Black billionaires

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Oprah Winfrey at the White House in 2010. She is the first female black billionaire and was the only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006.

Black billionaires are individuals who are of predominantly black ancestry with a net worth of at least US$1 billion. According to the 2021 Forbes ranking of the world's billionaires, Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangote had a net worth of $11.5 billion and was the world's richest black man.[1] Other black billionaires on the 2021 Forbes list included Nigerian businessman Mike Adenuga with $6.1 billion, American investor Robert Smith with $6 billion, American businessman David Steward with $3.7 billion, American media mogul Oprah Winfrey with $2.7 billion, South African gold magnate Patrice Motsepe with $2.9 billion, American music artist/entrepreneur Kanye West with $1.8 billion,[2] American sports executive Michael Jordan with $1.6 billion, Jamaican-Canadian businessman Michael Lee-Chin with $1.6 billion, Nigerian businessman Abdul Samad Rabiu with $1.6 billion, American rapper Jay-Z with $1.4 billion, Nigerian businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija with $1.1 billion, Mo Ibrahim of the United Kingdom with $1.1 billion, and American media mogul Tyler Perry with $1 billion.[3]

From 2001 to 2003, Forbes listed American television network executive Bob Johnson as a billionaire,[4] but dropped him after his fortune was split in his divorce.[5] He returned to the Forbes Billionaire list in 2007 with a net worth of $1.1 billion. In 2008 Johnson's wealth dropped again, this time to approximately $1.0 billion[6] and by 2009 he fell off the list again. Nigerian petroleum executive Femi Otedola briefly emerged as a billionaire in 2009, but did not remain one in subsequent years. He returned to the list in the company of a fellow Nigerian, sugar tycoon Abdul Samad Rabiu, in 2016, but both were dropped from the rankings the following year.[7]

Multiracial billionaires with significant black ancestry have been identified over the years. Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, of Hadhrami Yemeni and Ethiopian descent, has been on the Forbes billionaire list since 2002 and in 2012 had a net worth of $12.5 billion.[8] Michael Lee-Chin of Canada, who is Jamaican of Chinese and Black ancestry, was on the list from 2001 to 2010 but dropped off in 2011.[9] Isabel Dos Santos is of both Angolan and Russian ancestry. Alexander Karp, cofounder and CEO of Palantir Technologies, has an African-American mother.[10] Rihanna is of both Guyanese and Irish descent.[11][12]

Of all the above-mentioned billionaires identified by Forbes, only Oprah Winfrey qualified for Forbes 2009's list of the world's 20 most powerful billionaires, a list which considered not only wealth, but also market sway and political clout. Winfrey was considered especially powerful because of her influence on American consumer choices and her pivotal role in Barack Obama's successful 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.[13]..

List of Black billionaires[edit]

(Wealth valuations by Forbes magazine)

Year Black billionaires Bi/Multiracial billionaires with Black ancestry All billionaires
2001 1: Bob Johnson $1.6 billion United States 1: Michael Lee-Chin $1 billionJamaicaCanada[14] 538; Richest: Bill Gates $114 billion United States
2002 1: Bob Johnson $1 billion United States 2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.5 billion EthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.1 billionJamaicaCanada[15]
497; Richest: Bill Gates $52.8 billionUnited States
2003 2:
  • Bob Johnson $1.2 billion United States
  • Oprah Winfrey $1 billionUnited States[16]
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.5 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.4 billionJamaicaCanada[17]
476; Richest: Bill Gates $40.7 billion United States
2004 1: Oprah Winfrey $1.1 billion United States 2:
  • Michael Lee-Chin $2.4 billion JamaicaCanada
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.4 billion EthiopiaSaudi Arabia[18]
587; Richest: Bill Gates $46.6 billion United States
2005 1: Oprah Winfrey $1.3 billion United States 2:
  • Michael Lee-Chin $2.5 billion JamaicaCanada
  • Mohammad Al Amoud $2.5 billion EthiopiaSaudi Arabia
691; Richest: Bill Gates $46.5 billionUnited States
2006 1: Oprah Winfrey $1.4 billionUnited States 2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $6.9 billion EthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $2.1 billionJamaicaCanada[19]
793; Richest: Bill Gates $50 billionUnited States
2007 2:
  • Oprah Winfrey $1.5 billion United States
  • Bob Johnson $1.1 billionUnited States[20]
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $8 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.6 billionCanadaJamaica[21]
946; Richest: Bill Gates $56 billionUnited States
2008 5:
  • Aliko Dangote $3.3 billion Nigeria
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.5 billion United States[22]
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.4 billion South Africa[23]
  • Mo Ibrahim $2.5 billion SudanUnited Kingdom[24]
  • Bob Johnson $1 billion United States[6]
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $9 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.8 billionJamaicaCanada[25]
1,125; Richest: Warren Buffett $62 billionUnited States
2009 5:
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion United States
  • Aliko Dangote $2.5 billion Nigeria
  • Mo Ibrahim $2 billion SudanUnited Kingdom
  • Femi Otedola $1.6 billion Nigeria
  • Patrice Motsepe $1.3 billion South Africa
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $9 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1 billionJamaicaCanada[26]
793; Richest: Bill Gates $40 billionUnited States
2010 4:
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.4 billion United States
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion South Africa
  • Mo Ibrahim $2 billion SudanUnited Kingdom
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $10 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1 billionJamaicaCanada[27]
1,011; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $53.5 billion[28] Mexico
2011 5:
  • Aliko Dangote $13.8 billion Nigeria[29]
  • Patrice Motsepe $3.3 billion South Africa
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion United States
  • Mo Ibrahim $1.8 billion SudanUnited Kingdom[30]
  • Mike Adenuga $2 billionNigeria[29]
1: Mohammad Al Amoudi $12.3 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia 1,210; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $74 billionMexico
2012[31] 5:
  • Aliko Dangote $11.2 billion Nigeria[29]
  • Mike Adenuga $4.3 billion Nigeria[29]
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.7 billion South Africa
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billionUnited States
  • Mo Ibrahim $1.1 billion SudanUnited Kingdom[30]
1: Mohammad Al Amoudi $12.3 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia 1,210; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $74 billionMexico
2013 5:
  • Aliko Dangote $16.1 billion Nigeria[29]
  • Mike Adenuga $4.7 billion Nigeria
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion South Africa
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.8 billionUnited States
  • Mo Ibrahim $1.1 billionSudanUnited Kingdom[30]
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $13.5 billionEthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Isabel dos Santos $2 billion AzerbaijanAngola
1,426; Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $73 billionMexico
2014 7:
  • Aliko Dangote $25 billion Nigeria
  • Mike Adenuga $4.6 billion Nigeria
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.9 billion United States
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion South Africa
  • Florunsho Alakija $2.5 billion Nigeria
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu $1.2 billion Nigeria
  • Mo Ibrahim $1.1 billion Sudan United Kingdom[30]
2:
  • Mohammad Al Amoudi $15.3 billion Ethiopia Saudi Arabia
  • Isabel Dos Santos $3.7 billion Angola
1,645; Richest: Bill Gates $76 billion United States
2016 11:
  • Aliko Dangote $14.4 billion Nigeria
  • Mike Adenuga $9.9 billion Nigeria
  • Robert Smith $4.4 billion United States
  • Oprah Winfrey $3.1 billion United States
  • Femi Otedola $1.85 billion Nigeria
  • Strive Masiyiwa $1.8 billion Zimbabwe
  • Folorunsho Alakija $1.55 billion Nigeria
  • Patrice Motsepe $1.15 billion South Africa
  • Michael Jordan $1.14 billion United States
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu $1.1 billion Nigeria
  • Mo Ibrahim $1.07 billion Sudan United Kingdom[32]
2:
  • Mohammed Al-Amoudi, $8.4 billion EthiopiaSaudi Arabia
  • Isabel Dos Santos $3.1 billion Angola
1,810; Richest: Bill Gates $75 billion United States
2019 11:
  • Aliko Dangote $10.6 billion Nigeria
  • Mike Adenuga $9.1 billion Nigeria
  • Robert Smith $5 billion United States
  • David Steward $3.9 billion United States
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion United States
  • Strive Masiyiwa $2.4 billion Zimbabwe
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion South Africa
  • Michael Jordan $1.9 billion United States
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu $1.6 billion Nigeria
  • Folorunsho Alakija $1.1 billion Nigeria
  • Jay-Z $1 billion United States
4:
  • Mohammad Al-Amoudi, $8.4 billion Ethiopia Saudi Arabia
  • Isabel Dos Santos $2.3 billion Angola
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.9 billion Jamaica Canada
  • Alex Karp $1.3 billion United States
2,153; Richest: Jeff Bezos $110 billion United States
2020 13:
  • Aliko Dangote $13.5 billion Nigeria
  • Mike Adenuga $9.1 billion Nigeria
  • Robert Smith $5 billion United States
  • David Steward $4 billion United States
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu $3.2 billion Nigeria
  • Kanye West $3.1 billion United States
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion United States
  • Strive Masiyiwa $2.4 billion Zimbabwe
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion South Africa
  • Michael Jordan $2.1 billion United States
  • Folorunsho Alakija $1.1 billion Nigeria
  • Jay-Z $1 billion United States
  • Tyler Perry $1 billion United States


4:
  • Mohammad Al-Amoudi, $8.4 billion Ethiopia Saudi Arabia
  • Isabel Dos Santos $2.3 billion Angola
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.9 billion Jamaica Canada
  • Alex Karp $3 billion United States
2,095; Richest: Jeff Bezos $113 billion United States
2021 12:
  • Aliko Dangote $13.5 billion Nigeria
  • Mike Adenuga $9.1 billion Nigeria
  • Robert Smith $5 billion United States
  • David Steward $4 billion United States
  • Abdul Samad Rabiu $3.2 billion Nigeria
  • Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion United States
  • Strive Masiyiwa $2.4 billion Zimbabwe
  • Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion South Africa
  • Kanye West $1.8 billion[33] United States
  • Michael Jordan $1.6 billion[34] United States
  • Jay-Z $1.4 billion United States
  • Tyler Perry $1.0 billion United States
5:
  • Mohammad Al-Amoudi, $8.4 billion Ethiopia Saudi Arabia
  • Isabel Dos Santos $2.3 billion Angola
  • Michael Lee-Chin $1.9 billion Jamaica Canada
  • Alex Karp $3 billion United States
  • Rihanna $1.7 billion Barbados
2,755; Richest: Elon Musk $271.9B [35] United States


Michael Jackson[edit]

On February 6, 2003, Martin Bashir asked Michael Jackson how much he was worth, and Jackson replied: "It's way up there." Bashir then asked, "A billion dollars?" to which Jackson replied, "It's over there." Bashir asked for confirmation: "Over a billion dollars!" to which the star replied "Yes."[36] Jackson never appeared on the Forbes Billionaire list in his lifetime nor was he ever ranked among Forbes 400 richest Americans. Estimates of Jackson's net worth during his life range from negative $285 million to positive $350 million for 2002, 2003 and 2007.[37][38] In August 2018 Forbes reported that Jackson's total career pretax earnings in life and death were $4.2 billion.[39][40]

References[edit]

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  6. ^ a b "#1062 Robert Johnson". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  7. ^ Obusan, Claire. "In Pictures: New Billionaires". Forbes.
  8. ^ "#116 Mohammed Al Amoudi". Forbes.
  9. ^ "Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes.
  10. ^ "Alex Karp, unconventional purveyor of powerful surveillance tools". Forbes.
  11. ^ Spivey, Lisa (Jan 2007). "Rihanna, The New Cover Girl". Los Angeles Sentinel. 72 (23). p. B.5. ISSN 0890-4340.
  12. ^ Walker, Tim (October 31, 2011). "Rihanna: Out for revenge". The Independent. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  13. ^ Live, Nigeria News (May 25, 2019). "13 Black Billionaires Who Made Forbes List in 2019". NAIJA NEWS TODAY & LATEST BREAKING NEWS ™. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  14. ^ "Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People 2001". October 28, 2006. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People 2002". May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on May 19, 2008. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
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  18. ^ "Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People 2004". April 28, 2006. Archived from the original on April 28, 2006. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  19. ^ "#365 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes.
  20. ^ "#840 Robert Johnson". Forbes. March 8, 2007.
  21. ^ "#618 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes. March 8, 2007.
  22. ^ "#462 Oprah Winfrey". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  23. ^ "#503 Patrice Motsepe". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  24. ^ "#462 Mohammed Ibrahim". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  25. ^ "#677 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes. March 5, 2008.
  26. ^ "#701 Michael Lee-Chin - The World's Billionaires 2009". Forbes. March 11, 2009.
  27. ^ "#937 Michael Lee-Chin". Forbes. March 10, 2010.
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  30. ^ a b c d "#1638 Mohammed Ibrahim". Forbes.com. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
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  32. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "The Black Billionaires 2016". Forbes. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  33. ^ Berg, Madeline. "No, Kanye West Is Not The Richest Black Person In America—And Here's Why". Forbes.
  34. ^ "Michael Jordan". Forbes.
  35. ^ "Elon Musk". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-11-12.
  36. ^ Leduff, Charlie; Holson, Laura M. (November 26, 2003). "Debt Is Seen Taking Toll On Jackson's Lavish Style". The New York Times.
  37. ^ Deutsch, Linda (May 4, 2005). "Forensic accountant tells court Jackson is in financial straits". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  38. ^ Pulley, Brett (November 21, 2003). "Michael Jackson's Ups And Downs". Forbes. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  39. ^ Greenburg, Zack O'Malley (August 29, 2018). "Michael Jackson at 60: The King of Pop by the Numbers". Forbes. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  40. ^ "Stress killed MJ, says ex-publicist". The Times of India. June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2015.