Self-Made American Female Billionaires

Women Who Struck It Rich On Their Own

Self-Made American Female Billionaires
July 1, 2015

Forbes compiles many lists related to wealth, but in the June 15th issue, a new list made its debut. The list of the fifty most successful self-made women cuts across many fields and levels of fame. Of the top ten, you have probably only heard of two of them, and possibly only one. (See if you can guess them before looking at the top-ten list below.)

The list is based on net worth where the women have "substantially made their own fortune." Eligibility includes either U.S. citizenship or permanent U.S. resident status. When ventures were co-founded and shared with spouses, half of the value of that venture was assigned.

Here are the top ten in Forbes' new list of successful, self-made women.

  1. Elizabeth Holmes – Holmes (pictured above) tops the list at $4.5 billion in net worth. Motivated by her uncle's death from cancer that was detected too late, Holmes left Stanford to found Theranos, a blood-testing company. Theranos' methods can process blood more quickly and at a far cheaper price than commercial laboratories.

  2. Diane Hendricks – Hendricks is worth an estimated $3.6 billion through her shrewd management of ABC Supply, a distributor of roofing supplies along with window and siding products. After her husband's passing in 2007, she continued to grow their co-founded business through acumen and acquisition.

  3. Doris Fisher – Fisher, the co-founder of the Gap, is worth $3.1 billion. While she no longer is active in the business, she is a major shareholder in the collective brands (Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta, among others).

  4. Jin Sook Chang – Also coming in at $3.1 billion in net worth, the South-Korean born Chang co-founded Forever 21 (originally called Fashion 21) with her husband in 1984 — three years after arriving in the U.S.

  5. Oprah Winfrey – If you have your own magazine and TV network you need no further introduction. Oprah's net worth is estimated at $3 billion.

  6. Judy Faulkner – Faulkner is the founder and CEO of Epic Systems, a major vendor of systems for electronic health records. She founded the company in 1979 after writing the initial code during her time at the University of Wisconsin. Faulkner is worth an estimated $2.6 billion.

  7. Johnelle Hunt – You probably see plenty of J.B. Hunt trucks anytime you travel the interstate highways of America. Johnelle and her husband J.B. co-founded the trucking company in 1961. Hunt is not involved in the daily business anymore, but is still the largest individual shareholder and has an overall net worth of $2.4 billion.

  8. Judy Love – We go from trucks to truck stops. Love and her husband co-founded the chain of Love's truck stops that can currently be found in 39 states. Love is still involved with the business as well as their charitable foundation (the Love Family Fund). As with Johnelle Hunt, Love's net worth is an estimated $2.4 billion.

  9. Marian Ilitch – Ilitch co-founded Little Caesar's Pizza in 1959 with her husband and guided it into being one of the largest chains in the country with its instantly recognizable slogan, "Pizza, pizza!" Ilitch's net worth is $2.2 billion.

  10. Meg Whitman – The former CEO of eBay and the current CEO of Hewlett-Packard is worth an estimated $2.1 billion.

The cutoff net worth for the initial list is $250 million, held by both Beyoncé and Judge Judy. The full list is available here and may also be filtered by age or by state in which they reside.

We at MoneyTips congratulate all of these successful women.


Photo ©GettyImages.com/Bloomberg

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Timothy | 09.08.15 @ 22:53
So much for the glass ceiling
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.08.16 @ 10:08
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