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  • Writer's pictureFyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky

Billionaires Join The Forbes 400 List

To join the ranks of the richest 400 Americans in 2019, a $2.1 billion-plus fortune is the prerequisite. The multibillion-dollar barrier hasn’t changed since last year, but it’s still quite a high bar. Yet 19 people managed to earn a spot on this year’s Forbes 400 list for the first time ever. 

Four of the new members, including the two richest newcomers, joined the list as a result of death or divorce. That includes Julia Koch—the widow of David Koch (who died in August)—and Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, both of whom debut among the nation’s top 20. Two others, Ernest Garcia III and William Lauder, have grown their fortunes by working for the family business. Garcia, the youngest newcomer, started out as an investment analyst before joining his father’s used-car-dealership business, DriveTime, in 2007.

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The richest self-made newcomer is Tim Sweeney, whose gaming company Epic Games produces one of the world’s most popular games, Fortnite. Also new is private equity maestro Orlando Bravo, the first Puerto Rican-born billionaire. A former competitive tennis player as a youth, he played against Jim Courier (who later won four Grand Slams), then attended Brown University on a tennis scholarship and eventually landed on Wall Street. 

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