Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# Austen Cargill

Random fact: Finished doctorate degree in fisheries ecology from Oregon State University.


Cargill is a shareholder of Cargill Inc., the largest closely held company in the U.S. The Wayzata, Minnesota-based business produces agricultural and industrial products and services, and supplies food and beverage ingredients, meat, poultry and salt. The company had sales of about $110 billion in the year to May 31, 2017.

As of June 18, 2018:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Basic Materials
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 65
Wealth Inherited
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Relative Value

Austen Cargill's net worth of can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

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Confidence rating:


Birthdate: 2/1951
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Oregon State University, Doctorate Degree University of Minnesota, Bachelor's Degree

Austen Cargill was born in 1951, the second of three children born to James Cargill and his wife Mary Janet. He's the great-grandson of William W. Cargill, the founder of Cargill, who started the commodities business with one grain storage warehouse in Conover, Iowa, in 1865. His siblings are Marianne Liebmann and James R. Cargill II.

The billionaire inherited his Cargill stake after his father died in 2006. He finished a bachelor's and master's degree in marine biology at the University of Minnesota, followed by a doctorate in fisheries ecology from Oregon State University. His thesis, submitted in April 1984, addressed the role of lipids in the nutrition of shredding aquatic insects.

He started working for Cargill in 1984, becoming the company's first executive for food safety. He founded the company's Worldwide Total Quality Program, later renamed the Business Excellence Group. He also served as vice president of research and development before retiring in 2001.

As a shareholder, Austen was part of a group of younger Cargill family shareholders who advocated for a corporate restructuring in the 1990s as a way to keep the company from having to hold an initial public offering, according to a Cargill corporate history by Wayne G. Broehl. He was an advocate, along with his siblings, for pulling back power from non-family management over Cargill operations during this period, according to Broehl.

Cargill lives in Livingston, Montana, and is married with two children.

  • 1865 W.W. Cargill, son of Scottish sea captain, starts namesake company.
  • 1951 Austen Cargill is born, the middle of three siblings.
  • 1984 Starts working at Cargill, becoming company's first executive for food safety.
  • 1984 Receives doctorate in fisheries from Oregon State University.
  • 1998 Cargill invents starches and sweeteners to bolster trading profits.
  • 2003 Cargill's earnings pass $1 billion for the first time in company history.
  • 2006 Inherits Cargill stake after father dies.
  • 2011 Cargill spins off Mosaic to fulfill charitable bequest of Margaret Cargill.