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These Are the World’s Richest Families

The Waltons are branching out into NFL ownership and music festivals, breaking with their historical thrift.

Here’s what it’s like to be born really, really, really rich in America.

When word broke that Rob Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune, was eyeing the Denver Broncos, lesser billionaires — mere 10-digit ones — were ready to throw in the towel. National Football League owners spoke excitedly of a bid staring with an F — at least four bill, maybe five — and fawned in August when his group sealed the record $4.65 billion purchase.

Weeks later, 30-something Walton heirs hosted Rufus du Sol at their own version of Coachella, an attempt by a younger generation of the family to raise the profile of the sleepy town where Walmart is headquartered. The festival site is encircled by bike trails, part of a Walton push to rebrand the town as “mountain biking capital of the world.”

Just a short drive away, another Walton heir, Alice, has on display at her museum an original print of the US Constitution, on loan from another billionaire, Ken Griffin.

What would the famously penny-pinching Sam Walton think?

The Waltons, long reserved and discreet about their vast fortune, are stepping out as never before. Sixty years after the founding of Walmart, the clan is pouring money into a range of new pursuits, with the apparent aim of making money — and having some fun.

For the fourth year in a row, the Waltons top the list of the world’s richest families with a net worth of $224.5 billion. That’s almost $14 billion less than 13 months ago as soaring inflation whittles down Walmart’s margins and dissuades shoppers. They’re hardly alone in seeing their fortune shrink: The world’s 25 wealthiest families are collectively worth $1.5 trillion, a $143 billion decline from last year in a sharp reversal of the upsurge in riches that typified the pandemic era.

Most of these families’ fortunes stem from long-held companies based in Europe, North America and Asia. The list excludes first-generation billionaires and isn’t definitive. Some widely-dispersed family fortunes, such as the Rockefellers’, are too difficult to track.

Regardless of region or industry, few family fortunes have been spared from 2022’s market turmoil.

The wealth of the Lauder family behind cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is down by a third, while the Belgian clans behind brewer AB InBev, the Dassaults of France and the Cox media dynasty have each lost more than a quarter of their fortunes. Even record revenue at Fidelity Investments couldn’t prevent a 34% dive in net worth for its founding family, the Johnsons.

Still, these dynasties, some centuries old, have persisted through recessions, shocks and wars. They are built to endure. “Surviving a war or the great depression — these are things that instill certain skills and practices,” said Eric Becker, co-founder of multi-family office Cresset. “There’s a mental toughness, a survivability.”

For the Waltons, the impact would’ve been greater had they not doubled down on diversifying in recent years. Today, about a quarter of the family fortune is invested outside of the retailer, in venture capital, real estate and index funds.

“Diversification is almost universally one of the things that ultra-high net worth families are focused on, and correctly so,” said Paul Majerus, a business owner strategist at BMO Private Bank.

The volatile commodities market has been a boon for some. The Cargill and MacMillan families, whose grain and beef giant’s revenue surged 23% to a record $165 billion in fiscal 2022, added $13.6 billion to their fortune in the past year. The Kochs, of refining and pipelines conglomerate Koch Industries, and the Saudi ruling family have both gained billions from soaring energy prices.

Families whose fortunes derive from closely-held businesses have fared better on average than those whose main asset has been directly subject to the punishing whims of this year’s public markets. Sheltered somewhat from investor anxieties and more flexible with strategy and resources, there’s a reason half of the world’s richest families have deliberately kept their companies private.

Consider the Mills family of Chicago, a new entrant on this year’s list thanks to fortuitous timing. Fifty years ago, the Mills took their medical-goods business Medline public, in what Medline Chief Executive Officer Charlie Mills later called “a major misstep.” The family eventually bought back all the shares and delisted the company. Last year, as valuations swelled to once-unthinkable heights, the Mills agreed to sell a 79% stake in the company to private equity firms in a deal that valued their fourth-generation business at $32 billion. They held onto a portion and continue to run it, but are now awash in cash.

“Some of the most successful families have created reserves for these types of times so they can even take advantage of what’s going on when they see discounts,” Cresset’s Becker said. “Over one to two years, they can create a new level of wealth.”

Name Walton
Company Walmart
Wealth $224.5bn
Industry Consumer retail
Location Bentonville, Arkansas
Generations 3
portrait Walmart is the world’s largest retailer by revenue -- $573 billion from more than 10,500 stores worldwide. The Walton family owns 47% of the retailer, a stake that’s the foundation of the world’s largest fortune.
Did you know?
Rob Walton, daughter Carrie and son-in-law Greg Penner bought the Denver Broncos for a record $4.65 billion this summer.
1945: Sam Walton buys his first store.
2002: Walmart tops the Fortune 500 ranking of America’s largest companies for the first time.
2015: Greg Penner succeeds father-in-law Rob Walton as chairman of the board.
Name Mars
Company Mars
Wealth $160bn
Industry Confectionery, pet care
Location McLean, Virginia
Generations 5
portrait Frank Mars began selling molasses candies in 1902 at the age of 19. The business he went on to create is best known for M&Ms, Milky Way and Snickers bars, though pet-care products make up about half of the company’s almost $45 billion in revenue. The closely held business is owned by members of the Mars family.
Did you know?
Mars is the world’s biggest provider of petcare products and veterinary services.
1883: Frank Mars is born. He contracts polio as a young boy and is unable to walk to school.
1950: The first Ms are printed on chocolate candies.
1969: Forrest E. Mars Sr. retires.
1998: Mars enters the organics business with purchase of Seeds of Change line of products.
2017: Mars buys stake in snack-bar maker KIND.
Name Koch
Company Koch Industries
Wealth $128.8bn
Industry Industrial
Location Wichita, Kansas
Generations 3
portrait Brothers Frederick, Charles, David and William inherited father Fred’s oil firm. A fraternal feud over control of the company in the early 1980s led Frederick and William to leave the family business while Charles and David stayed. It has since grown into Koch Industries, a conglomerate with annual revenue of about $125 billion. The family manages a portion of its wealth through family office 1888 Management.
Did you know?
Koch Industries unit Matador Cattle Co. sold a 340,000-acre Montana ranch to Rupert Murdoch last year for $200 million.
1940: Fred Koch co-founds the Wood River Oil & Refining Co.
1967: Company changes name from Rock Island Oil & Refining Company to Koch Industries.
2017: Koch Industries starts venture capital arm, Koch Disruptive Technologies, led by Charles Koch’s son Chase.
Name Al Saud
Company N/A
Wealth $105bn
Industry Industrial
Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Generations 3
portrait The 90-year-old monarchy for which Saudi Arabia is named can credit the nation’s unrivaled oil reserves for seeding its collective fortune. This net worth estimate is based on cumulative payouts royal family members are calculated to have received over the past 50 years from the Royal Diwan, the executive office of the king. The total wealth controlled by its estimated 15,000 extended members is likely much higher. Many royals have made money through brokering government contracts and land deals and by founding businesses that service state companies, such as Saudi Aramco. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund PIF has $620 billion in assets. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally controls assets worth more than $1 billion.
Did you know?
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud was an early backer of Elon Musk’s bid to take Twitter private.
1902: Ibn Saud, founder of modern Saudi Arabia, reclaims his ancestral home of Riyadh, kicking off three decades of territorial conquests.
1975: King Faisal is assassinated by his nephew.
2017: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman imprisons Saudi royals in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton in a crackdown on purported corruption
Name Hermes
Company Hermes
Wealth $94.6bn
Industry Luxury goods
Location Paris
Generations 6
portrait The sixth-generation family owns the French luxury fashion company famous for its Birkin handbags, which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Among the family members who maintain senior positions at the company are Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the artistic director, and Chief Executive Officer Axel Dumas.
Did you know?
Hermes’s operating-profit margin soared to a record 42% in the first half of the year.
1837: Thierry Hermes starts to make riding gear for noblemen.
1880: Business moves to 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris.
1902: Grandsons Emile Maurice Hermes and Adolphe Hermes become joint presidents of the company.
1937: Émile’s son-in-law, Robert Dumas, creates the first Hermes silk scarf.
1978: Jean-Louis Dumas establishes global network of stores.
2014: Axel Dumas becomes chief executive officer.
Name Ambani
Company Reliance Industries
Wealth $84.6bn
Industry Industrial
Location Mumbai
Generations 3
portrait Dhirubhai Ambani, the father of Mukesh and Anil, started building the precursor to Reliance Industries in the 1950s. When Dhirubhai died in 2002 without leaving a will, his widow brokered a settlement between her sons over control of the family fortune. Mukesh is now at the helm of the Mumbai-based conglomerate, which owns the world’s largest oil refining complex. He lives in a 27-story mansion that’s been called the world’s most expensive private residence.
Did you know?
Mukesh laid out his succession plan this year, appointing all three of his children to leadership roles at Reliance Industries.
1957: Dhirubhai Ambani returns to India from Yemen, and starts a yarn trading business out of a small office in Mumbai.
1999: Mukesh spearheads construction of world’s biggest oil refinery, Jamnagar.
2019: Anil spared jail time after Mukesh steps in to settle his overdue payment. Anil issues statement saying he’s “deeply grateful.”
Name Wertheimer
Company Chanel
Wealth $79bn
Industry Luxury goods
Location Paris
Generations 3
portrait Brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer are reaping the benefits of their grandfather’s funding of designer Coco Chanel in 1920s Paris. Their family owns the closely held fashion house, which introduced the “little black dress” to the world and had revenue of $15.6 billion in 2021. The Wertheimers also own racehorses and vineyards. Their half-brother, Charles Heilbronn, runs family office Mousse Partners.
Did you know?
Chanel paid the family $5 billion in dividends in 2021. In 2020 it paid zero.
1924: Businessman Pierre Wertheimer negotiates a perfume contract with fashionista Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.
1983: German designer Karl Lagerfeld joins Chanel as artistic director.
2022: Leena Nair succeeds Alain Wertheimer as CEO of Chanel.
Name Cargill, MacMillan
Company Cargill
Wealth $65.2bn
Industry Industrial
Location Minneapolis
Generations 7
portrait Members of this family are majority owners of Cargill, a food and agriculture company that had revenue of $165 billion in the 12 months ending in May. It was founded by William W. Cargill, who started the commodities business with one grain storage warehouse in Conover, Iowa, in 1865. His descendants maintain control of the industrial giant. Both branches share a family office, Waycrosse.
Did you know?
The company’s net profit soared to a record $6.68 billion in fiscal 2022, up 35% from a year prior.
1865: William W. Cargill becomes the owner of a grain warehouse.
1884: John H. MacMillan starts working in his father’s bank in Wisconsin.
1932: John MacMillan Jr. becomes general manager as his father experiences health issues.
1960: Erwin Kelm becomes the first Cargill president who is not a family member.
1976: Whitney MacMillan is named CEO.
1995: Whitney MacMillan retires as CEO after 44 years at the company
Name Thomson
Company Thomson Reuters
Wealth $53.9bn
Industry Media
Location Toronto, Canada
Generations 3
portrait The wealth of Canada’s richest family originated in the early 1930s when Roy Thomson opened an Ontario radio station. He branched out into newspapers and became the country’s leading owner and eventually the 1st Baron Thomson of Fleet. The family holds about a two-thirds stake in financial data and services provider Thomson Reuters through investment firm Woodbridge. The company had $6.3 billion of revenue last year.
Did you know?
Third-generation family member Peter has invested in more than 80 startups including SoFi and LendingClub through family office Thomvest Ventures.
1934: Roy Thomson buys his first newspaper, the Timmins Press.
1976: Roy’s son Ken becomes chairman of the family business interests after Roy dies.
2018: Thomson Reuters sells a majority stake in its financial and risk unit to Blackstone.
Name Hoffmann, Oeri
Company Roche
Wealth $45.1bn
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Location Basel, Switzerland
Generations 5
portrait Drug maker Roche Holding was founded by entrepreneur Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche in 1896. His descendants control 9% of the company, whose blockbuster oncology drugs helped the group generate $68.7 billion in 2021 revenue. Family members have been prominent supporters of nature conservation.
Did you know?
The family received more than $730 million in dividends from Roche in 2021.
1896: Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche launches a medicine company at 28.
1932: His son Emanuel dies in a traffic accident.
1961: Lukas Hoffmann co-founds World Wildlife Fund.
1991: Roche purchases the rights to the patents of the PCR testing technique.
2020: Fifth-generation family member Joerg Duschmale joins the board of Roche.
Name Albrecht
Company Aldi
Wealth $41.4bn
Industry Consumer retail
Location Essen and Muelheim, Germany
Generations 3
portrait Theo and Karl took over their parents’ grocery store after returning home from World War II and turned it into Aldi, a national chain of discount supermarkets. The brothers divided the business in the 1960s. The two branches – Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued – now have more than 10,000 stores combined. Theo’s side of the family also owns Trader Joe’s, which it bought in 1979.
Did you know?
Founding brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht split the business in 1960 over a dispute about whether or not to sell cigarettes in their stores.
1913: Albrecht grocery store opens in Essen, Germany.
1971: Theo Albrecht kidnapped for 17 days and $2 million is paid for his release.
2020: Nicolay Albrecht sues mother and sisters, claiming they embezzled millions from the family trust.
Name Johnson (Fidelity)
Company Fidelity Investments
Wealth $40.2bn
Industry Finance
Location Boston
Generations 3
portrait The Boston mutual-fund empire was founded by Edward C. Johnson II in Boston in 1946. It is now run by his granddaughter, Abigail. The closely held firm has responded to the shift away from actively managed funds in favor of low-cost index funds by launching zero-expense ratio funds and building a digital asset arm. The Johnsons’ family office, Crosby, is based in New Hampshire.
Did you know?
Fidelity had $9.9 trillion in assets under administration as of June.
1946: Boston-based lawyer Edward C. Johnson II founds the Fidelity Management and Research Company
1975: Fidelity offers its first IRA accounts.
2022: Former longtime CEO Ned Johnson, father of Abby, dies at age 91.
Name Ferrero
Company Ferrero
Wealth $37.1bn
Industry Confectionery
Location Alba, Italy
Generations 3
portrait Michele Ferrero built a global chocolate confectionery company from a single store in the Italian town of Alba. His son Giovanni took sole charge of the family business after his other son Pietro died in a cycling accident in 2011. Ferrero acquired Nestle’s US candy business for $2.8 billion in 2018. The family manages money through their firms including Monaco-based Fedesa and Luxembourg-based Teseo Capital.
Did you know?
Late CEO Michele, often called a real-life Willy Wonka, always wore dark glasses and almost never spoke to the press.
1946: Michele’s father creates a sweet paste from hazelnuts, sugar and cocoa in war-ravaged Italy.
1964: First jar of Nutella is produced.
2017: Giovanni becomes executive chairman.
Name Boehringer, Von Baumbach
Company Boehringer Ingelheim
Wealth $36.6bn
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Location Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany
Generations 4
portrait The German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim was founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer. More than 130 years later, the Boehringer family, encompassing the von Baumbachs, is still in charge. Chairman Hubertus von Baumbach and his extended family are owners of the closely held company. They invest in private equity through family office Profunda.
Did you know?
Sales of its biggest drug, type 2 diabetes treatment Jardiance, rose more than 25% to almost $4 billion in 2021.
1885: Albert Boehringer buys a small tartar factory in Germany.
1955: The company branches into veterinary health with an animal antibiotic.
1983: Company founds Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, a foundation for basic medical research.
2015: The company appoints a family member, Hubertus von Baumbach, as CEO for the first time in 25 years.
Name Hartono
Company Djarum Group
Wealth $36.3bn
Industry Finance
Location Kudus, Indonesia
Generations 3
portrait Oei Wie Gwan purchased a cigarette brand in 1950 and renamed it Djarum. The business started as a 10-person operation and has grown into one of the largest cigarette makers in Indonesia. After Oei died in 1963, his sons Michael and Budi diversified by investing in Bank Central Asia. That stake now makes up most of the family’s fortune.
Did you know?
Michael Bambang Hartono is a professional bridge player, and won third place in the 2018 Asian Games.
1950: Oei Wie Gwan buys the cigarette brand that later becomes Djarum.
1963: Oei Wie Gwan dies, leaving the company to two sons.
2002: Budi and Michael partner with Farallon Capital to buy 51% of Bank Central Asia
Name Quandt
Company BMW
Wealth $36bn
Industry Automotive
Location Munich
Generations 4
portrait Herbert Quandt helped turn Bayerische Motoren Werke from a struggling carmaker into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of luxury vehicles. Family matriarch Johanna Quandt died in 2015 and her children, Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, own nearly half the company.
Did you know?
The blue and white colors of BMW’s logo represent the official colors of the state of Bavaria
1883: Emil Quandt acquires a textile company owned by his late father-in-law.
1933: Guenther Quandt joins the Nazi Party.
1995: An overhaul of insider trading laws forces the family to disclose it owns nearly half of BMW.
2019: Susanne Klatten tells Manager Magazin inheriting great wealth has aspects “that aren’t so nice.”.
Name Pritzker
Company Hyatt Hotels
Wealth $34.6bn
Industry Hotels
Location Chicago
Generations 4
portrait The son of a Ukrainian immigrant, A.N. Pritzker began investing in real estate and troubled companies while working for his father’s law firm. The investments seeded the fortune of one of America’s oldest dynasties, whose assets include Hyatt Hotels. Family members are prominent Democrats, with Penny Pritzker serving as US commerce secretary under President Barack Obama. Family-owned investment vehicles include Pritzker Organization and Pritzker Private Capital.
Did you know?
An inter-family dispute over payments and trust shuffling prompted the sale or restructuring of much of the family empire starting in 2001.
1903: Ukrainian Jewish immigrant Nicholas Pritzker establishes the law firm Pritzker & Pritzker.
1936: A.N. Pritzker and brother Jack branch out from law and start investing in real estate.
1953: Jay and Robert Pritzker purchase Colson Corporation, which later becomes industrial conglomerate Marmon Group.
2018: J.B. Pritzker donates more than $160 million to his successful campaign for Illinois governor.
Name Lauder
Company Estee Lauder
Wealth $32.7bn
Industry Cosmetics
Location New York
Generations 3
portrait Raised in Queens to Hungarian-Czech immigrants, Estée Lauder began selling skin care and makeup products in New York beauty salons. In 1946 she and her husband Joseph launched a company to sell her own skin creams, and after one year received an order for $800 worth of products from Saks Fifth Avenue. Today Estee Lauder sells skin care, hair products, fragrance and cosmetics throughout the world. Still controlled by members of the family, it had revenue of $17.7 billion in fiscal 2022. RSL Investments is the investment office of second-generation member, Ronald.
Did you know?
Estee Lauder changed the way perfume was sold by encouraging women to purchase it for themselves.
1946: Estee Lauder develops her own beauty line, starting with four products.
1958: Following service at sea as a naval officer, Leonard Lauder joins his mother’s company.
2009: William Lauder steps down as CEO of Estee Lauder. Non-family member Fabrizio Freda takes over.
Name Duncan
Company Enterprise Products Partners
Wealth $30.1bn
Industry Industrial
Location Houston
Generations 2
portrait Dan Duncan started working for oilfield companies after leaving the US Army. He co-founded natural gas liquids wholesaler Enterprise Products in 1968 with one truck and about $10,000. The company went public in 1998 and is now one of the biggest midstream energy companies in the US. Duncan died in 2010 and his four children inherited the trusts that collectively own the biggest stake in Enterprise. His daughter Randa is chair of the company’s board.
Did you know?
Patriarch Dan Duncan died in 2010, a year when there was no federal estate tax.
1968: Dan Duncan co-founds Enterprise Products with two partners.
2013: Dan’s daughter Randa is elected chair of the board of directors.
Name Van Damme, De Spoelberch, De Mevius
Company Anheuser-Busch InBev
Wealth $29.9bn
Industry Beverages
Location Leuven, Belgium
Generations 5
portrait The collective enterprise of these three Belgian beermaking families has roots in the 14th century. The Van Damme family joined the others when the 1987 merger between Piedboeuf and Artois led to the creation of Interbrew, which merged with Brazil’s AmBev in 2004.
Did you know?
The De Spoelberch family is Belgian nobility and carry the hereditary title of Viscount.
1895: Edmond Willems, owner of the Artois brewery, dies.
1926: Stella Artois is released as a Christmas beer.
1968: Artois takes over the Dommelsch Brewery.
1995: The De Spoelberch and De Mevius families found investment firm Verlinvest.
2016: AB InBev merges with SABMiller.
Name Kwok
Company Sun Hung Kai Properties
Wealth $29.2bn
Industry Real Estate
Location Hong Kong
Generations 3
portrait Kwok Tak-seng co-founded the predecessor to real estate company Sun Hung Kai Properties in 1963, going on to buy up lots of land in an optimistic bet on the city’s future development. It went public in 1972. The company has since become one of Hong Kong’s largest property developers and the basis of the Kwok family fortune. His sons, Walter, Thomas and Raymond, assumed control when he died in 1990.
Did you know?
Raymond Kwok endorsed John Lee, China’s pick for Hong Kong chief executive in 2022.
1972: Kwok Tak-seng lists Sun Hung Kai Properties on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
2008: Walter Kwok ousted from family business. His mother takes over as chair.
2020: Thomas Kwok re-joins company as a director at a subsidiary after serving prison sentence for a bribery case.
Name Dassault
Company Dassault Systemes
Wealth $28.5bn
Industry Software, Aviation
Location Paris
Generations 3
portrait Born in Paris in 1892, Marcel Dassault invented a type of aircraft propeller during World War I that was used by the French military. By the 1960s Marcel’s company, Dassault Aviation, was shipping planes overseas, eventually becoming best known for its Mirage and Rafale fighter jets. The family-controlled Dassault Group now also includes software, media and real estate businesses. Its most valuable company is Dassault Systemes, a technology company with more than $5.7 billion in revenue that makes 3D design software. The family invests in venture, real estate, private debt and other assets through family office Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault.
Did you know?
Patriarch Marcel Dassault was detained and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp for refusing to collaborate with the Nazis.
1916: Marcel Dassault designs his first propeller, the “Eclair.”
1986: Marcel Dassault dies. His son Serge takes over as chief executive of Dassault Group.
2018: Serge Dassault dies at 93, passing control of Dassault Group to his four children.
Name Cox
Company Cox Enterprises
Wealth $28.3bn
Industry Communications, automotive
Location Atlanta
Generations 4
portrait The Cox family controls Cox Enterprises, a conglomerate with $20.9 billion in revenue. Its Cox Communications division is one of the largest cable companies in the U.S. James M. Cox founded the company in 1898. His descendants, including James C. Kennedy and Blair Parry-Okeden, remain shareholders. The family invests outside the company’s core areas of autos and communications through the Cox Family Office.
Did you know?
Cox Enterprises bought online news company Axios Media for $525 million.
1898: James M. Cox, 28, borrows $26,000 from friends and family to purchase the Dayton Evening News in Ohio.
1962: Jim Cox Jr., having succeeded his father as CEO, buys three cable systems in central Pennsylvania.
1988: Jim Kennedy, grandson of founder James Cox, is promoted to CEO and chairman.
2018: Alex Taylor takes charge of Cox Enterprises.
Name Mistry
Company Shapoorji Pallonji Group
Wealth $27.4bn
Industry Industrial
Location Mumbai
Generations 5
portrait The Mistry family business was founded in India in 1865. Shapoorji Pallonji Group now spans various business areas, including engineering and construction. The family also owns a stake in Tata Sons, the main holding company of Tata Group, which controls Jaguar Land Rover and more than a dozen publicly traded companies in India.
Did you know?
Cyrus Mistry’s ousting as chairman of Tata Group in 2016 sparked one of India’s biggest-ever corporate feuds.
1865: Pallonji Mistry starts a construction business with an English partner.
1921: Founder Pallonji passes away and his son, Shapoorji Pallonji, takes over.
1947: Shapoorji’s son Pallonji Mistry joins the family construction business at age 18.
1970: Company wins contract to build the Sultan of Oman’s palace.
2022: Pallonji Mistry dies in June. His son Cyrus dies three months later in a car accident.
Name Mills
Company Medline Industries
Wealth $26.2bn
Industry Medical Products
Location Mundelein, Illinois
Generations 4
portrait A.L. Mills started sewing butcher aprons for the Chicago stockyards in 1910. He expanded to surgeons’ gowns at the request of nuns from a local hospital and that business evolved into Medline. The medical goods supplier sells to thousands of US hospitals and is today run by fourth-generation family members. The Mills sold a 79% stake in the business to a consortium of private equity firms in 2021 in a deal that valued the business at about $32 billion.
Did you know?
Medline makes the Kuddle-Up blanket, the blue-and-pink striped swaddle that seemingly every hospital-born US newborn is wrapped in.
1910: A.L. Mills starts a garment factory specializing in butcher aprons
1924: A.L.’s son Irving starts managing the family business at age 18.
1966: Medline is founded by Irving’s sons Jim and Jon Mills.
1997: Three fourth-generation family members join management to run the business as a team.


Net worth figures are as of October 19, 2022. The ranking excludes first-generation fortunes and those fortunes controlled by a single heir. Clans whose source of wealth is too diffuse or opaque to be valued are also excluded.

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