Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# Steve Bechtel

Random fact: Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990.


Bechtel is chairman emeritus of Fremont Group, a family investment vehicle that invests in closely held and publicly traded companies, and real estate. He was chairman of San Francisco-based Bechtel Group, which has worked on more than 25,000 construction projects globally, including Hoover Dam and the Hong Kong airport.

As of Sept. 22, 2017:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 91
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Steve Bechtel'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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:


Birthdate: 1925
Family: Married, 5 children
Education: 1948, Stanford Graduate School of Business, MBA 1946, Purdue University, Bachelor's Degree

Stephen Bechtel was born in San Francisco in 1925. His father, Stephen Bechtel Sr., became president of the family's construction and engineering company in 1933 after Warren Bechtel, who started the business in 1898, died while traveling abroad. His grandfather's death came at a critical time for the company: concrete was being poured for the Hoover Dam, then Bechtel's biggest project. The construction of the dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the border of Arizona and Nevada, was completed in 1936.

Stephen Jr. landed his first job at age 15 as a sweeper for Lorimer Diesel Engine in Oakland, California, according to Bechtel's company website. He enrolled at the University of Colorado in 1943 and transferred to Purdue University, where he completed a bachelor's degree in engineering. He graduated with an MBA from Stanford University in 1948, and started working on a pipeline project in Texas for the family business. During the next decade, he moved around the U.S. and Canada with his family working on several Bechtel projects.

Stephen Jr. succeeded his father as president of Bechtel in 1960. He presided over projects such as the construction of the Washington D.C. Metrolines, expansion of Los Angeles International Airport and the Palabora copper mine in South Africa, one of the largest on the African continent. The company also built the Channel Tunnel, connecting the U.K. and France, and oversaw the cleaning up of Three Mile Island. He handed over leadership of the company to his son, Riley, in 1990, and became chairman emeritus of Fremont Group, a closely held investment company majority-owned by the Bechtel family.

Bechtel served on six presidential committees under U.S. presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He's also a member of the Bohemian Club, a male-only private-members club, which hosts an annual summer retreat at Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre campground in Monte Rio, California, attended by U.S. politicians and business executives.

Bechtel lives in San Francisco with his wife Betty. The couple has five children.

  • 1898 Warren Bechtel starts namesake construction and engineering company.
  • 1925 Stephen Bechtel is born in San Francisco.
  • 1935 Father becomes president of Bechtel following death of Warren Bechtel.
  • 1940 Starts first job as sweeper for Lorimer Diesel Engine in Oakland, California.
  • 1946 Completes bachelor's degree in engineering at Purdue University.
  • 1948 Graduates with an MBA from Stanford University.
  • 1960 Succeeds father as president of Bechtel.
  • 1990 Hands leadership of the company to his son, Riley.