The Forbes 400: The Richest People in America, 2011

Forbes
Sheldon Adelson

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Mike Clark/AFP/Getty Images

Rank: 8

Net Worth: $21.5 Billion

Age: 78

Source: Casinos

Residence: Las Vegas, NV

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Billionaires in the Making

Casino king Sheldon Adelson continues to enjoy a hot hand. His fortune is up $7 billion since last year, as his strong position in the casino-crazy Asian markets has pushed stock of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS - News) up roughly 50% to a recent $48. (Shares once traded as low as $1.50 in 2009.) Nearly 90% of its operating profit comes from Asia; the thriving Marina Bay Sands casino opened in Singapore last year. Through his majority-owned subsidiary Sands China, Adelson has 3 resorts in Macau. His goal is to push company shares back over $100, near their 2007 peak. Not that he'll spend the money on himself: "The richer I get, the more money goes to cancer research." The cabdriver's son created the computer industry's marquee event, Comdex, in the mid-1980s. He sold it to Japan's Softbank for $862 million 1995 and later built the $1.5 billion Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the 1.2-million-square-foot Sands Convention Center in 1997 in Las Vegas. He opened the $1.9 billion Palazzo resort in 2008.

Jim Walton

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Beth Hall/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rank: 9

Net Worth: $21.1 Billion

Age: 63

Source: Walmart

Residence: Bentonville, AR

Wal-Mart heir Jim Walton is Chairman and CEO of his family's Arvest Bank, which has branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. His father, Sam Walton (d. 1992), a former clerk, founded a Bentonville store with his brother James in 1962. Today, Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion and employs more than 2.1 million people across 28 countries. The company's shares were up 3% in the past year. Jim Walton received over $300 million in dividend payouts. He also serves as chairman of Community Publishers, which operates newspapers in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Alice Walton

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AP Photo/April L. Brown

Rank: 10

Net Worth: $20.9 Billion

Age: 61

Source: Walmart

Residence: Millsap, TX

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton is set to open her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in November. Considered one of the world's preeminent collections of American art from colonial time to the present, the museum will include works donated by Walton herself and the Walton Family Foundation, with the possible additional gifts from other private collectors. Wal-Mart shares are up 3% over the past year. Walton graduated from Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas, and now runs a horse ranch in central Texas.

S. Robson Walton

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Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Rank: 11

Net Worth: $20.5 Billion

Age: 67

Source: Walmart

Residence: Bentonville, AR

Wal-Mart Chairman S. Robson Walton has served as the head of the giant retailer's board since 1992. His father, Sam Walton (d. 1992), a former clerk, founded a Bentonville store with his brother James in 1962. Today, Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion and employs more than 2.1 million people across 28 countries. The company's stock was up 3% in the last year. Walton received over $300 million in dividend payouts. Before joining Wal-Mart, he was a partner with the law firm of Conner & Winters in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Michael Bloomberg

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Richard Drew/AP Photo

Rank: 12

Net Worth: $19.5 Billion

Age: 69

Source: Bloomberg

Residence: New York, NY

As New York City mayor, his popularity goes up and down with the weather these days. He faced embarrassment in April when his controversial choice for schools chancellor, fellow media executive Cathie Black, resigned after three months on the job. Then in June he celebrated when New York legislators approved same-sex marriage. All the while, his media empire only goes up. Rivals may continue to shrink, but Bloomberg LP keeps adding office space and employees. The company installed its 300,000th data terminal this year. In February, it announced it had acquired 400,000 square feet of new office space in a midtown Manhattan building where it already had 700,000 square feet. Bloomberg LP is also expanding its European operations out of a new, larger London base. Bloomberg has given away at least $1.8 billion to charities to date, funding the arts and public health.

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