Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#147 Thomas Frist $9.68B

Random fact: Brother Bill was a U.S. Senator who served as Majority Leader.


Frist controls about 19 percent of HCA Healthcare, an administrator of almost 300 hospitals and surgery centers in the U.S. and U.K. The Nashville-based company is publicly traded, employs 37,000 doctors and provides services to more than 27 million patients per year. HCA reported revenue of $41.5 billion in 2016.

As of April 26, 2018:
Last change +$137M (+1.4%)
YTD change +$678M (+7.5%)
Industry Health Care
Biggest asset HCA US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 75
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Thomas Frist's net worth of $9.68B 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

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Frist's fortune is derived from an 18.4 percent stake in HCA Healthcare, a publicly traded health services administrator. He controls the shares through Nashville, Tennessee-based Hercules Holding II, a limited liability company whose investors include the billionaire's two sons. According to HCA's proxy form filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March 2017, Frist and his sons own 68.9 million shares of HCA. Frist is credited with all shares to reflect his status as co-founder. 

HCA has almost 300 hospitals and surgery centers in the U.S. and U.K. and its 37,000 active physicians serve more than 27 million patients, according to the company's website. 

Frist also has personal investments comprised of HCA share sales and dividends, including a one-year payout of more than $500 million in 2012. Ed Fishbough, a spokesman for HCA, confirmed Frist's HCA holdings and said Frist's holdings outside of HCA were valued at $2.71 billion as of May 6, 2016.


Birthdate: 8/12/1938
Family: Unknown, No children
Education: 1965, Washington University School of Medicine, MD 1961, Vanderbilt University, Bachelor's Degree

Thomas Fearn Frist Jr. was born on Aug. 12, 1938. His father was a cardiologist in Nashville. "Tom" got a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University before earning an M.D. from the Washington University School of Medicine. He served as a military flight surgeon after medical school.

He founded Hospital Corp. of America in 1968 with his father and Jack Massey, who was an early investor in the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain and, later, in Wendy's. The company became one of the earliest for-profit health-care operators in the country.

Frist became president of HCA in 1977, and, a decade later, its chairman and chief executive officer. He served as the company's chairman upon the merger of HCA with Columbia in February 1994, and later as vice chairman, following the company's April 1995 merger with HealthTrust. He returned as chairman and CEO of the company in 1997, a role he held until January 2001.

In 2006, he helped orchestrate the privatization of HCA for $31.6 billion, then the largest leveraged buyout in history, with money from Merrill Lynch, KKR, Bain Capital and the Frist family. The company sold shares in an initial public offering about four years later.

Frist is the founder of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, a United Way offshoot that promotes philanthropy. He's also the chairman of the Frist Foundation, his family's Nashville-based charitable arm, and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, also in Nashville.

  • 1938 Thomas F. Frist Jr. is born in Nashville.
  • 1961 Graduates from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
  • 1968 Founds Hospital Corporation of America with his father and Jack Massey.
  • 1969 Sells shares of Hospital Corp. of America in an initial public offering.
  • 1989 Takes HCA private for the first time.
  • 1992 Sells shares of HCA in a public offering, the company's second IPO.
  • 1994 Merges HCA with Columbia and retains chairman title.
  • 1995 Becomes vice chairman of Columbia/HCA following merger with HealthTrust.
  • 2006 Takes company private with Merrill Lynch, KKR and Bain Capital.
  • 2011 Company sells shares in a third initial public offering.