacular thing I've ever been involved in."

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Medical innovator developed cardiovascular catheter using blowtorch, soldering iron and plastic tubing after stint as an Army surgeon. Founded Cook Group from apartment bedroom workshop in 1963 in Bloomington, Ind. Added pacemakers, syringes, ultrasound, penile grafts now company is the world's largest privately held medical device manufacturer. Estimated sales: $1.5 billion. Rival Guidant proposed $3 billion buyout in 2003 deal collapsed after new drug-coated stent produced dismal results. Expanded into gambling: opened $380 million casino resort in French Lick, Ind. last November. Early riser drives himself to work, arrives at 5 a.m. eats meals in company cafeteria.

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Attorney left law in 1957 to join uncle's glass manufacturing business. Public 1968, bought it back via leveraged buyout 17 years later. Today Guardian Industries is one of the largest industrial glass makers in the world. Sales: $5 billion. Constructing a $260 million float glass plant in Ryazan, Russia. Sports enthusiast owns pro basketball's Detroit Pistons, WNBA's Detroit Shock, hockey's Tampa Bay Lightning. Funded U. of Michigan's William Davidson Institute nonprofit group researches emerging market companies.

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Chairman of ESL Investments kept busy during high school reading corporate reports, financial textbooks. Member of Skull & Bones at Yale took summer job at Goldman Sachs. Snagged early investment from Richard Rainwater. Founded own firm 1988. Pulled off one of the greatest corporate comebacks in history with 2005 merger of Kmart and Sears, Roebuck. Spent several hundred million dollars buying distressed Kmart bonds brought company out of bankruptcy, took public 2003. Shares rose 40% between July 2006 and April of this year down 25% since. Other investments: AutoZone , AutoNation . Client roster includes fellow billionaires Michael Dell, David Geffen, Tisch family's Loews Corp.

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Father, Morris, founded Circle Floor Co. 1919, laid hardwood floors and carpeting for Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden. With brother Seymour (d. 2001), took over business. Sold 1960s built New York real estate empire with profits. Today Milstein Properties owns apartment towers from Battery Park City to the Upper East Side, offices in Midtown, numerous undeveloped lots across Manhattan. Acquired New York's oldest savings bank, Emigrant, for $90 million 1986 assets now $14 billion. Launched Internet banking arm 2 years ago today holds $9 billion in deposits. Son Howard oversees real estate and banking operations. Recently purchased a $145 million stake in Jack Nicklaus' golf course and equipment design company.

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"Accidental entrepreneur" studied chemistry at UC, Berkeley, got Ph.D. from Caltech. Researched weapons propulsion at Johns Hopkins and inadvertently dreamed up the integrated circuit that spawned the PC revolution. One of the Traitorous Eight cofounded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Created chipmaker Intel with Robert Noyce 1968 introduced first microprocessor 3 years later. Coined Moore's Law: components on chip (and hence computing power) would double approximately every two years only recently has this begun to slow. Intel still reigns as world's biggest chipmaker, sales pass $35 billion. Stepped down as chairman emeritus last year. Donated $5 billion worth of shares to Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation in 2000.

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Nephew of late Forbes 400 member Max Fisher (d. 2005) founded real estate outfit Related Companies 1972. Initially focused on building, financing low-income housing moved into riskier luxury buildings in New York. Nearly went bankrupt early 1990s, recovered today company has developed more than $16 billion worth of property across the U.S., including Manhattan's massive Time Warner Center. Met Jorge Perez (see) duo made billions developing Florida condos. Partnership continues via Perez's condo and hotel projects in Latin America. Recently purchased Virgin Megastores North America from British billionaire Richard Branson. Bidding for rights to run Aqueduct, Belmont, Saratoga racetracks. Became chairman of powerful Real Estate Board of New York in January.

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Soft-spoken investor grew up dirt-poor in Yuba City, Calif. father dug sewer trenches. Mormon missionary in New England, then Upjohn salesman 1946. Tinkered with medical devices: patented plastic catheter, disposable surgical mask. Sold Sorenson Research medical business to Abbott Labs 1980 stake now worth $2.7 billion. "I've made a life out of putting a business aspect to my innovative mind. I have always had the courage to take advantage of opportunities when they come my way." Also real estate: 520,000 acres, including entire mountain across from posh Park City, Utah ski resort wind farm in central Utah. Sold video-compression unit Sorenson Communications to private equity firm GTCR for a 9-figure sum in 2005. Dabbling in genomics. CSI: Utah—his Sorenson Forensics unit has lead to arrests in 5 cold-case murder mysteries since opening last year. "It soothes the soul to help people."

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Son of a Texas cotton broker joined Navy, became IBM salesman. Founded Electronic Data Systems 1962. Sold to General Motors 22 years later for $2.5 billion. Created data processing outfit Perot Systems 1988 public 1997. Ran for President twice railed against Nafta, budget deficits. Last year Perot Systems opened a technology center in Mexico, uses offshore labor in 20 countries. Son, Ross Jr., runs Dallas real estate firm Hillwood. Redeveloping 6-million-square-foot Air Force base into industrial complex in San Bernadino, Calif. building 4 million square feet of office, retail, residential space around American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.

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Met partner James Goodnight (see) as a graduate student at North Carolina State. Cofounded SAS Institute 1976, now believed to be largest privately held software maker in the world massive databases, customer analysis, business intelligence. Sales up 13% to $1.9 billion last year. Goodnight owns two-thirds, Sall the rest. At work employees get free candy, day care, 35-hour workweek and scholarships for their kids to attend affiliated Cary Academy. Sall: soft-spoken statistician heads software development.

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Widow of Brooklyn-born investor Preston Tisch. "Bob" with brother Laurence, bought New Jersey hotel in 1946, leased hotels in once posh Atlantic City. Later managed NYC's Drake, Belmont Plaza, Regency. Took control of Loews Theatres 1959 varied interests now include watches (Bulova), tobacco (Lorillard), oil drilling (Diamond Offshore), natural gas pipelines (Boardwalk). Bob served 2-year term as U.S. Postmaster General, eventually co-owner of pro football's New York Giants. Company remains under family control stock up 250% since 2003. Family contributions to NYU exceed $100 million.

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Joined father's Hartz Mountain Pet Products at the age of 21 sold company for $350 million in 2000 to private equity firm J.W. Childs. Began buying land in New Jersey 1960s today owns 38 million square feet of commercial, residential, retail properties from Newark to Jersey City. Also hotels: Manhattan's tony Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand. Plans to redevelop 98-acre site of a former Ford Motor plant in Edison, N.J.

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Budapest-born immigrant fled to Sweden during Soviet occupation of Hungary landed in New York 1958. Learned English from nuns at Holy Trinity School. Started plane brokerage business while studying economics at UCLA disguised his youth by communicating via telegram. With fellow Hungarians Louis and Leslie Gonda (see both) started plane rental outfit International Lease Finance with $150,000 savings, $1.7 million bank loan. Business took off as deregulating airline industry lined up for low-risk leases. Sold to AIG 1990. Has donated more than $100 million to Stanford U. gave $65 million to National Air & Space Museum.

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Salesman's son dropped out of college, took to road selling plush toys. Sold first line of stuffed animals 1986. Beanie Babies hit shelves 1993 created collecting craze. Last year sales down an estimated 30% to $375 million as popularity of bean-filled cuties wanes. Trying to rehab toy business now has licensing deals, partnerships with Nascar, Paramount. Also dolls: recently released Ty Girlz can be registered online to allow kids to shop, take vacations virtually. Owns Four Seasons hotel in New York, resorts in California, Hawaii, Mexico. Recently renovated the Kennedy Cottage at his San Ysidro Ranch in California travelers pay $2,990 per night to sleep in cottage occupied by John and Jackie Kennedy on their honeymoon.

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Tycoon cashing in on the golden age of private equity: sold 18% stake in his Apollo Management for $1.2 billion to California Public Employees' Retirement System, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in July. Mulling chance to sell shares on a private Goldman Sachs exchange, extract more cash. Studied philosophy, history at Dartmouth. Then Harvard M.B.A. Took job at Drexel Burnham Lambert 1980s firm bankrupt 1990, created Apollo later that year. Firm has raised, invested $27 billion across 6 private equity funds. Claimed average annual return: 40%. Agreed to buy casino outfit Harrah's Entertainment for $17.1 billion with Texas Pacific Group. Owns one of country's most renowned art collections: impressionists, contemporary, old masters. Bedford, N.Y. estate features an apple orchard, sculpture garden, reflecting pool.

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Jazz musician's son executed first trade at age 12. Studied finance at Long Island U., went to work in commodities division of Merrill Lynch 1972. Harvard M.B.A. 1973. Traded futures at brokerage CBWL-Hayden Stone left after feud with boss. Founded money management and hedge fund outfit Bridgewater Associates 1975 investment firm claims 13% annual returns after fees. Assets under management: $165 billion. Shuns public markets: "The notion of selling hedge funds is ridiculous." Young employees routinely asked to critique upper-level management.

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Housing market may be heading down the toilet, but chrome and porcelain thrones are still making millions for third-generation chief of Kohler Co. Grandfather founded company 1873 to make cast-iron and steel farming tools and cemetery accessories for Midwesterners. Today empire includes plumbing fixtures and faucets, tile, furniture, cabinets, engines, generators, golf resorts in Wisconsin and Scotland. Sales: $5 billion. Bulk of revenues generated with goods sold through wholesalers, retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's. Now focusing on higher end of market selling cast-iron bathtubs, $3,000 sinks. Yale grad also breeds Morgan show horses.

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Star Wars creator working with fellow billionaire Steven Spielberg (see) on 4th installment of Indiana Jones franchise newest chapter slated for May 2008. Directed first movie, THX 1138, while studying film at U. of Southern California. Then Star Wars: original 1977 film remains 18th-best-grossing movie of all time with $800 million worldwide. Combined worldwide box office of all 6 Star Wars films: $4.3 billion. Combined sales toys, other merchandise even richer: $13.5 billion. Founded Industrial Light & Magic special-effects shop in 1975 now handles trickery for myriad blockbusters (Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean). Moving to TV: 3D animation series Star Wars: The Clone Wars in production, set for 2008 no sale to network yet.

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Son of bingo parlor operator catching up to archnemesis Sheldon Adelson (see) in Chinese gambling mecca Macau. Unveiled $1.2 billion Wynn Macau casino resort last year complex features 600 hotel rooms, 4 restaurants. Studied at U. of Pennsylvania, became keno manager at Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Bought Golden Nugget before building Mirage, Bellagio resorts. Sold Mirage Resorts to Kirk Kerkorian (see) for $6.4 billion in 2000. Took Wynn Resorts public 2002 opened $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas megacasino 3 years later. Now building expansion Encore. Netted $125 million after paying $6-per-share dividend last year shares up 32% this year. Elbowed Picasso's "Le Rêve" just before he planned to sell the painting to hedge fund manager Steve Cohen (see) for $139 million.

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Former exec at real estate syndicate Property Research started storage business 1972 after stopping at warehouse on road trip and learning it was full. Lost potential customers with confusing signs: people thought "Private Storage" meant closed to general public. New name brought them in droves. Today Public Storage nation's largest self-storage company: 2,100 facilities in 38 states and 7 European countries, 132 million rentable square feet. Bought rival Shurgard for $5.5 billion in 2005. Staunch Republican gave $1 million to Schwarzenegger in 2005, $500,000 to ultraright Progress for America last year. Horse racer seeking first Kentucky Derby win.

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Paired up with high school buddy Jay Van Andel (d. 2004) to create Amway, giant direct-seller of cosmetics, nutritional supplements. Entrepreneurial duo opened drive-in diner after stints in the Army. Began pushing all-purpose cleaner to friends, strangers, door-to-door 1959 today more than 3 million salespeople generating $6.3 billion a year under Alticor name. Richard retired 1993 second generation now at helm. Owns pro basketball's Orlando Magic with wife, Helen, has donated more than $400 million to health, education, the arts. Son Dick spent $30 million on failed Michigan gubernatorial bid last fall took heat for laying off workers in job-strapped Michigan while Amway expanded in China during the 1990s.

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Idaho-raised potato king dropped out of 8th grade, left home after feuding with father. Sorted potatoes, raised hogs, saved up to buy first potato field became millionaire by 30. Company developed innovative freezing process 1950s. Today provides a third of the french fries sold around the country. Mulling move to health-food products in response to national witch hunt on trans fats. Sales exceed $3.3 billion. Also runs hefty fertilizer operation, owns stake in semiconductor outfit Microcon Technology. Ongoing controversy: company has cloned cows in past few years. Oldest member of The Forbes 400.

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Fourth-generation head of engineering behemoth Bechtel Group company built Hoover Dam, Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Channel Tunnel. Father, Stephen (see), became company president 1960, chairman 1973 Riley now chairman, chief executive. Both believed to own 20% of company. Sales exceed $20 billion company booked $25 billion in new contracts last year. Recently pulled out of Iraq after completing $2.3 billion in reconstruction work. Other projects: Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Seattle New Doha International Airport in Qatar. Also owns stake in money management firm Fremont Group.

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Third-generation leader of engineering behemoth that built the Hoover Dam and Channel Tunnel. Became Bechtel president 1960 chairman 1973. Son Riley (see) now in command both believed to own 20% of company. Revenues exceed $20 billion company booked $25 billion in new contracts last year. Recently pulled out of Iraq after completing $2.3 billion in reconstruction work lost 52 workers to war since 2003. Other projects: Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Seattle, New Doha International Airport in Qatar. Owns stake in money management firm Fremont Group.

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Son of a grocery store manager spent childhood stacking bread, chasing shopping carts. Joined union local as a box boy at age 13. Tried college, returned home to stock shelves at dad's Stater Bros. store. Rose to store manager, eventually vice president of Stater Bros.' parent, Petrolane. Tried to purchase company via leveraged buyout failed, was fired. Severance: $8,450. Founded investment company Yucaipa 1986 made fortune buying and selling supermarket chains Fred Meyer, Jurgensen's, Ralph's. Often buys distressed operations in poor neighborhoods to pay low prices, avoid bidding wars. Worker friendly: uses union sources to find hidden value in possible takeovers. Internal rate of return from 1985 to 2003: 43% a year. Today manages 4 private equity funds with $6 billion invested across 35 companies. Stakes include Pathmark (grocery stores), Allied Holdings (trucking), Sean John (clothing). Failed to buy Tribune newspaper company with fellow Los Angeles billionaire Eli Broad (see) advised Dow Jones' union during company's negotiations with Rupert Murdoch (see) over sale of Wall Street Journal, other assets to News Corp. Close friend of Bill Clinton former president now a Yucaipa adviser, has a bedroom at Burkle's Beverly Hills mansion.

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Pennsylvania native attended Bowdoin College became stock analyst for Pittsburgh National Bank, started Duquesne Capital Management 1981. Became money man for George Soros (see) 1988 famously orchestrated his boss' billion-dollar raid on the British pound in 1992 with timely short position. Believed to help generate string of 30% returns for Soros' Quantum Fund. Duo parted ways in 2000. Returned to Duquesne Capital, runs No Margin Fund from Pittsburgh. Runs Harlem Children's Zone nonprofit provides educational services to 12,500 children and adults.

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Wisconsin native dropped out of high school later joined family roofing business. Founded first construction supply operation 1982. Today ABC Supply largest supplier of roofing and siding materials to professional contractors in the U.S. with 404 stores. Sales: $3 billion. Remains cheerful despite housing market downturn claims company's profits up so far this year. Donates money to hometown of Beloit, Wis. in effort to help improve city's economic infrastructure, bring in new jobs.

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Dropped out of Harvard Ph.D. program to drive New York City taxi. Studied harpsichord at Juilliard. Started trading soybeans turned $3,000 he borrowed on his credit card into $45,000. Forgot to hedge, lost half the profits. Went to work for Michael Marcus at Commodities Corp. Founded Caxton Associates 1983. His Caxton Global Investments hedge fund has returned 25% annually net of fees since. Assets: $15 billion. Chairman of Juilliard donated 140 original musical scores, sketches by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, to school last year. Created School Choice Scholarships Foundation nonprofit pays high school tuition for needy kids. Recently paid $70 million for a cluster of beachfront properties in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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Son of middle-class wholesaler studied at Stanford brief stint at Goldman Sachs before leaving to run Bass family's $50 million portfolio in 1970, lost money first 2 years. Acquired large stake in Disney 1984 went solo 2 years later to manage personal investments. Cofounded Columbia Hospital Corp. 1987, merged with Tom Frist's (see) Hospital Corporation of America 1994. Made billions betting on oil claims to be the largest individual shareholder of Chevron, ConocoPhillips . Part owner of Pebble Beach golf course.

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Father, William Ziff Jr. (d. 2006), built Ziff-Davis publishing empire (PC Magazine, Car & Driver, Boating). Sold for $1.4 billion in 1994, retired to Florida. With brothers Robert and Daniel (see both) reinvests proceeds via Ziff Brothers Investments: hedge funds, corporate debt, equities. Family trust believed to now exceed $10 billion in assets. Selling shares in Och-Ziff hedge fund in company's impending public offering will remain passive investors, have no voting control over firm's operations.

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Purveyor of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers still making deals. In March sold 50.5% controlling stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media to buyout firms KKR and Permira for $4 billion, over double the $1.7 billion he and partners had paid for it in 2003. His original $270 million bet paid back more than 3-fold made $970 million including fees. "What can I say? I'm a lucky man." Same month closed deal to buy controlling stake (with partners) in A. Jerrold Perenchio's (see) Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, for $13.7 billion. Co-owns controlling stake of Israel's Bezeq Israeli Telecom. In 2001 sold Fox Family Channel, joint venture with Rupert Murdoch (see), to Disney for $5.2 billion. Egyptian-born, Israeli-bred U.S. citizen. Paid $300 million in back taxes on gains from Fox Family sale after IRS probed tax shelter he, others used told Congress that accountants gave him bad advice. Ardent Democratic benefactor for Hillary Clinton. Wrote theme song for Inspector Gadget.

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Sold electronics for father's distribution company after high school. Opened car stereo store 1966. Used superstore concepts to attract customers, thicken margins. Renamed operation Best Buy 1983 took public 1985. Pioneered big-box-store concept: stacked inventory on sales floor, let customers touch merchandise. Today $36 billion in sales, over 800 U.S. stores. Purchased 8-year-old computer-repair firm Geek Squad 2002 for $3 million today all U.S. Best Buy stores have Geek Squad service available.

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Worked construction jobs in Alaska before borrowing a bulldozer on credit and founding his own company in Montana. Grew with federal highway contracts. Rescued bankrupt Morrison Knudsen in 1996. Reorganized, renamed Washington Group International in 1998 lost in bankruptcy after dispute over later acquisition from Raytheon . Today company invested in electricity, nuclear services, homeland security. Personally owns stakes in Montana's regional railroad largest tug and barge fleet in British Columbia Butte copper mine. Yachtsman spends time cruising on his 226-foot yacht, Attessa ship sports a helipad, movie theater, gym, two 2,000hp diesel engines.

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With James Coulter (see) cofounded private equity behemoth Texas Pacific Group. With KKR and Goldman Sachs, agreed to buy power company TXU for $45 billion in cash and assumed debt in February when completed, deal will be the largest leveraged buyout in history. Duo managed money for the Bass family split to start TPG 1992. Bought Continental Airlines for $66 million later sold for $640 million profit. Other hits: Burger King, J. Crew. Agreed to pay $17.1 billion with Leon Black's (see) Apollo Management for Harrah's Entertainment casino company last December purchase will close later this year. Prefer complex deals others shy away from. With affiliates, firm manages $50 billion today. Tinkered with idea of selling stake in company to outside investors this spring put on hold after markets turned downward this summer. Duo are equal partners in TPG. "Bondo" attended U. of Washington, then Harvard Law became a civil rights attorney for Department of Justice. Later studied Islamic law in Cairo speaks several languages. Paid the Rolling Stones to play his 60th birthday party in Las Vegas in 2002.

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Grocer's son developed first shopping center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa 1954 with his 2 brothers. Took General Management public in 1970 real estate investment trust liquidated 15 years later for 100% profit. Relocated to Chicago after brother Martin died 1995, renamed company General Growth Properties. Remains chairman son, John, took reins 1999. Today nation's second-largest REIT owns 200 million square feet across 194 malls and planned communities in 44 states shares up 17% in past 12 months. Company recently gave health insurance, higher wages to shopping center janitors.

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Father, Sam (d. 1971), founded Distillers Corp. 1924, after emigrating from Russia to Montreal. Made fortune smuggling whiskey over U.S. border during Prohibition. Acquired Joseph E. Seagram & Sons 1928. Edgar Sr. took over U.S. operations, brother Charles ran business in Canada. Diversified into other brands: Absolut (vodka), Tropicana (juice). Also stake in DuPont . Son Edgar Jr. staged ill-fated entrance into Hollywood: sold off juice, nylons businesses, bought MCA/Universal for $5.7 billion 1995. Rest of Seagram empire snatched up by Vivendi for $34 billion 2000. Entertainment companies lost family billions Edgar Jr. now runs Warner Music Group . Edgar Sr. succeeded by son Matthew as head of World Jewish Congress earlier this year.

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Cable pioneer founded network that became Home Box Office traded channel with the old Time Inc. for a cable company with 1,500 Long Island customers 1973. Bet became Cablevision . Public 1986 stock up 415% since 2002. Today serves 3 million customers sales nearly $6 billion. Trying to go private: company board rejected family's initial $8.9 billion bid in January, approved $10.6 billion offer 5 months later. Shareholders want more: some investors think price still too low. Other assets include Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, pro basketball's New York Knicks, hockey's New York Rangers.

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Son of beauty queen Estée Lauder, who started selling face creams in 1946 with help of chemist uncle. Company now peddles 27 brands, including Clinique, Aveda, Bobbi Brown, La Mer. Leonard took company public 1995 son William now chief executive. Brother Ronald (see) owns big stakes in Central European Media, Israeli TV served as ambassador to Austria under Reagan. Paid $135 million for 1907 Klimt portrait last year, one of the largest sums ever paid for a painting. Longtime Wharton supporters partnered with business school in February to design personalized executive education program for Estée Lauder employees.

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Son of beauty queen Estée Lauder, who started selling face creams in 1946 with help of chemist uncle. Company now peddles 27 brands, including Clinique, Aveda, Bobbi Brown, La Mer. Brother Leonard Lauder (see) took company public 1995 son William now chief executive. Ronald owns big stakes in Central European Media, Israeli TV served as ambassador to Austria under Reagan. Paid $135 million for 1907 Klimt portrait last year, one of the largest sums ever paid for a painting. Longtime Wharton supporters partnered with business school in February to design personalized executive education program for Estée Lauder employees.

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Built riches on a marketing surprise. Met partner Min Kao (see) at AlliedSignal, left and founded Garmin in 1989 to make navigation devices for aviation, boating, using newfangled Global Positioning System. Original office: 2 folding chairs and a card table. But U.S. Army servicemen loved GPS during Gulf war (though Garmin never had a military contract), and now in Iraq. In 1998 duo realized GPS could sell to directions-starved drivers on U.S. highways, too. Spouses stop bickering. Shares soared 145% in past year. Revenue: $1.8 billion. Building third plant in Taiwan. Burrell retired as cochairman 2004, now chairman emeritus.

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Transformed struggling Univision into world's leading Spanish-language broadcaster. Bought channel for $550 million in 1992 with Latin American partners sold in March to a Haim Saban (see) group for $13.7 billion. "Jerry" began as talent agent for MCA. With Norman Lear (All in the Family), formed Embassy Communications sold programming interests to Coca-Cola for $485 million 1985. Press-shy mogul one of largest landholders in Malibu. Lifelong Republican, campaign finance co-chair for Senator John McCain's faltering campaign for President.

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Former used-car salesman bought Marquette Bank in 1955, sold to Wells Fargo for $1 billion in 2001. Today his shares are worth $1.3 billion. Other investments: PepsiCo , U.S. Bancorp , Marquette Financial. Owner of Minnesota Twins persuaded state legislature to put up money for new outdoor stadium in Twin Cities last year $520 million ballpark slated to open in 2010. Son James runs Twins Sports. Son Robert is chief executive of Pepsi America. Son Bill owns movie production outfit River Road Entertainment recent flicks include Brokeback Mountain, Fur.

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Father, Perry (d. 2006), inherited family fortune created by oil baron uncle Sid Richardson 1959. Passed on to eldest son, Sid, 1968 brother Robert (see) split that same year. Bass Enterprises Production Co. pumps an estimated 8 million barrels of oil and gas a year. Sold stake in firm to Southern Union for $1.6 billion 2005. Now looking for oil in harsh waters of maritime Canada. Sid: known to invest with brother Lee (see) billions of dollars held in Cayman Islands investment accounts. Pals of President George W. Bush guest at White House dinner for Queen Elizabeth earlier this year.

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Started investing as a Harvard undergrad read article in Forbes about Home Shopping Network, became interested in the stock market. Managing $1 million of family's, friend's money by senior year. Convinced by investor Frank Meyer to move to Chicago founded Citadel Investment Group 1990 with Meyer's money. His hedge funds said to have averaged 20% net of fees annually. Assets under management exceed $16 billion. Wife, Anne Dias, worked for investing legend Julian Robertson (see) runs Aragon Global hedge fund. Paid $80 million for Jasper Johns painting "False Start" last year.

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Oklahoma native studied geology at Oklahoma State graduated 1951, worked for Phillips Petroleum for 3 years before striking out on own. Founded Mesa Petroleum 1956 with $2,500. Produced plenty of oil and gas, lots of debt. Sold to Richard Rainwater (see) made name with attempted hostile takeovers of Gulf, Phillips, Unocal. Last year his BP Capital hedge fund made $1 billion in profit betting on crude oil, natural gas, Canadian tar sands. Predicts his next fortune will be made in water owns vast water rights in Texas Panhandle. Also plans to build world's largest wind farm. Son Michael charged with stealing $3,000 worth of fishing equipment in Connecticut last summer. Staple on Republican giving circuit has donated $500 million to charity in past 2 years.

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Grandchild of a.n. pritzker (d. 1986), who, with sons Jay (d. 1999) and Robert, created industrial conglomerate Marmon (sales: $7 billion) and hotel chain Hyatt (735 hotels worldwide). Plan to pass control of empire to Jay's son Tom, cousin Nick (see) and niece Penny (see) collapsed in 2001 family agreed to split empire 11 ways, drawing lawsuit by Robert's 2 youngest children, Matthew and Liesel. Settled for $1 billion. Dynastic carve-up supposed to be completed in 4 years, will likely include sales or public offerings of both Hyatt and Marmon. Sold minority stake in Hyatt to private equity firm Madrone Capital (owned by the Walton heirs) and Goldman Sachs for $1 billion in August.

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Sold houses as a student at Santa Clara U. Expanded into commercial real estate 1960s. Built portfolio erecting campuses for tech titans Apple and Yahoo . Today Sobrato Development owns and manages 100 buildings in Silicon Valley, 8.5 million square feet of commercial space, 8,500 residential units another 400 acres ready for development. Increased demand for prime office space, rising rents pushing up profits as tech companies expand. Tax-efficient philanthropy: donates buildings, office parks to foundations to sell or use.

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Father was a doctor in China family fled during WWII, moved to South Africa. Graduated from high school at 16, a doctor by age 23. Joined UCLA faculty 1980, launched research leading to first human islet cell transplant. Left to commercialize research. Quit first company, VivoRx, after feuding with investors. Founded American Pharmaceutical Partners 1997 invented cancer treatment Abraxane. Company renamed Abraxis BioScience shares down 15% during past 12 months. Holds more than 30 patents with other inventors. Actress wife, Michele Chan, famous for roles on 1980s TV shows.

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Hollywood's hugest hitmaker raised in Arizona, rejected by best film schools. Enrolled, then dropped out of Cal State Long Beach. First movie, Duel, made for TV. Third movie, Jaws, started unparalleled run of blockbusters (E.T., Indiana Jones movies, Jurassic Park, many more) and epic dramas (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan). Last year produced Clint Eastwood's WWII epics, Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers twin bill cost $70 million to make, grossed $175 million worldwide—despite wide critical acclaim. Working on 3 videogames for Electronic Arts .

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Son of Brooklyn developer borrowed heavily, built big, lived large, became a billionaire during 1980s. Eviscerated in 1990 real estate crash stayed flamboyant, embraced reality TV. Now other builders pay him millions to license "Trump" brand. Despite looming housing woes, the Donald's retail, office and hotel business is up. Recently signed Gucci in record lease in New York's Trump Tower Trump Chicago hotel opens December. Annually disputes FORBES' net worth estimate: "I'm worth $7 billion."

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With brother William heads Li & Fung, global outsourcing firm that supplies clothes and accessories to retailers such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Kohl's . Sales: $8.7 billion. Shares up 80% in past year. Grandfather Fung Pakliu started distribution outfit Li & Fung a century ago in Guangzhou, China sold porcelain, handicrafts. Victor earned engineering degrees from MIT Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. William studied engineering at Princeton, then Harvard M.B.A. Duo returned to Hong Kong 1970s. Victor now chairman.

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Former Enron president left firm 1996 uncomfortable with "asset-light" strategy. Bought Enron pipeline business with college chum William Morgan. More pipe from ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil , Shell added Terasen for $5.6 billion 2005. Today operates 38,000 miles of pipeline, more than 150 terminals. This year took company private for $22 billion with management and investors deal backed by Goldman Sachs and Fayez Sarofim (see). Renamed company Knight Inc. Firm's ruptured pipeline spilled 1,500 barrels of oil into upscale neighborhood of Burnaby, B.C. in July company blames city contractor. Flies coach on company time fly fisherman.

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The legal saga of the former AIG chairman continues. In June insurance giant sued "Hank" and former chief financial officer Howard Smith, alleging duo cost company billions after restating earnings last year. Hank forced into retirement by his handpicked board in 2005 following an investigation by then N.Y. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer most of the charges dropped earlier this summer. Runs specialty insurance outfit C.V. Starr firm hired public relations company Esapience to rebuild his reputation P.R. company now suing for unpaid bills. Still controls chunk of AIG shares. Earlier this year rumored to be interested in buying the New York Times Co.

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Stockbroker's son partnered with frat brother to start cable company 1963. Duo split 1981. Later built Continental Cablevision into nation's largest privately held cable concern. Sold to US West for $11 billion in 1996 on condition company remain in Boston. Outfit promptly relocated to Denver took company back, renamed MediaOne. Sold to AT&T for an astounding $58 billion 3 years later׫ times the old price even though he had only increased firm's subscriber base 30% to 5.5 million homes. Today invests via Pilot House Associates owns $200 million stake in Energy Transfer Equity.

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Son of cable investor John Elroy McCaw. Craig, at age 19, finds father dead of a heart attack, watches as dad's partners try to grab family business. Vows to work with only those he truly trusts takes over with brothers Bruce, Keith and John Jr. and transforms company into early cell phone giant McCaw Cellular. Sells to AT&T in 1993 for $11.5 billion. Reinvests profits in Nextel satellite network—then it all collapses in telecom crash of 2000. Now chief of wireless Clearwire . Went public in March, but stock has been volatile. Stake now worth $810 million. Partnered with Sprint Nextel for roaming service.

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Second-generation Greek immigrant studied petroleum engineering at Texas A&M before founding Mitchell Energy & Development 1946. Wildcatter made fortune in north Texas gas fields sold ground to Devon Energy in 2001 for $3.5 billion. Invested proceeds in real estate: Bald Head Island in North Carolina, hotels in Galveston, Tex. Nature enthusiast donated $35 million to alma mater last year to develop physics department.

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Grandchild of a.n. pritzker (d. 1986), who, with sons Jay (d. 1999) and Robert, created industrial conglomerate Marmon (sales: $7 billion) and hotel chain Hyatt (735 hotels worldwide). Plan to pass control of empire to Jay's son Tom (see), cousin Nick (see) and niece Penny collapsed in 2001 family agreed to split empire 11 ways, drawing lawsuit by Robert's 2 youngest children, Matthew and Liesel. Settled for $1 billion. Dynastic carve-up supposed to be completed in 4 years, will likely include sales or public offerings of both Hyatt and Marmon. Sold minority stake in Hyatt to private equity firm Madrone Capital (owned by the Walton heirs) and Goldman Sachs for $1 billion in August.

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St. Paul, Minn. native took first job at age 8 working in father's garment shop. Bought First Premier Bank in 1986, later founded credit card outfit Premier Bankcard, early pioneer in subprime lending. Operations now controlled through holding company United National Corp. Pretax profits: $310 million. Getting richer despite attempts to "die broke." Donated $400 million to South Dakota Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health Services in February gift expected to focus primarily on pediatrics. Friend Newt Gingrich advising health care contributions. Gave another $70 million to convert the Homestake gold mine in South Dakota's Black Hills into an underground science and engineering laboratory. "We believe that this could be one of the great science centers in the world."

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Ohio State Law School dropout started women's sportswear store 1963 with $5,000 loan from aunt. Went public as Limited Brands 1969. Expanded launched Limited Express 1980, bought Victoria's Secret 2 years later for $1 million. Opened first Bath & Body Works 1990. Sales: $10.7 billion. In July sold 75% of Limited Brands operation to Sun Capital Partners and 75% of Express apparel chain to Golden Gate Capital. Stock down 16% in past year. Plans to improve Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works operations, buy back stock, reduce workforce. Supports Jewish causes with wife, Abigail, and Wexner Foundation.

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Sound of silence produces pile of profit for Oregon-born, San Francisco-bred electrical engineer. Played clarinet as child, became fascinated by reed vibrations. Worked at Ampex in high school, on early videotape recording system. Engineering Ph.D. at Cambridge. Founded Dolby Labs in London 1965, relocated to San Francisco 1975. Made fortune with audio-processing systems that eliminate hiss and background noise. Dolby now industry standard for movies, stereos. First blockbusters in 1977: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Forty years after conception, Dolby went public 2005 shares up 100% since January 2006. With wife, donated $16 million for a new stem-cell lab at UCSF. Now polishing 3-D digital cinema technology.

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Attended Lehigh U. worked for aluminum company Alcoa . Bought Chevy dealership. Started Penske Corp. 1969 distributor for GM's Detroit Diesel. Expanded into truck leasing 1970s, diesel engines 1988. Acquired, became chief executive of second-largest U.S. auto dealer United Auto Group 1999. Company renamed Penske Auto Group in July. Currently controls more than 300 retail auto dealerships and 26 collision repair centers.

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Grandchild of a.n. pritzker (d. 1986), who, with sons Jay (d. 1999) and Robert, created industrial conglomerate Marmon (sales: $7 billion) and hotel chain Hyatt (735 hotels worldwide). Plan to pass control of empire to Jay's son Tom (see), cousin Nick (see) and niece Penny (see) collapsed in 2001 family agreed to split empire 11 ways, drawing lawsuit by Robert's 2 youngest children, Matthew and Liesel. Settled for $1 billion. Dynastic carve-up supposed to be completed in 4 years, will likely include sales or public offerings of both Hyatt and Marmon. Sold minority stake in Hyatt to private equity firm Madrone Capital (owned by the Walton heirs) and Goldman Sachs for $1 billion in August.

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Grandchild of a.n. pritzker (d. 1986), who, with sons Jay (d. 1999) and Robert, created industrial conglomerate Marmon (sales: $7 billion) and hotel chain Hyatt (735 hotels worldwide). Plan to pass control of empire to Jay's son Tom (see), cousin Nick (see) and niece Penny (see) collapsed in 2001 family agreed to split empire 11 ways, drawing lawsuit by Robert's 2 youngest children, Matthew and Liesel. Settled for $1 billion. Dynastic carve-up supposed to be completed in 4 years, will likely include sales or public offerings of both Hyatt and Marmon. Sold minority stake in Hyatt to private equity firm Madrone Capital (owned by the Walton heirs) and Goldman Sachs for $1 billion in August.

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Grandson of visionary oil baron John D. Rockefeller focusing on where his fortune will go after he is gone. Pledged $100 million living endowment to Rockefeller University in 2005. Bequeathed another $225 million to Rockefeller Brothers Fund last summer. Lifetime charitable donations approaching $1 billion. Concerns: sustainable development, higher education, medical research. Grandfather, John D., fueled American industrial revolution via Standard Oil. David: former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank. Beetle enthusiast has one of largest collections in world: 160,000 specimens.

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Minnesota farm boy paid way through college working at a print shop persuaded owner to sell for $2 million over 10 years. Paid off debt early, built Taylor Corp. on invitations, stationery, books. Chairman sold portion to daughter earlier this year. Runs budding agribusiness on his Iowa and Minnesota farmland: chickens, liquefied eggs. Former Republican state senator owns pro basketball's Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Former bartender launched early Internet audio and video portal Broadcast.com with Indiana University buddy Todd Wagner (see). Sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion. Used proceeds to buy pro basketball's Dallas Mavericks from Ross Perot (see) in 2000 for $285 million team has been to playoffs every season since. Famous for courtside antics has accumulated $1.5 million in fines for mouthing off to NBA referees. Vying to buy pro baseball's Chicago Cubs from Tribune Co. Building media empire: owns film production, distribution, theater firms. Spends spare time writing blog. Will soon compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

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Native Nebraskan ran discount stock brokerage. Merged with small online brokerage 1995 transformed into Internet powerhouse Ameritrade soon after. Took public 1997. Stopped $6 billion takeover bid by rival E-Trade in summer 2005 bought TD Waterhouse for $1.7 billion a few months later. Today TD Ameritrade executes over 280,000 transactions a day, managing 6.3 million accounts. Feeling pressure from high-profile investors Steve Cohen, Barry Rosenstein (see both) to merge with another rival. Son Pete ran for U.S. Senate last year dumped personal $12 million into bid. Vying for baseball's Chicago Cubs.

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Widow of Brooklyn-born investor duo Laurence Tisch. "Larry" with brother Preston bought New Jersey hotel in 1946, leased hotels in once posh Atlantic City. Later managed NYC's Drake, Belmont Plaza, Regency. Took control of Loews Theatres 1959 varied interests now include watches (Bulova), tobacco (Lorillard), oil drilling (Diamond Offshore), natural gas pipelines (Boardwalk). Contrarian investor Larry known for his bearish pessimism. Wilma transferred large chunks of stock to sons soon after his death in 2003. Company remains under family control stock up 250% since 2003. Family contributions to NYU exceed $100 million.

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Second wife of publisher Walter Annenberg (d. 2002). Inherited half of his $4 billion estate Annenberg Foundation, Metropolitan Museum of Art got the rest. Walter's father, Moses, started Triangle Publications Walter inherited it at age 32, added magazines (Seventeen, TV Guide). Sold publishing empire to Rupert Murdoch (see) for $3 billion in 1988. Served as Ambassador to the Court of St. James under Nixon. Leonore: Stanford grad, U.S. Chief of Protocol under Reagan. This year donated $15 million to "Newseum" in Washington, D.C. $30 million to the Eisenhower Medical Center.

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Father, Perry (d. 2006), inherited family fortune created by oil baron uncle Sid Richardson 1959. Passed on to eldest son, Sid (see), 1968 brother Robert (see) split same year. Bass Enterprises Production Co. pumps estimated 8 million barrels of oil and gas a year. Sold stake in firm to Southern Union for $1.6 billion 2005. Now looking for oil in harsh waters of maritime Canada. Ed spent $200 million building Biosphere 2 project in Arizona 1990s sold with surrounding land to housing developer for $50 million this year, leased laboratory to U. of Arizona.

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New Balance owner hung up sneakers in April after 35 years ceded control to new chief executive, Robert DeMartini, citing desire for a younger, more progressive operation. Remains chairman wife, Anne, is executive vice president. New Balance Arch Co. founded in 1906 to correct orthopedic foot problems. Davis foresaw rise of athletic shoe popularity, bought company on day of Boston Marathon 1972. Built brand shunning fashion trends focused on selling comfort, support. Company holds No. 2 spot in U.S. sneaker market. Sales: $1.5 billion.

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Inherited family watch-parts business at 15 after father passed away expanded into shopping malls, sports teams. Best assets: pro football's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, soccer behemoth Manchester United, 7 million square feet of retail space. Man U.'s operating income has doubled to $175 million in 2 years. Sons manage family assets.

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Harvard Business School grad became friends with Warren Buffett (see) in 1962. Early investor in Berkshire Hathaway today owns 10,000 shares worth $1.2 billion. Founded investment advisory firm First Manhattan 1964 today assets exceed $14 billion. Joined Berkshire board of directors in 2003. Shuns the billionaire lifestyle. Swimmer, serves on board of American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

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Grew up in Illinois and Florida father a residential housing contractor. Skipped college to join Army. Bought used garbage truck in 1962 discovered the power of repeat customers. Turned small trash-hauling operation into waste-management titan WMX. Quit 1984. Bought stake in 19-store video rental chain Blockbuster 1987 expanded, sold to Viacom 7 years later for $8.4 billion. Invested some of the proceeds in resorts sold stake in Extended Stay America to Stephen Schwarzman's (see) Blackstone Group 2004 for $185 million. Owner of pro football's Miami Dolphins hosted Super Bowl XLI in February.

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Borrowed $300 from wife, founded real estate developer Lerner Enterprises in 1952. Made fortune building massive shopping malls in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.: Tysons Corner Center, Tysons II, Wheaton Plaza, Landover Mall, Dulles Town Center, White Flint. Today owns millions of square feet of commercial and retail property, thousands of apartments. Focused on new developments near area's Dulles airport and Tysons II. Going green: buying wind power tax credits for new projects. Owns pro baseball's Washington Nationals runs franchise with son and 2 sons-in-law, spending millions to develop team's farm system.

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Financial genius joined what became Drexel Burnham Lambert 1969. Developed market for high-yield junk bonds, fueled 1980s leveraged buyout mania. Helped fund cash kings of The Forbes 400: Ted Turner, Carl Icahn, Ronald Perelman, Henry Kravis. Earned $550 million in salary and bonus in 1986. Ratted out by fellow arbitrager Ivan Boesky plead guilty to 6 counts of securities fraud 1990. Paid $900 million settlement sentenced to 10 years in prison, released after 22 months. Still actively trades. Investor in education outfit Knowledge Universe company sold stake earlier this year to diversify ownership. Spends majority of time on philanthropy. Charity started early: rode bicycle through San Fernando Valley streets collecting dimes and quarters for American Cancer Society as a kid. Donates to doctors looking for cures for prostate and breast cancers, melanoma, Alzheimer's, diabetes, leukemia, AIDS.

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With Stephen Schwarzman and Hamilton James (see both) took their investment house Blackstone public in June shares down 30% since. Sold just under 10% stake to Chinese government weeks before the offering. Wall Street giant manages $90 billion across private equity, real estate, corporate debt, hedge fund operations. Schwarzman and Peterson cofounded Blackstone Group 1985 with $400,000 since then they have invested in 112 companies, with a total enterprise value of $200 billion. Net profits in 2006: $2.3 billion. Paid $39 billion for Sam Zell's (see) Equity Office Properties in February, then agreed to buy Hilton Hotels for $26 billion in July. Peterson studied at Northwestern, then M.B.A. from U. of Chicago. Commerce Secretary under Nixon, became chairman of Lehman Brothers 1973. Headed the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 2000 to 2004. Shuns The Forbes 400: "There are plenty of people who want to be on the list. I don't." Has earmarked hundreds of millions to charity.

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Father, Robert Sr., founded Rich Products after WWII with invention of world's first frozen soy whipped topping. Diversified into nondairy coffee creamer, frozen breads, cookies, cakes. Robert Jr. studied at Williams College, M.B.A. from U. of Rochester. Became president of company 1978 now chairman. Inherited 60% of privately held company when dad died 2006. Spent much of past few years buying up competitors now investing internally. Built new facilities in Mexico, England, Brazil, South Africa this year. Sales: $2.6 billion. Sports fanatic tried out for 1964 U.S. Olympic hockey team owns Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Penned 2 books on fishing.

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Investment geek uses complex algorithms to capitalize on tiny anomalies in the stock market. Taught computer science at Columbia U., worked at Morgan Stanley before launching hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. from an apartment above a communist bookstore. Assets have swelled from $28 million to $34 billion in 20 years. Recruits heavily, hires selectively only one in 500 applicants makes the cut. Sold 20% stake to Lehman Brothers in March. Delegated day-to-day operations to others to focus on medical research D.E. Shaw Research hires scientists in hopes of making groundbreaking discoveries while reaping financial rewards.

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Minority partner in Russian oil tycoon Roman Abramovich's Millhouse firm created 2001 to manage assets owned by Abramovich and his partners. Duo founded oil-trading outfit Runicom early 1990s. Took control of oil firm Sibneft 1995 sold stake to Russian state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom for $13.1 billion a decade later. Last summer agreed to buy 41% of Evraz, Russia's largest steelmaker. Took drugmaker Pharmstandard public in May personally owns 6% stake worth $150 million. Other investments: Russian meat processor, Moscow real estate. Abramovich gave Shvidler his yacht 2006 Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue) came complete with 65-man crew, helicopter, aquarium, speedboat. Boat was originally purchased from Paul Allen (see).

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Cofounded Kingston Technology 1987 now nation's largest privately held computer memory outfit. Today its USB flash drives and flash cards grace digital cameras, MP3 players. Its DataTraveler Mini-Migo holds 2 gigabytes on a data key fob less than 1 inch long, for $25. Partner John Tu (see): family fled China for Taiwan 1949, later moved to Germany where he studied electrical engineering. Came to U.S. 1972. David Sun: moved to U.S. from Taiwan 1977, worked as chief engineer at Alpha Micro. Pair started first memory-chip shop Camintonn 1982, sold 4 years later for $6 million, then formed Kingston. Nifty turnabout: sold 80% stake to Softbank for $1.5 billion in 1996, then bought it back for only $450 million 3 years later. Revenue: $3.7 billion, up 185% since 1995.

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Cofounded Kingston Technology 1987 now nation's largest privately held computer memory outfit. Today its USB flash drives and flash cards grace digital cameras, MP3 players. Its DataTraveler Mini-Migo holds 2 gigabytes on a data key fob less than 1 inch long, for $25. John Tu: family fled China for Taiwan 1949, later moved to Germany where he studied electrical engineering. Came to U.S. 1972. Partner David Sun (see): moved to U.S. from Taiwan 1977, worked as chief engineer at Alpha Micro. Pair started first memory-chip shop Camintonn 1982, sold 4 years later for $6 million, then formed Kingston. Nifty turnabout: sold 80% stake to Softbank for $1.5 billion in 1996, then bought it back for only $450 million 3 years later. Revenue: $3.7 billion, up 185% since 1995.

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The queen of daytime television continues to expand her empire. Last fall began producing The Rachael Ray Show Food Network sweetheart's gabfest already garners 2.3 million viewers a week. Launched XM Radio channel Oprah and Friends last September. Born in rural Mississippi, became TV newscaster in Nashville, Baltimore. Joined Chicago TV station, turned 3rd-rated morning show into nation's No. 1 talk show. The Oprah Winfrey Show launched nationally 1986 currently airs in 135 countries, drawing 46 million viewers a week in the U.S. Also launched showboating shrink Dr. Phil a producer of the musical version of The Color Purple on Broadway. Donated $40 million to create the Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Previous net worth estimates failed to account for value of Oprah's powerful brand.

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With siblings inherited Getty Oil from father, J. Paul Getty Sr. (d. 1976). Spent 4 years in business sold to Texaco in 1986 for $10 billion. Started Forward Management in 1998, investment firm manages $1.5 billion today Getty the majority shareholder. San Francisco socialite composes operas latest, PlumpJack, was inspired by Falstaff, the spirited knight in Shakespeare's Henry IV plays. Loves the vino: founded Napa Valley winery, also dubbed PlumpJack, in 1992.

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Grandchild of publishing legend William Randolph Hearst. William's father, George, was a prospector, land baron, U.S. senator who "won" failing San Francisco Examiner newspaper as payment for gambling debt in 1880. Only child, William (d. 1951), assumed control in 1887, built nation's largest newspaper chain via sensational "yellow" journalism. Used papers to champion Spanish-American War infamously portrayed by actor Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. Today Hearst Corp. controls newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle), magazines (Cosmopolitan, Esquire), cable networks (stakes in ESPN, Lifetime, A&E), TV, radio stations. William III a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins, invests in companies focused on Web video, fiber optics. Company relocated to $700 million, 46-story "green" tower last year.

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Longtime cable baron abhors taxes, loves dealmaking. Partner to TCI cable founder Bob Magness (d. 1996) sold nation's largest cable company to AT&T in 1999 for $54 billion. Today publicly held holding company, Liberty Media , owns stakes in cable (QVC, Encore, Starz), cell phones (Motorola), online retailing ( InterActiveCorp ). Ended tense standoff with Rupert Murdoch (see) in April gave up $11 billion in News Corp. shares for 39% stake in DirecTV and $550 million in cash. Plans to spin off DirecTV with public offering of Liberty Entertainment. In May Liberty swapped 68.5 million shares it held in Time Warner in exchange for that company's pro baseball Atlanta Braves, craft magazines and $960 million cash.

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Yale economics student wrote senior thesis on what would become Federal Express. Tome focused on improving overnight delivery services using integrated network of planes and trucks. Marine in Vietnam, then worked as crop-dusting pilot. Bought small stake in Arkansas aviation firm. With venture capital and family money launched Federal Express 1973. FedEx revenues exceeded $35 billion last year 6.5 million items delivered daily.

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Son of Montreal tobacco and candy wholesaler studied at Harvard, then Wharton M.B.A. Cofounded Boston Properties with Edward Linde 1970, took public 1997. Shares up 400% since offering. Today portfolio includes 135 commercial buildings: offices, hotels, retail. Sold 5 Times Square office tower for $1.3 billion last November. Also invested in media: owns U.S. News & World Report, New York's Daily News. "I've been a news junkie since I was 13 years old." Unrest: university presidents demanding changes to U.S. News' famed college rankings. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan opened a new research center funded with $100 million endowment from Zuckerman in February. Frequent panelist on Sunday morning chatfest The McLaughlin Group.

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Surfer studied at U. of Southern California, then University of San Diego Law School. Started as an international finance attorney, moved on to invest with Robert Bass (see). Founded Colony Capital 1991, bought up bad real estate loans from fledgling S&Ls. Now owns casinos in Atlantic City, Gulf states and Europe, plus luxury hotels and apartment buildings. Assets under management: $28 billion. With brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta (see both), taking gambling outfit Station Casinos private for $9 billion. Also owns the $3,000-a-night Costa Smeralda resort in Sardinia. Enjoys polo.

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Third-generation grocer's Central Market stores shun big brands like Coca-Cola and General Mills in favor of organic foods, wine and cheese, in-store cafes. Exporting gourmet sensibilities to Mexico's burgeoning middle class. Grocery chain founded 1905 by grandmother to support ailing husband, 3 children out of small house in Kerrville, Tex. Today more than 300 stores in Texas and Mexico. Sales exceed $13 billion 10th-largest privately held company in U.S. by sales. Donates 5% of pretax earnings to charitable causes. Bulking up nongrocery unit to compete with Wal-Mart Supercenters in October introduced program allowing customers to purchase any of 500 generic drugs for $5. Sister, Eleanor, involved with children's charities. Two nephews now in charge: Howard III runs Mexico operations, Stephen leads Central Market. Brother Howard runs family foundation.

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Son of hotel magnate Conrad hilton (d. 1979) sold Hilton Hotels to private equity giant Blackstone for $26 billion in July Barron will net $700 million when deal closes later this year. Initially resisted family business after father offered him management job paying $160 a month. Stint in Navy as photographer WWII came home to work for dad. Rose from elevator operator to president became chairman 1979. Tenacious heir: father left bulk of estate to a charitable foundation Barron waged lengthy legal battle for his cut of fortune, won 1989. Also owns stake in Harrah's Entertainment will reap $300 million when company completes $27.8 billion sale to private equity firms Apollo Management and TPG. Airman flies gliders at his 750,000-acre Nevada ranch.

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Nicholas is tech's bad boy—all 6 feet 6 inches of him. Last year came allegations he used illicit drugs and prostitutes to lure customers, in lawsuit filed in L.A. County, Calif. court by ex-bodyguard over back pay, recalling a 2002 suit threatened by a contractor who alleged he built secret lairs at Nicholas home in Newport Beach and cited his "manic obsession with prostitutes" and "addiction to cocaine and Ecstasy." He denies all charges contractor case settled, bodyguard suit pending. Met partner Henry Samueli (see) while working in chip design at TRW. Formed Broadcom 1991, using Nicholas' spare bedroom to design high-speed telecom chips. Went public 1998. Nicholas unexpectedly quit as CEO in 2003. Now company blames him for stock-options backdating. Restated earnings, cutting 2006 profits $2.2 billion, to $3.7 billion, for 7 years of shenanigans. So what: shares up 260% since public offering.

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Former Marine commands real estate empire via Majestic Realty: owns more than 73 million square feet of commercial property from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Owns stake in Staples Center arena with Philip Anschutz (see) also stakes in pro basketball's L.A. Lakers, hockey's L.A. Kings. Donated $23 million to alma mater USC last year to fund fine arts school serves on board of National Geographic Society.

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Met partner Henry Nicholas (see) while working in chip design at TRW. Duo formed Broadcom 1991 using Nicholas' spare bedroom to design high-speed telecom chips. Went public 1998. Nicholas unexpectedly quit as CEO in 2003 now company blames him for stock-options backdating. Restated earnings, cutting 2006 profits $2.2 billion, to $3.7 billion, for 7 years of shenanigans. So what: shares up 260% since public offering.

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The patriarch of cable news is no longer in the media business. Stepped down as Time Warner vice chairman in 2003, retired from the board last year no longer owns Time Warner stock. "Mouth of the South" getting richer with real estate, food. Largest individual landholder in the U.S. owns 2 million acres in 12 states, plus some ground in Argentina. Owns 50,000 bison restaurant chain, Ted's Montana Grill, serves bison burgers at 51 locations. Has given more than $1.5 billion to charity, including gifts to the United Nations Foundation, Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Turner Foundation. Outdoorsman committed to fighting global climate change.

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Studied French literature at U. of Pennsylvania. Took over Key Pharmaceuticals with partner Michael Jaharis (see), created new delivery systems for old drugs. Sold to Schering-Plough in 1986. Founded Ivax the following year sold drug giant to Teva Pharmaceuticals for $7.6 billion in 2005. Today serves on boards of Teva, American Stock Exchange, Smithsonian. Recently donated millions of dollars to fund a new building for the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University also gave $30 million to the Frost School of Music at University of Miami.

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Parents emigrated from Israel, settled in Flint, Mich. Studied real estate finance at Michigan State spent 20s learning buyout business alongside older brother Alec (see) at Gores Technology Group. Tom split in 1995 to form Platinum Equity rebuilds distressed companies, flips for profit. Today owns, manages 22 companies with combined sales exceeding $8 billion. In July agreed to buy Chicago steel outfit Ryerson for $2 billion. Delusions of Tinseltown grandeur: invests in film firms Crescent Drive Pictures, 360 Pictures executive producer of starlet Lindsay Lohan's latest flick, I Know Who Killed Me.

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Studied law at UC, Berkeley. Bought 80-acre pear and walnut orchard in California, converted into first vineyard. Built Kendall-Jackson into populist wine concern. Today Jackson Family Wines produces 5.2 million cases on 14,000 planted acres. Sales: $520 million. Has spent $250 million building Thoroughbred breeding operation owns 3 Kentucky farms. Also 30% stake in Preakness winner Curlin.

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Child of Samuel Curtis Johnson (d. 2004), great-grandson of salesman who founded floor wax company 1886. Sam took helm 1966 business expanded to cleaning supplies (Pledge, Windex), bug spray (Off, Raid). Estimated sales: $7 billion. Environmentalist Sam sent kids to alma mater, Cornell, before joining family business. Fisk: S.C. Johnson chairman has Ph.D. in physics, M.B.A. working in Kenya, India to establish sustainable, community-based businesses.

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Widow of Samuel Curtis Johnson (d. 2004), great-grandson of salesman who founded floor wax company 1886. Sam took helm 1966 business expanded to cleaning supplies (Pledge, Windex), bug spray (Off, Raid). Estimated sales: $7 billion. Environmentalist Sam sent kids to alma mater, Cornell, before joining family business.

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Child of Samuel Curtis Johnson (d. 2004), great-grandson of salesman who founded floor wax company 1886. Sam took helm 1966 business expanded to cleaning supplies (Pledge, Windex), bug spray (Off, Raid). Estimated sales: $7 billion. Environmentalist Sam sent kids to alma mater, Cornell, before joining family business. Curt: runs industrial cleaning supplies outfit JohnsonDiversey.

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Child of Samuel Curtis Johnson (d. 2004), great-grandson of salesman who founded floor wax company 1886. Sam took helm 1966 business expanded to cleaning supplies (Pledge, Windex), bug spray (Off, Raid). Estimated sales: $7 billion. Environmentalist Sam sent kids to alma mater, Cornell, before joining family business. Winnie: leads family foundation.

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Google's 12th employee built a fortune that started with a game of ping-pong. Was at Netscape when he met Brin and Page (see) in 1999. They invited him over for ping-pong in a garage (of course, it's tech), and he bought everyone dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Now he owns 1.1 million Google shares (to Brin's 31 million) and leads sales and business development. Iranian immigrant got electrical engineering degree at San Jose State, did short stint at Hewlett-Packard. M.B.A. from Stanford, then startups (3DO, Go Corp.), Netscape. Became Google's "business founder" 1999 after Netscaper K. Ram Shriram (see) joined board. Led $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube last year.

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Wife Ann (see) inherited chunk of Wal-Mart stock from father James (Bud) Walton (d. 1995), who cofounded retail giant with brother Sam 1962. Stanley made fortune developing commercial and retail properties. High school sports star owner of pro hockey's Colorado Avalanche, basketball's Denver Nuggets. Also stakes in football's St. Louis Rams, English soccer squad Arsenal 5 ranches across Montana, Wyoming, California, Canada.

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Father, James (Bud) Walton, and his brother Sam ran handful of small 5-and-10 stores in Arkansas and Missouri. Brothers built first Wal-Mart 1962. Nancy inherited large stake after Bud's death 1995. Sold pro hockey's St. Louis Blues last year. Recently purchased a Missouri bank. Founder of New York City's Cedar Lake Ensemble ballet troupe.

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Feisty entrepreneur grew up poor in Portland, Ore. sold magazines, lemonade through Depression. Studied physics at UCLA. Founded, sold aerospace companies Spectrolab, Heliotek 1960s. Funded some of world's most innovative biomed firms: Pacesetter Systems (rechargeable pacemakers), MiniMed (insulin pumps), Advanced Bionics (cochlear implants). Sold parts to Medtronic for an estimated $4.2 billion in 2001. Won back his Advanced Bionics from Boston Scientific in August after the device giant tried to fire him from running the subsidiary. Tinkering with inhaled insulin via MannKind invested $460 million so far, product approval years away. Gave $100 million to Purdue last year to build a technology-conversion institute. Searching for more universities that will do the same several have turned him down because of his strict rules as to how funds should be used.

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Son of J.W. Marriott Sr. (d. 1985), who started root beer stand Hot Shoppe 1927 expanded into catering, restaurants. Opened first hotel, Twin Bridges, 1957. "Bill" and brother Richard (see) parted ways in 1993 amid bondholder protest Richard controls hotel ownership operation Host Hotels & Resorts , Bill heads franchise and property management outfit Marriott International . Created joint venture with chic hotelier Ian Schrager to develop line of hip boutique Marriotts planning kid-friendly hotels with Nickelodeon. Pecks out weekly blog with thoughts on leadership, BBQ sauce recipes.

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With sister, Barbara Gage (see) inherited hospitality, marketing, food, travel empire from father, Curtis Carlson. Dad founded Gold Bond Stamp company 1938 produced trading stamps for grocery store promotions. Today Carlson Cos. own hotels (Radisson, Country Inns & Suites), restaurants (T.G.I. Friday's). Last year travel subsidiary Carlson Wagonlit bought rival Navigant sales now $37 billion. Marilyn runs company Barbara administers family foundation. Marilyn's son Curtis appointed chief operating officer in 2003, resigned this year sued mom, aunt in May, claiming he was cheated out of chief executive position and his cut of profits.

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Slim-fast kingpin raised in Long Beach, N.Y. Joined Army at 18 fought in Italy, France and Germany during World War II. Lesson: "War should be outlawed." Introduced Slim-Fast nutritional supplements 1976. Made fat fortune helping others get thin sold to Unilever in 2000 for $2.3 billion. Recently embroiled in real estate, banking scandals involving friend Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert denies any wrongdoing. Involved in Middle East diplomacy since 1988. "Democracy is a hell of a lot more than elections." Donates heavily to Democrats, Mayo Clinic, Jewish causes.

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Son of a barber earned childhood cash selling popcorn in Minnesota. Played hockey for UCLA, started out earning $14 a week working nights at an aircraft factory. Then earned Harvard M.B.A., Loyola law degree. Became a naval officer during World War II studied for CPA exam in spare time. Founded Ace Beverage 1956 with exclusive rights to distribute Budweiser in parts of Los Angeles. Today distributes beer in L.A., Hawaii (5 islands) and the Caribbean. Added insurance, auto dealerships and real estate. Big supporter of YMCA, Boy Scouts of America. Emphasizes saving: "There are 7 wonders of the world, but the eighth wonder is compounded interest." Turned 90 in September, attributes longevity to 5-mile walks.

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Cofounded commercial real estate investment firm JMB Realty with U. of Illinois roommate 1970. Rebuilt fortune after 1990s real estate collapse via private equity firm Walton Street Capital. Today portfolio includes Chicago's Four Seasons Hotel, MGM Tower in Los Angeles. Feeling lucky: lost out on bid for stake in Las Vegas' Riviera casino last December, won license to build riverfront casino in Philadelphia 4 days later. Prodigious collector of contemporary art also buying up industrial properties near West Coast ports.

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Son of lighthouse operator emigrated from Greece as an infant family settled in upper Manhattan. Studied engineering at NYU dropped out to help friend save family's fledgling supermarket business. Opened first Red Apple grocery store on 87th and Broadway 1969. Owned 10 stores by age 24 made $25 million a year in revenue. Plowed $5 million into Manhattan real estate 1977 property worth $100 million 5 years later. "A total accident. I just needed a place to put all the money I was making." Today his Red Apple Group owns $500 million worth of property New York's Gristedes grocery chain. Obsessed with planes: midlife crisis on 30th birthday led to flying lessons. Bought Roy Disney's (see) Cessna 206, then created airline to haul gamblers from New England to Atlantic City. Bought Capitol Airlines 1983 outfit quickly bankrupt. Stumbled upon Chapter 11 proceedings of United Refining Company while trying to salvage Capitol. Purchased oil refiner's stock for $7.5 million. Today firm owns 372 gas stations, Pennsylvania refinery. Running for mayor of New York City: Friend of Bill plans to spend a few million dollars during 2009 primary, another $50 million if he wins Republican nomination.

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Started working at age 7 to help support family. Helped father, Curly, operate a small lumber mill 1940s. Took Sierra Pacific public 1969 private again 5 years later. Borrowed $460 million to buy 522,000 acres in 1988. Today company is nation's third-largest private landowner with more than 1.8 million acres of timberland, mostly in California. Planning to turn some of his ground into residential developments. Last year bought 147,000-acre Hamilton Tree Farm in Washington State out of bankruptcy. Wears blue jeans, drives Chevy pick-up. Son Mark runs company's finances.

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Grandchild of publishing legend William Randolph Hearst. William's father, George, was a prospector, land baron, U.S. senator who "won" failing San Francisco Examiner newspaper as payment for gambling debt in 1880. Only child, William (d. 1951), assumed control in 1887, built nation's largest newspaper chain via sensational "yellow" journalism. Used papers to champion Spanish-American War infamously portrayed by actor Orson Welles in Citizen Kane. Today Hearst Corp. controls newspapers (San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle), magazines (Cosmopolitan, Esquire), cable networks (stakes in ESPN, Lifetime, A&E), TV, radio stations. Company relocated to $700 million, 46-story "green" tower last year.

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Son of J.W. Marriott Sr. (d. 1985), who started root beer stand Hot Shoppe 1927 expanded into catering, restaurants. Opened first hotel, Twin Bridges, 1957. Richard and brother J. Willard Marriott Jr. (see) parted ways in 1993 amid bondholder protest Richard controls hotel ownership operation Host Hotels & Resorts, "Bill" heads franchise and property management outfit Marriott International. Created joint venture with chic hotelier Ian Schrager to develop line of hip boutique Marriotts planning kid-friendly hotels with Nickelodeon.

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Campbell soup accountant took general manager post at 5-employee pet food firm Iams 1970. Became president, chief executive a decade later bought company 1982. Expanded market share with premium puppy chow focused on nutrition, high-end breeders. Sold out to Proctor & Gamble in 1999 for $2.3 billion. Wife runs Mathile Family Foundation. Also supports entrepreneurship through Dayton business center Aileron, single mothers through Dayton-area program The Glen. Donated $10 million to Ohio Northern University 2006.

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Duke grad cofounded Chesapeake Energy in 1989 with former rival Tom Ward (see). Oklahoma company now 4th-largest natural gas producer in U.S. Diversified: venture capital, hedge funds, commodities trading. Owns 20% stake in pro basketball's Seattle Sonics. Collects wine and maps.

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Wisconsin native started at Honeywell became chief executive of Cisco 1988. Took company public 2 years later, stepped down 1995 remains Cisco chairman emeritus. Stock soared from 1995 briefly world's fattest company by market cap 2000. Plummeted in tech bust but up 185% from $11 low in 2001. Since then Cisco sales up 28%, net profits up 63%, per-share earnings up 160%. With wife, Tashia, gave $50 million to alma mater U. of Wisconsin to fund bioscience research last year. Outdoorsman chairs the Nature Conservancy.

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Native Canadian founded American Assets financial services and real estate firm 1966. Jumped into insurance rose to chairman of Insurance Company of the West renamed Westcorp, became holding company for Western Financial Bank and WFS Financial, one of nation's largest auto finance companies. Bought by Wachovia for $3.9 billion in stock September 2006. Today owns 35.8 million shares worth $1.7 billion stock down 13% in past year. Oversees consumer finance and California banking divisions. Donated $60 million to San Diego's Children's Hospital 2006.

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Dropped out of college to flip burgers. Saved money, invested in oil, real estate. Bought New Frontier Hotel and Casino, 41 acres of land on Las Vegas Strip for $165 million in 1998. Sold 34 acres for $1.2 billion to Elad Group (owners of Manhattan's Plaza Hotel) in June deal the most expensive land sale in Sin City history. Kept 7 acres for condos. Partnered with Donald Trump (see) to build 64-story Trump International Hotel & Tower duo split $500 million. Plans to build a second tower. In August voters rejected a Kansas bill that would have allowed him to install slot machines at his Wichita Greyhound Park. Winner of The Forbes 400 poker game (see story) donated $125,000 pot to American Diabetes Association.

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Grandchild of Homer Stryker (d. 1980), surgeon who invented mobile hospital bed, founded medical supply company Stryker Corp. When son, Lee, died in plane crash 1976, hired John Brown (see) to run firm deployed new sales force, cut costs. Became one of the leading marketers of replacement joints. Public 1979. Aging, active baby boomers boosting bottom line: net profits soared 21% to $778 million in 2006. Third generation controls 30% of company's shares. Jon gave $50 million to charity in 2006, active in liberal politics.

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U. of Oklahoma grad cofounded Chesapeake Energy with former rival Aubrey McClendon (see) 1989. Left last year to buy controlling stake in Texas gas producer Riata Energy. Renamed SandRidge Energy acquired Carl Icahn's (see) oil and gas outfit NEG for $1.5 billion cash and stock. Buying, drilling natural gas wells mulling public offering. Owns stake in basketball's Seattle Sonics, cattle ranches, feedlot operations. Founded White Fields home for troubled boys in Oklahoma.

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Great grandfather (d. 1932) moved from Philadelphia to Chicago to sell soap offered baking powder as incentive. Began offering chewing gum instead of baking powder. Founded Wrigley Company 1891 introduced first spearmint chewables 2 years later. Sent stick of gum to every person in U.S. phone book 1915. Fourth-generation Wrigley now runs the operation. Sales: $4.7 billion. Stock up 25% over past 12 months.

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Uncle Charles (d. 1994) founded investment boutique Allen & Co. in 1922 father, Herb Sr. (d. 1997) joined 5 years later. Herb came aboard 1962. Helped take Google public 2004. Host of famous annual media retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho. Secretive believed to be giving portions of fortune to children.

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Uncle Samuel Slover arrived in Virginia 1900. Offered 50% stake of Newport News newspaper if he halted broadsheet's losses within a year succeeded. Batten studied at U. of Virginia, then Harvard M.B.A. became publisher at age 27. Built Landmark Communications : newspapers (8 dailies), cable (Weather Channel), TV stations. Son Frank Jr. runs family media empire. Donated $100 million to alma mater to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy.

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Met partner Jerry Yang (see) as Stanford grad student, veered off Ph.D. path to form new portal took Yahoo public 1996. Brought in "professional management" (Tim Koogle in 1995, then Warner Bros. chief Terry Semel in 2001). Semel quit under fire this year. Yang became chief executive for first time in June. Tough job: Yahoo (market cap $31.2 billion) is only one-fifth value of Google in 2004 they were neck and neck at $52 billion apiece. Yahoo upside is over 200 million registered users most Google visitors are strangers. Yang born in Taiwan. Filo expanding into China: bought 40% stake in Alibaba.com for $1 billion in 2005 public offering of Chinese business-to-business Web site likely. Yang aims to create a "stronger culture of winning." Filo runs tech.

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Chess-playing Harvard grad got start as dealmaker for Goldman Sachs named partner 1988. Founded J.C. Flowers & Co. buyout shop decade later. With Ripplewood Investments chief Timothy Collins, bought Long Term Credit Bank of Japan in 2000. Renamed Shinsei Bank, cut jobs, fixed balance sheet. Partners reaped $2.3 billion in 2004 public offering. This year agreed to pay $25 billion for student loans firm Sallie Mae . Other investments: NIBC (Netherlands bank), Enstar Group (financial services).

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Payroll rep found niche supplying financial services to small businesses. Created Paychex 1971 with $3,000 and a credit card expanded via franchising, joint ventures. Took public 1983. Left day-to-day operations 2004 remains chairman. Cofounder of the Independence Party of New York spent $90 million of his own cash on 3 failed gubernatorial campaigns claims he no longer has political aspirations. Recently moved into a new mansion on his 38-acre estate in Mendon, N.Y. Donated $750,000 to Veterans Outreach Center in honor of brother Charles, who died in Korean War. Owner of pro hockey's Buffalo Sabres divorced third wife, Heather, earlier this year. "Yes, I'm single."

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Shades maven first hawked motorcycle grips from car trunk 1975. Moved to eyewear 1983. Shrewd marketer built brand enticing hotshot athletes to sport his trendy Oakley sunglasses. Emphasized style, cutting-edge lens technology Oakley glasses are made of polycarbonate material that can withstand a shotgun blast. Now competing with Nike, expanding into sportswear, shoes. Company's headquarters dubbed the "design bunker" for its 600,000-square-foot reinforced blast walls. Agreed to sell company to Italian rival Luxottica for $2.1 billion in June. Deal will close this year Jannard will stay on as "chief mad scientist."

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Emigrated from Korea to U.S. 1955, started Amkor Electronics 1968 as U.S. sales and design partner of father H.S. Kim's Anam, Korean semiconductor maker. Took public 30 years later family still holds 45% of stock. Sales up 30% last year to $2.7 billion. Restated 7 years of finances last summer for backdating of stock options. Former Amkor general counsel awaits trial on insider trading charges. Made second fortune in videogames. With wife, Agnes, started Electronics Boutique retail chain 1977 first mall kiosk sold calculators, digital watches. Sold in 2005 to GameStop for $1.4 billion couple got $375 million. Donates to educational, cultural institutions.

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One of 4 sons of Fred Koch, MIT grad who invented method of refining gasoline from heavy oil. Expanded oil industry in U.S.S.R. 1930s returned home before World War II. Founded Koch Industries, passed on to sons after death in 1967. Bill attended MIT. With brother Frederick, sold stake to brothers Charles and David (see both) for $1.3 billion 1983. Later had buyer's remorse sued duo for larger sum, eventually settled. Reinvested via Oxbow holding company: petroleum coke, coal, natural gas. Sales: $3.7 billion. Art collector owns works by Picasso, Matisse and Renoir.

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Affable buyout maven putting the money men of The Forbes 400 to work. Founded Blue Star hedge fund of funds in 1999. Today outfit believed to be one of the world's best-performing fund of funds said to have returned 43% last year net of fees. Harvard grad built fortune on inheritance. Bought Snapple for $135 million in 1992, sold 2 years later for $1.7 billion to Quaker Oats. Rough spot last year: took Refco public via his Thomas H. Lee Partners. Severed ties with his buyout company after the discovery of fraud and conspiracy at the commodities brokerage. Now does deals through Lee Equity Partners owns stakes in Dunkin' Donuts, Warner Music.

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College dropout became a real estate broker in 1959 founded developer Macklowe Properties mid-1960s. Focused on developing office and residential properties in New York City. Lost Hotel Macklowe to lenders early 1990s scrapped plans to go public 1998 amid market woes caused by Japanese financial crisis. Today Macklowe Properties run with son William. Paid the Trump Organization and Conseco $1.4 billion for Manhattan's General Motors Building in 2003 today building worth $2.9 billion. Purchased 8 buildings from Equity Office Properties portfolio for $6.8 billion in February. Now owns 12 million square feet of office space in New York, developing 2 new office buildings in Midtown.

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Learned lumber business from father, Joe Hardy, who opened first lumberyard 1952 founded 84 Lumber in 1956. "Maggie" took reins in 1992, ceded do-it-yourself market to Home Depot, Lowe's. Today 95% of firm's $4 billion sales comes from professional contractors. Constructing new lumberyards across the Sunbelt. Plans to triple sales by 2009 are being hampered by housing downturn. Owns Nemacolin Woodlands resort in the Pennsylvania highlands.

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Founded investment research firm Morningstar with $80,000 in 1984 cultivated quarterly publication into analysis giant famous for its 5-star ratings. Took public in 2005 shares have tripled since. Company bought InvestorForce's institutional hedge fund and separate account database division for $10 million last summer then added Standard & Poor's mutual fund database for $55 million in March. U. of Chicago grad personally purchased Fast Company and Inc. magazines from Gruner & Jahr for $35 million 2 years ago. Works in cubicle alongside employees.

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Cofounded home improvement emporium Home Depot with Arthur Blank (see) in 1978 after being fired from now-defunct Handy Dan. Took public 3 years later. New concept in home improvement appealed to pro contractors, do-it-yourselfers alike. Active philanthropist hung up his toolbelt 2002 donated $250 million in 2001 to fund world's largest aquarium, in Atlanta.

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Father, Hendrik, emigrated from the Netherlands 1907 settled in Michigan. Worked as barber until Depression reduced clientele. Opened Meijer Grocery 1934 with son Frederik kept prices low. Duo launched Meijer Thrifty Acres in 1962. Store believed to be one of first to offer "one-stop shopping" sold food, general merchandise under same roof. Wal-Mart opened same year. Penny-pinching Frederik took helm following father's death in 1963. Today Meijer operates 181 stores across 5 states. Son Doug is cochairman son Hendrik Jr. is chief executive.

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Warren Buffett's (see) indispensable consigliere. Son of a lawyer grew up in Omaha reading medical journals, Ben Franklin aphorisms. Bred hamsters, traded them to other children. Studied math, physics at U. of Michigan, dropped out to join Army Air Corps. Then Harvard Law. Met Buffett at a dinner party 1959 duo soon began investing together. Became vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway owns 15,000 shares worth $1.9 billion. Obsessed with due diligence, patience disdains excessive executive pay. Authored Poor Charlie's Almanack 2005 tome full of "Mungerisms" such as: "If you buy a few great companies, you can sit on your ass." Nickname: "The Abominable No-Man." Says Buffett: "If we ask Charlie something and he says 'no,' then we put all of our money in it. If he says 'that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard,' then we make a more modest investment."

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Brooklyn-born son of a bricklayer made big bet on 9 West 57th Street, today one of New York City's best commercial addresses building is home to several high profile hedge funds, commands rents of more than $200 a foot. Also owns luxury apartments on Upper East Side. Still waiting on approval to redevelop a parcel on Manhattan's East River into 4 million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space. Avid art collector recently donated 2 floors of a New York City townhouse to Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.

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Grew up in Pittsburgh "Never got an A in high school." Earned M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon. Ran junk bond desk at Goldman Sachs, failed to become a partner. Left to start hedge fund Appaloosa Management in 1992. Fund up 150% in 2003 believed to have averaged 30% returns net of fees since inception. Today manages $7 billion. Negotiations with bankrupt auto parts company Delphi Corp. continue seeking bigger stake in company in exchange for advice, much-needed cash.

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Son of Greek immigrants grew up above family's Chicago grocery store. Developed passion for stock market in teens after investing parents' $5,000 nest egg. First in family to graduate from college joined Air Force, piloted O-2 Skymasters in Vietnam. Earned M.B.A. from Illinois Institute of Technology, became early authority on convertible securities launched investment outfit that eventually became Calamos Asset Management in 1977. Public 2004 shares down 45% since early 2006. Calamos Growth Fund currently lagging behind the S&P 500. Assets under management: $43 billion. "Investing is a lot like flying. You can't avoid risk. But to succeed, you must manage it." Keeps aviation skills honed flying his Marchetti jets.

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HCA founder took nation's largest hospital operator private with Bain Capital, KKR and Merrill Lynch last November. At the time the $33 billion leveraged buyout was largest in history eclipsed by $45 billion purchase of power giant TXU 4 months later. Nashville native served as an Air Force flight surgeon. With father founded Hospital Corp. of America 1968 took public 1969. Merged with Richard Rainwater's (see) Columbia Hospital Corp., stepped down 1994. Came out of retirement to revive HCA during fraud investigation. Still plays large role in strategy. Thrilled to be private: "Thank goodness I'm not in the market now."

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Wharton grad made plastic egg cartons during 1960s before buying a styrene plant 1970. Turned Huntsman Corp. from fast-food container supplier into nation's largest private chemical company via acquisitions. Rising oil prices squeezed profits forced to give up 49% of firm to settle debts with creditors. Took public 2004 personally netted $275 million. Devout Mormon used proceeds to buy land in Idaho, Utah donated rest to cancer research. Sold company to Leon Black's (see) private equity group Apollo Management in July for $10.6 billion after turning down lower offer from Russian-American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik (see). Son Peter expanding Huntsman into Asia son Jon Jr. governor of Utah.

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Korean war vet became sales rep for Miles Laboratories earned law degree at night from DePaul U. Partnered with Phillip Frost (see) 1972, acquired Key Pharmaceuticals. Increased sales from $2 million to $200 million with top asthma drug and cardiovascular patch sold to Schering-Plough for $836 million in 1986. Launched Kos Pharmaceuticals 2 years later, invested $200 million to develop and commercialize cholesterol drugs. Public 1997 dominated market with Niaspan, which raises good cholesterol. Sold to Abbott Labs for $4.2 billion last November added $700 million to fortune. Now oversees private equity firm Vatera Capital focused on life sciences investments. Greek culture enthusiast supports medical and nutrition research at Tufts U.

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Manhattan-born Wharton grad joined father's cosmetics and hair care products company 1958. Eventually took over, developed new contact lens design before selling out to Cooper Labs for $60 million in 1971. Created Vision Cable acquired New Jersey cable licenses, built 230,000 subscriber base in 6 states. Sold operation to Newhouse brothers (see) for $220 million 1982. Later built cell phone outfit Metro Mobile, sold to Bell Atlantic for $2.5 billion 1991. Now lords over natural gas transporter Southern Union with family, owns stake worth $525 million. Current investment strategy: "I give my money to Ron Baron (see) and blindly trust it will go up 15% a year. It usually does."

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Former salesman for Oracle left 1990 after chief Larry Ellison (see) ditched plans to bring Siebel's sales-tracking software to market. Founded Siebel Systems 1993, took public 1996. Struggled through tech downturn, then grudge match vs. Ellison ended badly: Siebel quits, his creation gets sold to Oracle in 2006 for $5.9 billion. Siebel's salve: his stake brings $500 million in cash. Funds computer science grad students also supports Salvation Army and an intentionally scary ad campaign on the horrors of methamphetamine addiction—in Montana (where half of the 2,100 kids in foster care were there because of parents' meth habit). In June donated $100 million to alma mater University of Illinois to create fund focused on alternative energy, bioengineering, stem-cell research.

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Seventh child of Kentucky dairy farmers opened hamburger stand to fund flying lessons after hearing radio broadcast of Lindbergh's 1927 transatlantic flight. Dropped out of U. of Kentucky to follow passion flew Pan Am planes for 10 years. Founded pilot training academy FlightSafety International 1951. Took public 1968 sold to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway 1996. Nanogenarian still drives himself to work each morning. Chairs Orbis International: nonprofit group fights blindness in developing countries, uses DC-10 plane as mobile ophthalmological teaching and surgery lab. Shuns traveling like a billionaire.

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Met partner David Filo (see) as Stanford grad student, veered off Ph.D. path to form new portal, Yahoo. Took public 1996. Brought in "professional management" (Tim Koogle in 1995, then Warner Bros. chief Terry Semel in 2001). Semel quit under fire this year. Yang became chief executive for first time in June. Tough job: Yahoo (market cap $31.2 billion) is only one-fifth value of Google in 2004 they were neck and neck at $52 billion apiece. Yahoo upside is over 200 million registered users most Google visitors are strangers. Filo expanding into China: bought 40% stake in Alibaba.com for $1 billion in 2005 public offering of Chinese business-to-business Web site likely. Yang aims to create a "stronger culture of winning." Filo runs tech.

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Second-generation Greek-American born in Detroit, raised in Pasadena, Calif. Studied business and economics at Michigan State. Graduated to real estate 1962. Sold land at busy intersections to oil companies to set up gas stations. Today privately held Arnel & Affiliates owns, manages 5,200 apartments and 2 million square feet of commercial space. Founded private equity firm Westar Capital 1987 invests in pet products (Doskocil), coolers (Igloo), auto technology ( Amerigon ). Former U.S. ambassador to Spain raising money for John McCain's presidential run enjoys sailing, skiing, hunting.

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Sultan of sound formed firm 43 years ago, yet today it thrives on the latest in iPod speaker docks, home theater systems, noise-killing headphones. Sales: $2 billion. He started repairing radios in high school to help family after WWII hurt his father's import business. Earned Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT, stayed on faculty. Began research in hi-fi sound. Founded Bose Corp. 1964 first contracts with NASA, U.S. military, to improve radio communications. Built brand on groundbreaking loudspeaker design. Owns 60% stake wears name tag to office so employees know who he is. Enjoys badminton. Will leave fortune to independent research institute.

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Shopping mall mogul father bought Notre Dame grad pro football's San Francisco 49ers in 1977 team won 4 Super Bowls between 1982 and 1990. Eddie Jr. forced to exchange team with sister Denise DeBartolo York for large stake in Simon Property Group following federal bribery conviction in 2000. Today owns 15.5 million SPG shares worth $1.5 billion. Back in the game: new sports agency represents quarterback Troy Smith, last year's Heisman Trophy winner. Ohio native still focused on real estate developing $1.4 billion worth of apartments, shopping centers across the U.S. Other holdings: pizza, water pumps.

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Alpha dog at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers funded famed tech pups in 1990s— Intuit , Amazon, Netscape. But Google, decade later, made him truly rich. KP's $12.5 million investment in 2001 now at $12 billion. Doerr's own Google stake: $1.2 billion. Studied electrical engineering at Rice U., then Harvard M.B.A. Invested $1.4 million in a few nerds from Stanford 1980s—Sun Microsystems. Next big idea: green tech. Also fights poverty, AIDS in Africa.

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Son of poor preacher worked at local 5-and-10 store in high school. Later spent days managing TG&Y discount store, nights making wooden frames in garage with wife. Opened first Hobby Lobby store with $600 loan 1970. Sales now $1.8 billion. Highly religious: keeps stores closed on Sundays, plays contemporary Christian music in background. Last year donated $11 million electronics plant to the late Jerry Falwell Liberty U. founder converted building into new law school and church. Has delivered more than 300 million copies of gospel to children in 100 countries through the Book of Hope ministry.

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Argentinean-born son of Cuban parents started out as urban planner moved into low-income housing development. Met partner, Stephen Ross (see) cofounded Related Group of Florida 1979. Built affordable housing 1980s, later switched to high-end condo construction. Has constructed 55,000 apartments in Florida since 1982. Recently smacked by stagnating Miami market estimated 2007 sales down 33% from last year to $2 billion. Expanding into Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando. Also Latin America: developing $3 billion worth of properties across 15 projects in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico. Democratic donor supporting Hillary Clinton's presidential bid.

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Brusque money manager sold Heine Securities to Franklin Resources for $670 million and 5-year employment contract in 1996. Now runs private MFP Investors assets under management exceed $1 billion, much of it his own money. Head of Rupert Murdoch fan club: firm will earn $36 million when media tycoon's buyout of Dow Jones is finalized.

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Indian-born financier created shop bot Junglee sold to Amazon in 1998. Worked for Netscape, Amazon before creating venture firm Sherpalo in 2000. Early investor, board member of Google has sold more than 3 million shares since 2004 public offering still owns 1.7 million shares worth $870 million. Today backs Indian, U.S. tech outfits: 24/7 Customer, Frontline Wireless, Zazzle.com. Sold online classifieds site StumbleUpon.com to Ebay this year owns similar Indian site Naukri.com.

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Former Sotheby's chairman spent 9 months in jail on price-fixing charges in 2004. Tell-all account of prison experience, Threshold Resistance, was released this April. Sold off controlling stake in art auctioneer 2005. U. of Michigan dropout made first fortune in shopping malls. Public 1992. Today Taubman Centers real estate investment trust owns 23 malls in 11 states. Son, Robert, now in charge. Active philanthropist interested in funding research on cures for diabetes and Lou Gehrig's Disease.

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Son of cattle brokers left U. of Iowa one semester short of degree to start PC maker with older brother Norman in 1985. Gateway rose to 4th-biggest player, shipped in Holstein-cow-patterned boxes in homage to origins. Norman, now 53, quit 1991 as Dell (see) direct-mail biz forced Gateway job cuts, store closings fell off The Forbes 400. Gateway, peak $30 billion market cap year-end 1999, sold to Acer for $710 million in August. Ted turned to hedge funds, real estate via Avalon Capital. Funds Genographic Project: uses DNA data to study human origins.

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Banking big shot got start as a runner for Bear Stearns 1955 earned $150 a month. Cash-strapped newlywed lived at mother's Brooklyn home during the week with wife, Joan finally moved out when Joan was 8 months pregnant. Became president of American Express 1983. Created insurance behemoth Travelers Group through acquisitions, then merged with Citicorp in 1998. Citigroup now one of world's largest financial services companies. Remains chairman emeritus. Committed $300 million to Cornell U. in June, chairman of Carnegie Hall has managed New York theater's endowment from $2.3 million in 1991 to $300 million today.

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Former high school football coach started selling life insurance 1967 to supplement income. Scored big with simple philosophy: "Buy term and invest the difference." Opened A.L. Williams & Associates 1977. Pioneered the exclusive selling of term life insurance, sent swarms of sales "termites" out to attack rivals' market share. Sold to Primerica 1989 today stake in Citigroup worth $985 million. Donated millions of dollars to evangelist Jerry Falwell's Liberty University 1990s.

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Father, Sidney, ran family's shoemaking operation, invested in Florida real estate. Ed preferred the limelight. With dad, bought Miami TV station in 1962 for $3.4 million. Took over 1971. Dropped NBC affiliation in 1989, revamped as tabloid news station heavy emphasis on crime, consumer stories. Later added 2 competing Boston stations. Today son Andrew manages real estate investments: 4.5 million square feet of commercial property, mostly in Broward County, Fla. Has no plans to diversify: "I don't plan to cash out. That's for my heirs to worry about."

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Hedge fund guru grew up in Raleigh, N.C. father worked in real estate. Studied literature at Middlebury College. Hired as fishing-boat captain by former NYSE board member Walter Frank Wall Street veteran encouraged him to go to Columbia business school. Founded Moore Capital in 1989 returned 86% in first year on savvy bet that Gulf war would drive up oil prices. Assets under management: $13 billion. Last year returned 16.7% after fees (25% of profits, 3% of assets). Recently opened new Canadian office run by refugees of Amaranth, the trading outfit bankrupted by $6 billion losing bet on natural gas last fall. Hunter stalks game on 453-acre Robins Island in Long Island's Peconic Bay. Tied the knot in February with longtime girlfriend, art consultant Gabrielle de Heinrich Sacconaghi.

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Accountant's son born in Kenya, moved to India at age 11. Studied engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, took programming job in U.S. at Tata Consultancy Services 1976. Earned M.B.A. from U. of Michigan founded info-tech outsourcing firm Syntel with wife, Neerja Sethi, while in school. "I'm genetically not wired to be an employee." Went public 1997 shares up 63% in past 12 months. Sales: $270 million. Card player represented India in bridge world championship 1995 enjoys running, yoga.

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Family escaped Soviet Union after revolution, settled in Iran. Immigrated to U.S. at age 15 with $800. USC grad worked as a Motown Records exec before turning to real estate 1973. Today Olen Properties owns 6.4 million square feet of commercial space and 11,800 residential units in L.A., Las Vegas and Florida. IRS claimed magnate owed $77 million in back taxes and penalties last year settled for undisclosed amount. Son, Andrei, died 2005 in car crash daughter, Natalia, donating to Russian orphanages in foundation bearing Andrei's name.

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Father, Joseph, ran pharmacy in Brooklyn. Stewart took over after dropping out of law school 1975, moved to Queens. Today Kinray's highly automated operation supplies more than 3,000 independent pharmacies in 8 northeastern states. Sales: $4.4 billion. Rumored to be shopping company to rivals. In 2005 purchased 25-room Hamptons mansion, Burnt Point, for $45 million uses spread to entertain celebrity friends with lavish summer barbecues. Donated $1 million to New York chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation in June.

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Yale grad dreamed of being a writer. Lawyer's son parked cars at racetrack in Monmouth, N.J. Summer job on Wall Street. Landed job at Rothschild 1976 cleaned up messes left by Drexel Burnham junk bond financings as a bankruptcy specialist. Founded W.L. Ross & Co. in 2000. Made fortune investing in troubled steel and coal companies. Sold stake in one of his buyout firms to Amvescap for $375 million last year. Now buying up auto parts companies. Collects contemporary Chinese and Vietnamese art acquired during visits to offshore factories.

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Vied with Warren Buffett (see) over girls in high school 2 became lifelong friends. Studied civil engineering at Colorado State went to work for father's employer, Kiewit Construction (now Peter Kiewit Sons'). Became chief executive 1979. Pushed company into telecom, fiber optics, power plants. Retired 1998, still chairman Level 3 Communications . On Buffett board at Berkshire Hathaway. Owns 25% of Omaha Royals minor league baseball team. Patron of Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha: "People like warm, fuzzy things."

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Workaholic sign seller dropped out of U. of Nebraska to join Merchant Marine Academy. Served in South Pacific during WWII. Took over family's Whiteco Industries 1946. Expanded 5-person operation into vast billboard and real estate empire. Sold billboard division to Chancellor Media Corp. for $960 million 1998. With partners sold off 100 hotels to billionaire media mogul Robert Johnson for $1.7 billion last summer. Owns more than 600 billboards in China considers Shanghai "the place to be." Also owns apartment communities from Denver to Danbury, Conn. Airplane junkie recently purchased a Falcon 7X jet.

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Met partner Peter M. Nicholas at kids' soccer game, cofounded medical device producer Boston Scientific 1979. Expanded into catheters, balloons, stents. Founders stepped down from daily management 2004. Fortune dwindling amid bad publicity, legal woes. Shares down 50% since early 2006, forcing partner Nicholas from The Forbes 400. Won showdown with rival Johnson & Johnson to buy heart device maker Guidant for $27 billion last April. Victory soured as Guidant forced to recall thousands of defective heart defibrillators company recently agreed to pay $195 million to settle resulting lawsuits.

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Former scientist Buck fronted family friend Fred DeLuca (see) $1,000 to open Pete's Super Submarines 1965. Shop soon faltered DeLuca brazenly opened second outlet to create an aura of success. Today there are 28,198 Subway shops in 86 countries much of company's success can be attributed to infamous Jared commercials claiming formerly obese airline worker lost 245 pounds eating only Subway sandwiches.

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Founded asset management firm trust Company of the West 1971. Company incrementally acquired by French bank Société Générale. Today owns 3 million shares. Also 550,000 acres of Florida timberland, stake in 1,800-acre golf resort in Cabo Del Sol. Leads W.M. Keck Foundation.

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Former scientist Peter Buck (see) fronted family friend DeLuca $1,000 to open Pete's Super Submarines 1965. Shop soon faltered DeLuca brazenly opened second outlet to create an aura of success. Today there are 28,198 Subway shops in 86 countries much of company's success can be attributed to infamous Jared commercials claiming formerly obese airline worker lost 245 pounds eating only Subway sandwiches. Last year franchisees launched class suit against DeLuca alleging he uses marketing budget to drive up total sales at expense of franchisee profits. Reportedly building "Destiny": the biosustainable city in South Florida will have a sustainable energy source and room for 150,000 people.

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Alternative asset manager became billionaire alongside Michael Novogratz and Peter Briger Jr. (see both) in February with public offering of Fortress Investment Group . Former Lehman Brothers partner founded Fortress in 1998 with Robert Kauffman and Randal Nardone. Novogratz and Briger joined 4 years later. Today firm's private equity, hedge fund, real estate operations manage $43 billion. Shares down 45% since offering, keeping Kauffman and Nardone off The Forbes 400. Group sold minority interest to Japanese investment firm Nomura for $890 million last December has also earned more than $100 million in net cash payouts since 2005. Studied finance at Oregon State, led private equity division at Black Rock Financial. Then Lehman. Now Fortress chief executive manages private equity, publicly traded alternative investment businesses.

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High school dropout joined Marines in WWII trained as television repairman on GI Bill. Launched cable biz with $1,500 in 1956: built 5-channel system in Liberty, N.Y. Rapidly consolidated cable franchises. Sold to Time Warner for $2.8 billion in 1996. Now invests via Granite Associates: hedge funds, real estate, private equity, Time Warner stock. Spent millions of dollars building performance hall on site of original Woodstock concert. Funds environmental, educational, medical causes.

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Cable-hating digital dish lovers swear allegiance to Hubbard. His father, Stanley Eugene (d. 1992), created one of first commercial airlines in U.S. it went bankrupt. Dad moved on to build radio station 1923. Added TV 1948. Son "Stub" took over 1981, built direct-satellite TV biz with U.S. Satellite Broadcasting. Public 1996 sold 3 years later to Hughes/DirecTV for $1.3 billion. Latest project: ReelzChannel, movie info and trivia channel. Debuted year ago in 30 million homes. Says TV still beats the Net: "If you want to reach a mass audience, there's no other way to do it."

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Played shortstop for pro baseball's Detroit Tigers farm team. Opened first Little Caesars pizza joint in 1959 after injury ended career 40 stores by 1967. Based franchise on Ray Kroc's McDonald's : cheap ingredients, fast service, drive-up windows. Business lagged early 1990s ditched frozen cheese, refurbished stores. Today sales exceed $1.5 billion. Bought Tigers franchise in 1992 team played in World Series last fall. Also owns pro hockey's Detroit Red Wings. Wife, Marian, owns Detroit's MotorCity casino.

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Former MIT professor got rich on wireless patents. Now they get him in trouble. Founded Qualcomm 1985 for CDMA scheme in cell networks. Patent fees are now 84% of profits. In June Broadcom won federal lawsuit alleging Qualcomm abuses power at international standards body in August appeals court sided with Broadcom right to sue. Remains chairman. Son Paul runs company. Irwin has sold 13.5 million shares in past two years. Benefactor to San Diego causes: symphony, art museum, university.

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Widow of Al Lerner (d. 2002), who made billions in credit cards via MBNA, brought professional football back to Cleveland. Sold to Bank of America in 2005 for $35 billion in cash and stock. Family's shares of BofA now worth $2.6 billion. Son Randolph (see) active Cleveland Browns owner bought Birmingham, England soccer club Aston Villa for $120 million last September.

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Son of Al Lerner (d. 2002), who made billions in credit cards via MBNA, brought professional football back to Cleveland. Sold to Bank of America in 2005 for $35 billion in cash and stock. Family shares of BofA now worth $2.6 billion. "Randy" active Cleveland Browns owner bought Birmingham, England soccer club Aston Villa for $120 million last September.

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Auto mechanic's son dropped out of law school to sell cars in 1950, owned 1st dealership by age 25. Built string of car lots across native Texas before founding radio station giant Clear Channel with Lowry Mays 1972. Still owns 4.8 million shares worth $180 million. Onetime owner of Minnesota Vikings cashed out in 2005, selling team for $600 million and netting $350 million profit. Money now reinvested in oil, real estate, more car dealerships.

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Born in Paris on the eve of WWII family moved to Montreal, then California late 1950s. Sold flowers on Los Angeles street corners. Built mortgage lender Ameriquest by forcefully selling mortgages to homeowners unable to get traditional bank loans subprime giant fell apart well before this year's lending meltdown. Closed 230 retail offices, fired 3,800 employees in 2006 after agreeing to pay $325 million to 49 states to settle predatory lending charges additional wolfish lending allegations later surfaced. Sold company for undisclosed amount to Citigroup in September. Other assets: oil, Southern California real estate. U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands raised more than $12 million for President Bush's reelection.

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Paid college tuition repairing vending machines, working hotel night shift became a loan processor. Purchased Mission West real estate investment trust in 1997. Today manages 7.8 million square feet across 110 properties. Silicon Valley office space houses Apple, Microsoft. Investing in technology that removes carbon dioxide from coal-burning plants, cancer research. Considers funding only ideas that can make him at least $250 million. "Otherwise you get into these small companies that eat up all your time and don't go anywhere."

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Hero of hardware cofounded Home Depot 1978 do-it-yourself giant fired chief executive Robert Nardelli in January amid concerns over stagnant stock price. Started chain with partner Bernard Marcus (see) after getting fired from now defunct Handy Dan Improvement Center. Handed out dollar bills in the parking lot of first store to lure customers. Took public 3 years later. Retired 2001. Sales: $91 billion. Owner of pro football's Atlanta Falcons forced to juggle off-the-field distractions this summer quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges in August.

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Transformed from Hollywood mogul to Internet maven in past decade. Kept blunt, fearsome style intact. Spent 3 decades in Hollywood then quit News Corp. 1992 to be owner, not employee. Now controls Internet mélange IAC/InterActiveCorp: 60 brands including Ask.com, Citysearch, Gifts.com, iNest, Evite, CollegeHumor, RealEstate.com, Ticketmaster, LendingTree.com. Unique monthly visitors: 153 million. Split off travel Web sites operation Expedia in August 2005 (TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Hotwire). Wealthy developer's son went to Beverly Hills High School, dropped out of UCLA for job in mailroom at William Morris Agency. "I read the entire history of the entertainment business." Later became an executive at ABC (1960s), Paramount (1970s), then—for Rupert Murdoch—created Fox Broadcasting Co. (1985), a then unheard-of 4th major network. Now on the Net, missed MySpace and YouTube revolution.

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Texas farmboy bought first bank in 1975 for $1.2 million, later sold with other banks for $100 million. Biggest windfall: with Ronald Perelman (see), sold California's Golden State Bancorp to Citigroup for $6 billion in stock 2002. Today owns Citi shares worth $1.1 billion. Looking for another score via Fremont General with partners, investing $80 million in the California bank. Other investments include AmeriCredit and Triad Financial (auto finance), McMoran Exploration (oil and gas). Southern Methodist U. alum donated $20 million in 1997 to build new football venue SMU Mustangs now play at Ford Stadium. Owns cattle ranch in New Mexico, Hamptons mansion.

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Israeli immigrant raised in Flint, Mich. First job at GM. Founded Gores Technology Group buyout firm 1987 after selling computers out of his father's basement. Prefers to buy divisions of technology firms. Opened to outside investors 2003. Today owns 11 companies through 2 private equity funds, telecom outfits including SER Solutions, First Communications. Brother Tom (see) runs competing Platinum Equity.

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Father, Louis, started hawking peanuts and popcorn at sports events 1915 grew into massive sports concessions business. Jeremy took over upon father's death 1968, transformed Delaware North into global player in food and hospitality. Sales: $2.1 billion in 2006. Owns pro hockey's Boston Bruins became NHL chairman in June. Also stake in lucrative New England Sports Network regional channel supplies Red Sox games to Boston and beyond. Provides hospitality services to London's Wembley Stadium venue will host first NFL game outside North America this month. Recently lost bid to operate New York race tracks. Donated $1 million to cancer research last year.

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Captained 1964 Cotton Bowl-winning University of Arkansas Razorbacks football team. Earned M.B.A., joined father's insurance firm. Moved to energy: struck gas in first 13 wells drilled 1970s. Bought pro football's Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $150 million team worth $1.2 billion today. Parted ways with head coach Bill Parcells last year. Latest obsession: Cowboys Stadium. Air-conditioned, 100,000-seat venue originally slated to be built for $650 million total cost will now exceed $1 billion. Covered overrun by selling $300 million in real estate. Retractable roof will keep iconic hole design, presumably so God can still watch his favorite team. Also invested in poultry, cattle.

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Green's the thing now, says this renowned venture capitalist and vegetarian. John Doerr's (see) doppelganger at Kleiner Perkins studied engineering at Indian Institute of Technology, earned biomedical master's at Carnegie Mellon, M.B.A. at Stanford. Cofounded electronic design automation company Daisy Systems early 1980s, then joined Andy von Bechtolsheim, Scott McNealy, Bill Joy to form Sun Microsystems. Chief executive for short stint, became full-time investor 1986. Later joined fellow Sun-backer Doerr. Profited on Juniper Networks , Cerent, Corvis. In 2004 formed Khosla Ventures to fund "science experiments."

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Harvard M.B.A. left Bear Stearns in 1976 to start leveraged buyout firm KKR with Henry Kravis and George Roberts (see both). Bought undervalued companies using debt, cleaned up balance sheets, sold for big profits. Left 1987, missed out on famed $25 billion takeover bid for RJR Nabisco. Founded Kohlberg & Co. 1987. Retired 1994 son James now in charge.

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Star mutual fund manager buying back his Marsico Capital Management 6 years after selling it to Bank of America for $1.1 billion $2.7 billion deal will close later this year. Assets under management: $96 billion. Started career at Boettcher & Co. 1979. Moved to Janus 1986 hoped to buy firm, go public. Bolted when plans faltered 1997 launched Marsico Capital later that year. Avoided tech bust by selling dot-com stocks early, bet on companies with predictable earnings. Owns stakes in UnitedHealth Group , Wynn Resorts, Goldman Sachs.

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Sold Cogen Technologies, then the nation's largest privately held power company, to Enron for $1.5 billion in cash and stock in 1999 sold all of his shares before energy giant's bankruptcy in 2001. Owns pro football's Houston Texans, majority stake in Stonerside Stables, home of the Kentucky Derby. Sold 106-acre spread in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for $19 million.

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Witnessed wildcatter dad's discovery of 6-billion-barrel East Texas megafield at age 10 gushing plume of oil inspired "Tex" to join family business. Studied petroleum engineering at U. of Texas. Served in Navy during WWII. Became partners with dad, ran company's day-to-day operations. Acquired one-third of massive Madden Deep natural gas field in Wyoming 1972 field grosses at least $2 million a day. Owns ranches on 20,000 acres on Fort Worth's Barnett Shale. In no hurry to expand says drilling rigs too expensive right now.

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Dartmouth grad earned law degree from Southern Methodist U. 1978. Practiced bankruptcy law in Dallas, left to invest in oil and gas 1984. Started Chief Oil & Gas decade later. Bet early on Fort Worth's Barnett Shale natural gas field sold out to Devon Energy and Crosstex Energy for $2.6 billion cash 2006. Now runs oil drilling outfit Chief Operating.

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Dropped out of NYU to work on Wall Street, took job in mail room of Philipp Brothers. Met long-term partner Pincus Green built Phibro into world's largest commodities firm. Created spot oil market 1968, founded Marc Rich & Co. 1973. Fled to Europe 1983 after being indicted for manipulating U.S. oil system, trading Iranian crude during 1980s hostage crisis, evading $50 million in taxes. Pardoned by President Clinton 2001. Claims to have renounced U.S. citizenship, holds Spanish passport received honorary degree from Bar-Ilan U. in Israel earlier this year.

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Russian émigré and former cabdriver made first fortune bartering fertilizer and oil with Soviets in 1980s. Reinvested in real estate. Today owns 7 office buildings in Manhattan 1-million-square-foot office tower in downtown undergoing extensive renovations. New Trump Soho condo hotel development recently announced. Son, Alex, became president of the Sapir Organization last year dad remains chairman, checks in often from his penthouse overlooking Acapulco Bay in Mexico or his Versace-accented yacht. Plans to house vast ivory collection in famed Duke-Seamans Mansion next year.

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Son of wealthy Egyptian cotton farmer earned Harvard M.B.A. before founding Fayez Sarofim & Co. investment bank 1958. A buy-and-hold specialist, "The Sphinx" made fortune on long-term investments in Philip Morris, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble . Early Intel investor's blue-chip stock fund continues to struggle assets under management down 21% to $33 billion over past year. Son Christopher, 40, now father's heir apparent. Sits on board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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Older brother Melvin (see) left native Brooklyn for Midwest, ended up in Army. Sold encyclopedias, spent time as a leasing agent. Herb, made fortune covering the country with shopping malls. Duo runs Simon Property Group REIT owns or operates nearly 260 million square feet of leasable space at 380 properties in North America, Europe and Asia. Market cap: $50 billion. Married former Miss Universe Porntip Nakhirunkanok in 2002.

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Stock car maven attended first auto race at age 8 promoted events on dirt track in Midland, N.C. as a teen. Opened Charlotte Motor Speedway 1960. Founded Speedway Motorsports , took public 1995. Now controls 6 Nascar racetracks, stake worth $1 billion. Still works out of a modest sales office on the showroom floor of one of his 175 car dealerships uses a fleet of 4 jets to watch races across the globe. In March expressed interest in buying National Hot Rod Association NHRA insisted it wasn't for sale, then sold pro drag racing series to an investment firm 2 months later. Ridiculous compensation: Speedway granted Smith a $1.5 million bonus in part for repaying the millions of dollars in loans he owed the company.

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Bored lawyer changed careers, created early Internet video outfit Broadcast.com with partner Mark Cuban (see). Sold to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion company isn't visible today. Went Hollywood. With Cuban, owns stakes in 2929 Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theatres, HDNet, Lion's Gate. Sold domestic rights for indie flick We Own the Night to Sony for record $11.5 million in May manly mob drama stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg. Believes a few eco-entrepreneurs will become billionaires: "Someone who will figure out how to capitalize on these environmentally friendly trends in the coming decade."

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High-tech hitmaker and startup addict: Silicon Graphics 1982 Netscape 1994 Healtheon (now WebMD ) 1996. Took each public. Cashed out before all of them tumbled in bubble-burst. Reinvested in Neoteris (computer security), MyCFO.com (wealth management), Hyperion Development Group (Miami real estate). Owns 40% stake in photo-sharing site Shutterfly stock up 70% since public offering September 2006. Not bad for a college prof: Got his start teaching at Stanford.

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Disney's days on the Forbes 400 may be numbered: filed for divorce from wife of 52 years in January. Once finalized, Patricia Disney will likely receive half of Roy's fortune. Nephew of entertainment pioneer Walt Disney started as a film editor. Led 2-year battle to drive out longtime chief executive Michael Eisner supported Eisner's successor, Robert Iger, in exchange for an office and an honorary title. Private investment arm, Shamrock Holdings, invests in hotels, entertainment, Israeli insurance companies. Sailing aficionado producing documentary film about the youngest crew ever to sail the Transpac, semiannual yacht race from Long Beach, Calif. to Honolulu.

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Boston native cofounded storage titan EMC in 1979, Took public 7 years later. Chief executive till 1992. Smart market timer: sold most of his EMC stake in tech boom, quit as chairman in 2001. Got start flying helicopters in Korean War, then worked at Lockheed Martin , Honeywell, Intel. Served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland during President George W. Bush's first term. Paid fine for exceeding campaign contribution limits in 2001 continues to fight IRS claim he used an illegal tax shelter. Paid $62 million last spring, sued for full refund IRS demanding more: $13.6 million.

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Parents Donald and Doris founded music-and-jeans store the Gap in San Francisco 1969 opened 6 new stores in first year. Public 1976. Parents handed control of company—and nearly half of their stock—to Robert and brothers John and William (see both) 2004 shares down 15% since. Today company boasts 3,100 stores across 4 brands (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime). Sales: $16 billion. Robert became interim chief executive in January following the resignation of Paul Pressler former exec failed to revive fledgling Gap brand.

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Leslie survived labor camp during Holocaust wife, Susan, escaped Auschwitz. Fled Hungary for Switzerland 1945 moved to Venezuela 1947, California 1963. With son Louis (see) and friend Steven Udvar-Hazy (see), started International Lease Finance 1973 acquired, rented airplanes. Public 1983 sold to American International Group 7 years later for stock. Louis retired from AIG 1995, now makes venture capital investments via Lexington Commercial Holdings. Father and son duo said to have donated roughly $250 million to various Israeli universities, UCLA, Georgetown, Mayo Clinic.

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"Bob" studied at Columbia U., then Harvard Business School. Joined packing firm Rand-Whitney after marrying Myra Hiatt, daughter of founder. Bought company 1970s founded wood and paper trader International Forest Products later in 1972. Today Kraft Group includes investments in real estate, private equity, New England Revolution soccer team. Bought troubled New England Patriots football franchise in 1994 for then record $172 million. Team now worth $1.2 billion. Won Super Bowls in 2002, 2003, 2005. Opening $500 million, 1.3-million-square-foot Patriot Place on land adjacent to Gillette Stadium shops, hotel, office space.

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Legend holds that Anne's great-grandfather Samuel Burk Burnett won famed 6666 Ranch in Texas in high-stakes poker game. Truth: he bought a herd of 6666-branded cattle 1875, then struck oil 1912. Anne inherited family's land, earnings, oilfields upon death of her mother 1980. Art collector founded 13,000-square-foot museum devoted to Georgia O'Keeffe 1997 houses 1,149 paintings, drawings, sculptures. Husband John once chairman of Sotheby's North America. Owns homes in Palm Springs, Jackson Hole, Santa Fe.

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Wharton dropout had first score with Triangle Industries' acquisition of National Can 1985 sold company for $4.2 billion 1988. Bought Snapple from Quaker Oats for $300 million sold company 3 years later to Cadbury Schweppes for $1.5 billion. Known for obsession with due diligence, efficiency. Last year persuaded Heinz to spend $300 million firming up famed ketchup brand stock up 5% since. Stepped down as chief of buyout firm Triarc Companies in June received $50 million in compensation, remains director. Outbid for Burger King by Texas Pacific Group in 2002. Owns roast beef sandwich chain Arby's trying to buy fast food joint Wendy's .

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Attended Northwestern U. on football scholarship sold insurance for 5 years after graduating. Founded Pat Ryan & Associates insurance firm 1964 sold policies directly through car dealerships. Salesmen became well known for clean-cut image. Merged with Combined International in 1982 renamed Aon Corp. 5 years later. Grew via acquisitions publicly traded company now nation's largest reinsurance broker. Shares up 25% in past 12 months. Sales: $9 billion. Serves as executive chairman, owns stake in pro football's Chicago Bears. Working to bring Summer Olympics to Chicago in 2016.

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After bosses at San Jose State U. turned down proposal for his adult education program, John, humanities professor with Ph.D. from Cambridge, left to start for-profit University of Phoenix 1976. Took public as Apollo Group 1994 today one of nation's largest private university systems. More than 300,000 students working to complete over 100 programs for associate's, bachelor's, master's degrees in classroom or online. Son, Peter (see), serves as senior vice president. Sales: $2.4 billion. Profits dwindling shares still up 60% since November. John closed pet-cloning business: "Not commercially viable."

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Grandchild of John T. Dorrance, inventor of condensed soup process. Passed on Campbell Soup business to son, 3 daughters. Third generation still owns about half the company all on board but not involved in day-to-day management. Last October Campbell agreed to sell healthier foods to schools now offers low-calorie, low-sodium soups. Also pledged to stop advertising to children products that do not meet nutritional standards.

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Harvard M.B.A. held posts at Hasbro , Keds, Procter & Gamble, FTD, Disney, Bain & Co. before landing Ebay's chief auctioneer post in 1998. "Meg" steered company through Internet boom, then bust, by sticking with loyal trading communities and original goal: "create an environment in which ordinary people could be successful." Moved beyond auctions today company owns Shopping.com, Web-phone outfit Skype. Exploring online classifieds with Ebay-created "Kijiji." Bought 25% stake in madly popular Craigslist in 2004. Teamed up with Chinese auctioneer Tom Online two companies set to rule online ads in China. Sold Ebay shares for the first time since 2003 this year stock up 25% in past 12 months.

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Maryland native's father died young raised by football-fanatic mother. Spent high school summers mowing lawns, babysitting, pumping gas. Graduated from Salisbury State. Started Aerotek with $3,500 and furniture purchased from Goodwill company provided engineers to aerospace industry. Today owns large chunk of Allegis Group, nation's third-largest staffing firm. Places workers in aviation, mining, banking, construction jobs. Estimated sales: $5 billion. Cigar aficionado bought majority stake in pro football's Baltimore Ravens 2004. Media shy: "I wouldn't mind being the least-known owner in the NFL."

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Son of Norwegian immigrants grew up poor in Oregon. Bought 3 donkeys for $75 at age 15 a week later saw an ad for pack mules selling at double the price. "Rebranded" his animals, made 200% profit. Skipped college, failed as professional songwriter. Made first fortune with investment in timberland. Bought Montana land for $140 an acre, swapped for ski slopes near Big Sky. Developed Yellowstone Club: 13,400-acre resort with private ski mountain, golf course. Expanded into Yellowstone Club World today memberships start at $1.5 million. Still owns timberland, development properties in Palm Desert writes songs for own record label, distributed by Warner Bros. May soon fall from The Forbes 400: divorcing wife of 25 years, Edra once finalized, she could receive as much as half of his fortune.

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Tennessee farm boy spent childhood growing corn, raising pigs and dairy cows. Left to study chemical engineering at Auburn U. Worked as processing engineer at aluminum company. Took job at Bristol-Myers Squibb , spent time in product management, personnel ran manufacturing section and surgical instruments division. Took over Stryker Corp. after Lee Stryker died in a plane crash 1976. Turned small medical-instruments company known for selling hospital beds and cast cutters into dominant manufacturer of artificial hips, knees. Hobbies: reading newspapers, donating to educational causes. Staunch Democrat credits his politics to modest upbringing: "I still have fond memories of what FDR did for us."

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Creator of original chicken sandwich fired up first grill 1946. With brother Ben served Ford factory, airport workers round the clock, 6 days a week. Poultry executives approached Cathy with discounts on leftover chicken breasts too big for Delta meal trays. Oversize chicken sandwiches became trademark. Food-court pioneer opened first Chick-fil-A at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta 1967. Scarred by Depression, keeps debt to minimum. Sales: $2.3 billion. Devout Baptist keeps stores closed on Sundays, enforces strict Christian corporate code. Advises employees, franchisees to "base your business on biblical principles." Owns a Batmobile from Batman Returns.

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Computer salesman-turned-entrepreneur sold house for $150,000, borrowed another $10 million to buy sewer-and-drain company Conco. Today holding company Heico operates 40 companies with combined sales of $2.5 billion funnels cash straight into next buyout, usually near-bankrupt Rust Belt manufacturers. "My goal is to keep profits down and cash flow up." Tried to sell pro basketball's Memphis Grizzlies to group led by former players Brian Davis and Christian Laettner deal soured after group failed to produce cash needed to buy the team.

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Former leveraged buyout titan returns to The Forbes 400 after a 2-year hiatus. Son of radio station entrepreneur spent early years spinning records. Then U. of Southern California business school. First buyout 1977: Atlas Architectural Metals for $4 million, sold 6 years later for $16 million. Made fortune in soda: bought Dr Pepper, Seven-Up for $45 million, flipped 2 years later for $700 million. Acquired radio stations sold to Clear Channel for $17.1 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt. Badly burned during dot-com bust. Bought pro baseball's Texas Rangers from group including George W. Bush 1998. Famously signed Alex Rodriguez to 10-year, $252 million contract, traded to New York Yankees 2 years later team still paying some of third baseman's salary. Also owns pro hockey's Dallas Stars. With partner, bought Liverpool soccer squad for $900 million in February investing $1 billion to develop various Dallas real estate projects.

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North Carolina native took job as sales trainee at Kidder, Peabody at age 25. Became chief of firm's money management operation 17 years later. Quit to form Tiger Management firm became world's largest hedge fund 1990s. Fortune crushed after suffering 2 years of losses when tech bubble burst. Returned cash to investors in 2000, fund now manages his money only. His Tiger Foundation has donated $58 million to fight New York City poverty. Owns vineyards in New Zealand.

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Staunch conservative with political clout inherited over $200 million from mother in 1965. Great-grandson of Richard Beatty Mellon, heir to T. Mellon & Sons banking fortune bank itself no longer in family hands. Invested in media: owns Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper, Pennsylvania radio stations. Aids right-wing policy via think tank Heritage Foundation also supports Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

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"The Boss" ran track at Williams College graduated 1952, became an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue universities. Joined father's Cleveland firm Kinsman Marine Transit in 1957. Bought out dad 1963 company later became American Ship Building. Invested in Broadway plays, then baseball. Purchased New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million in 1973 franchise now worth $1.2 billion. The most controversial, meddlesome owner in sports changed ball club's manager 20 times in his first 23 seasons has won 6 World Series titles. Footing most of the bill for new $800 million Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Best asset: YES Network. Regional cable channel rumored to be mulling public offering could fetch more than $3 billion.

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Bartender's son raised in Illinois housing projects sold life insurance, worked construction jobs to pay for studies at Southern Illinois U. Founded long-distance and telecom provider Excel Communications 1988, took public 8 years later with $1.4 billion in sales. Sold to Teleglobe for $3.5 billion in 1998 (later sold to VarTec, which went bankrupt in 2004). Reinvested in stocks, bonds, horses co-owns WinStar Farm in Kentucky. State-of-the-art breeding and training grounds home to Horse of the Year candidate Any Given Saturday. Devout Christian sponsors sons' nationally competitive basketball teams provides jerseys, equipment, rides on his private jet to tournaments. Coordinated basketball game between son's 5th grade team and jockeys raised money for an injured jockey.

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Watch the video: Freddie Jackson - You Are My Lady Official Video (October 2021).