Top 25 Richest American Families of 2019

By Bluei Fausto

Nothing gives a story a good twist other than finding out the protagonist was born into a wealthy family. It is, after all, the embodiment of nearly everyone’s dream. For the typical romantics, nothing could top the idea of waking up in a grand bed, knowing you’re the heir of a business empire.

Surely, Americans may not have been born into a country where royal families dominate the scene, but the country does have a lengthy list of affluent families anyone would fancy being a part of.

Want to know who these people are? Here, we have compiled 25 of the richest American families in 2019...

25. Gallo Family

 

Net worth: $10.7 billion

It’s no secret that wine and cheese go together, just like bread and butter, bacon and eggs, burgers and fries … so do money and the Gallos.

Gallo Family

For years, the Gallo family has stood as the largest exporter of California wines and a giant producer of cheese in the country. However, as opposed to the iconic wine-and-cheese duo, the relationships between the leading family members weren’t in a perfect match.

Ernest and Julio, two Gallo brothers, decided to grow and sell wines under the brand E & J Gallo Winery, which would later develop as the biggest in the country. Their younger brother, Joseph, on the other hand, chose to sell cheese and created Joseph Gallo Cheese. Later, his brothers sued him for using the family name, prompting him to change his brand and use Joseph Farms instead.

To date, the family has managed to maintain its title as America’s most powerful wine dynasty and the 25th wealthiest family in the United States.

24. Rockefeller Family

 

Net worth: $11 billion

While our previous contender takes the iconic wine-cheese duo as its missile, the Rockefeller family focuses on oil. In fact, in the late 1880s, through his company Standard Oil, John D. Rockefeller emerged as the nation’s first billionaire. When he died in 1937, his assets totaled 1.5% of U.S. economic production. This later made the family one of the most powerful, if not the most, in 1977.

Business Insider | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images, © Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Today, the Rockefeller family still carries the legacy of the late John D. Rockefeller and still stands as one of the wealthiest lineages in the U.S.

23. Butt Family

 

Net worth: $11 billion

Advancing one spot higher from last year is the family behind the popular H.E.B. grocery store chain. Despite the silly name, the Butts’ financial stature is no joke to anybody.

Celeb Family, My San Antonio © KEVIN GEIL / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

The family’s wealth can be traced back to 1905 when Florence Butt opened a grocery store in Texas after her husband was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Years later, her son, Howard Butt, took over the company and the rest is history.

Today, the Butt family manages a total of 316 stores in Texas and 52 in Mexico.

22. Mellon Family

 

Net worth: $11.5 billion

Taking up the 22nd spot is the Mellon family, which holds an overwhelming net worth of $11.5 billion. The family’s fortune originated in the 1860s, when Thomas Mellon, a turn-of-the-century venture capitalist, invested in coal and real estate.

Independent.ie, Forbes © Jamel Toppin for FORBES

Years later, his direct descendants continued Thomas’ legacy by investing in companies, owning media firms, and entering the railroad industry.

21. Marshall Family

 

Net worth: $12 billion

The fanciful lives of the Marshall family began in the 1960s when J. Howard Marshall II traded his shares in Great Northern Oil Company for an estimated 15% stake in Koch Industries. Up to date, his descendants continue to manage his stocks and make further efforts to multiply them.

Repealing Frontiers Blog, Daily Mail UK

However, at the start of the century, the family got caught up in a 20-year legal battle due to J. Howard’s romantic adventures. In 1994, the then 89-year-old oil tycoon married the 26-year-old playboy model Anna Nicole Smith. When J. Howard died, the Marshall family spent millions in a legal battle over their fortune against Anna Nicole.

Despite the unwanted verdict, the Marshall family still stands as one of the richest in the country.

20. Brown Family

 

Net worth: $12.3 billion

Featuring a staggering $12.3 billion net worth, the Brown family owns some of the world’s most popular alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Herradura, Woodford Reserve, and Old Forester.

BROWN-FORMAN

The family’s fortune can be traced back to 1870, when George Garvin Brown, a pharmaceuticals salesman, who founded the Brown-Forman Corp. To date, the Browns stands as the 20th wealthiest family in the U.S.

19. Sackler Family

 

Net worth: $13 billion

Recognized as the family behind the popular painkiller drug OxyContin, the Sackler family stands as the nation’s 19th richest family.

Bloomberg © Taco van der Eb/Hollandse Hoogte via Redux, Business Insider © Laurent Gillerion/AP Images

In the 1950s, three Sackler brothers – Arthur, Mortimer, and Raymond – founded the Purdue Pharma, which gave rise to the family’s fortune. In 1995, the company launched OxyContin, a narcotic pain reliever. Today, Purdue is selling $3 billion of the product annually.

18. Busch Family

 

Net worth: $13.4 billion

The Busch family’s overwhelming fortune begun when Adolphus Busch created the root beer company, Budweiser, in 1876. However, in 2008, the business was sold to a group of Brazilian and Belgian investors for $52 billion. It was a big loss for the family.

New York Times, Alchetron

Fortunately, the Buschs were able to get back into the business with William K. Busch Brewing. Today, roughly 30 members of the family are sharing the fortune.

17. Goldman Family

 

Net worth: $13.7 billion

Owning more than 400 properties in N.Y., 7,000 apartments, and 20 million commercial square feet in the U.S., plus a 17% stake in the World Trade Centre developments, the Goldman family remains to be one of the most recognized and highly influential business icons in the world.

Forbes, Forbes © The Goldman Family

Today, the company is headed by Jane Goldman, the youngest daughter of late billionaire Sol Goldman.

16. Hunt Family

 

Net worth: $13.7 billion

The Hunt family’s fortune finds roots in the family’s patriarch, H.L. Hunt, who founded the Hunt Oil Company in the 1930s.

Celeb Family, Vanity Fair

Today, H.L. Hunt’s descendants continue to oversee their family’s wealth, including Hunt Oil, Petro-Hunt, and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

15. Du Pont Family

 

Net worth: $14.3 billion

Owning the chemical giant DuPont, this affluent family stands one of the oldest and most recognized power lineages across the U.S. First established as a gunpowder manufacturer, the DuPont company later engaged in other item productions, including dynamite, plastics, nylon, and Teflon.

Forbes, Business Insider © Laurent Gillerion/AP Images

Today, although no one is actively heading the business, nearly 3,500 family members hold their own shares in the company.

14. Ziff Family

 

Net worth: $14.4 billion

The Ziff family’s high stature originated in 1994, when William Ziff Jr. sold his father’s magazine publisher, Ziff Davis Inc., for $1.4 billion.

Business Insider | © Getty/Scott Olson, Celeb Family

Later, his three sons – Daniel, Robert, and Dirk – expanded this fortune via the Ziff Brothers Investments.

Today, the three brothers have gone their own ways while still managing to secure their family’s affluent position.

13. Dorrance Family

 

Net worth: $17.1 billion

The fortune of the Dorrance family can be credited to John T. Dorrance, who invented the formula for Campbell’s famous condensed soup in the 1800s. Today, about 11 family members own more than half of the company, which generates over $8 billion annually.

Alux, New York Post

Two of John’s grandchildren, Marry Alice D. Malone and Bennett Dorrance, along with his great-grandson Archbold D. van Beuren, are currently part of the company’s board.

12. Lauder Family

 

Net worth: $17.9 billion

The Lauder family is most recognized for its contributions to the beauty industry. In 1946, Estee Lauder, together with her husband, established the Estee Lauder cosmetics firm. Today, the company holds 30 brands, including Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and MAC, while generating $12 billion in revenue.

Horizon Times

11. Newhouse Family

 

Net worth: $18.5 billion

The Newhouse family’s wealth is rooted in the publishing giant Advance Publications. Today, the business owns Condé Nast Publications, over 25 newspapers, and the discussion website Reddit. The family is also currently holding a substantial stake in Discovery Communications.

Celeb Family, Celeb Family

10. Duncan Family

 

Net worth: $21.5 billion

In 1968, Dan Duncan established a gas and oil company called Enterprise Products Partners, which later grew into one of the leading brands in the industry. Over 40 years later, the company remained under family control.

Forbes, Wikipedia

Today, the gas-oil company continues to dominate the market and generate skyrocketing revenues, maintaining the family’s fanciful lifestyle.

9. Hearst Family

 

Net worth: $28 billion

The Hearst family derives their astounding fortune from their publishing company, the San Francisco Examiner. Founded in the late 1800s, the company soon acquired other newspapers and even entered the radio and TV industry.

New York Post | © Patrick McMullan via Getty Image, New York Post | © Getty Images

Today, the family’s main company, the Hearst Corporation, owns a variety of newspapers, magazines, media stations, and stakes in cable TV channels.

8. (Edward) Johnson Family

 

Net worth: $28.5 billion

The Johnson family’s affluent status bloomed when Edward Johnson, the family patriarch, founded the world’s second-largest mutual fund company, Fidelity, in 1946. From there, the family’s net worth continued to swell, reaching up to $28.5 billion as of May of 2019.

Forbes, Forbes

7. Pritzker Family

 

Net worth: $29 billion

The Pritzker family, more commonly known as the name behind the giant Hyatt Hotel chain, currently stands as the seventh richest family in the U.S. Today, their fortune is said to be split among 13 family members, with 11 being tagged as billionaires.

Forbes, FT

6. SC Johnson Family

 

Net worth: $30 billion

The Johnson family is the group of people behind the multinational household cleaning manufacturer, SC Johnson. Among their most recognized brands include Pledge, Glade, and Windex.

S C Johnson

Today, Herbert Fisk Johnson III acts as the CEO and chairman of SC Johnson.

5. Cox Family

 

Net worth: $41 billion

The Cox family manages the global conglomerate Cox Enterprises. Today, the family is actively engaged in a broad range of industries, including publications, cables, broadbands, and radio stations. The company is said to produce about $20 billion in revenue.

Forbes

4. Cargill-MacMillan Family

 

Net worth: $49 billion

In 1856, William W. Cargill founded the agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. Today, about 23 members of the Cargill-MacMillan family are said to own about 88% of the company, generating around $108 billion per year.

Forbes, Business Insider

3. Mars Family

 

Net worth: $78 billion

Recognized for their candy empire, Mars Inc., the Mars family features a stunning $78 billion net worth. Among their most recognized chocolate brands include M&Ms, Milky Way, and Mars Bars. Today, the company is said to generate over $35 billion annually.

Business Insider | © Pool/Getty Images

2. Koch Family

 

Net worth: $82 billion

Our second richest family is most famous for their engagement in business and politics. Their company, the Koch Industries, stands as the second-largest privately owned company in the United States and is involved in a variety of industries, including chemicals and biofuels. It was founded by Fred C. Koch in 1940.

Business Insider | iStock; Mark Lennihan/AP Images; Hoover Institution/YouTube; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Decades later, Fred’s sons have engaged in a legal battle against each other over their family’s business. Today, the conglomerate generates roughly $100 billion in revenue annually.

1. Walton Family

 

Net worth: $130 billion

Nothing could exemplify the “American Dream” other than being born as a Walton. In 1983, Sam and Bud Walton founded Walmart, which later became the leading multinational retail corporation. Today, Walmart generates $500 billion in sales, making it the largest retailer by revenue in the world.

Business Insider | © REUTERS/Rick Wilking, Business Insider | AP/April L. Brown

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