The 25 richest American families, ranked (2024)

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Economy

Hillary Hoffower, Jason Lalljee, and Jacob Zinkula

Updated

The 25 richest American families, ranked (1)

  • The US may not have royals, but it does have family empires worth billions.
  • They've accumulated fortunes in a variety of ways, including publishing, cosmetics, retail, and hotels.
  • See the top-25 richest families in the US, ranked by net worth, starting at roughly $12 billion.

The 25 richest American families, ranked (2)

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The 25 richest American families, ranked (4)

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Billionaires' wealth has been growing exponentially over the past few years.

And even though the United States doesn't have any royal families, it does have family empires with enormous fortunes.There are the Hearst and Newhouse families, who built publishing powerhouses; Estée Lauder, the founder of the cosmetics giant that generated the Lauder family fortune; and the families who created their wealth with retail and hotel empires, such as the Waltons with Walmart and the Pritzkers with Hyatt Hotels.

But not all of America's richest families began as entrepreneurs — some were also savvy investors.

Below, meet the 25 richest families in the US, ranked from lowest net worth to highest net worth. The rankings were determined by the most up-to-date estimated net worths available from Forbes and Bloomberg. These rankingsexcluded first-generation fortunes — like those of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates — as well as fortunes controlled by a single heir.

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Spoiler alert: The Roy family, of HBO's "Succession," didn't make the cut.

Editor's note, May 1, 2023:This story was updated after publication to include a clarification about the Forbes and Bloomberg rankings methodologies.

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25. The Gallo family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (5)

Net worth: $12.4 billion

Source of wealth: E. & J. Gallo Winery

The Gallo family fortune has been built from two companies. Brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo founded the world's largest winemaker in Modesto, California. Their brother Joseph assisted with the family business until he opened his first dairy and began selling Joseph Farms Cheese. His children currently run Joseph Farms, while the descendants of Ernest and Julio run E. & J. Gallo Winery, which generated $4 billion in revenue in 2020.

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24. The Rollins family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (6)

Net worth: $13.1 billion

Source of wealth: Orkin pest control

The Rollins family's wealth comes from the pest-control company Rollins Inc., which generated over $2 billion in sales in 2022. In 1948, John and Orville Rollins founded the company when they bought several local radio stations. The company got into the bug-killing business in 1964, when it acquired Orkin for $62 million. As of 2021, Rollins was the largest pest-control company in the US based on revenue.

As of 2021, the Rollins family owned roughly 53% of the publicly traded Rollins Inc. Orville's son Gary served as CEO until 2022 and is currently the chairman of the board.

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23. The Goldman family

Net worth: $13.2 billion

Source of wealth: Solil Management

The Goldman family's wealth comes from real estate. As of 2016, they owned 400-plus properties in New York City, and the family currently owns a 17% stake in the World Trade Center developments. Sol Goldman began Solil Management when he began buying foreclosed properties at bargain prices in the 1950s.

Today, his daughter Jane Goldman runs the company. As of 2020, she and her siblings each owned 25% of the company, with assets worth an estimated $12 billion.

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22. The Stryker family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (8)

Net worth: $14 billion

Source of wealth: Stryker Corp.

Homer Stryker founded medical-equipment company Stryker Corp. His grandchildren — siblings Pat, Jon, and Ronda — each inherited a stake in the company, which generated over $18 billion in sales in 2022. Ronda is the only sibling to serve on the board. All three are philanthropists and have donated at least $855 million collectively to various causes and foundations.

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21. The Cathy family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (9)

Net worth: $14.2 billion

Source of wealth: Chick-fil-A

Samuel Truett Cathy founded the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A in 1967. Since then, the family-owned business has remained in the hands of second- and third-generation family members. In 2021, Andrew Truett Cathy, the founder's grandson, took over as CEO from his father, Dan.

As of 2022, Samuel Truett Cathy's sons, Dan and Bubba, each had a net worth of $6.6 billion, per Forbes.

The Cathy family has generated controversy for donating over $1 million to anti-LGBTQ+ causes.

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19 (tie). The Dorrance family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (10)

Net worth: $15.0 billion

Source of wealth: Campbell Soup Company

An estimated 11 members of the Dorrance family own more than 50% of Campbell's Soup. John T. Dorrance invented the process for condensing soup in the late 1800s. Today, the company owns more than soup, including the brands V8, Pepperidge Farm, and Snyder's, generating more than $8 billion in annual revenue. At least three of Dorrance's descendants are board members.

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19 (tie). The Ziff family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (11)

Net worth: $15 billion

Source of wealth: Ziff Davis Inc.

William Ziff Jr. sold the magazine publisher his father created, Ziff Davis Inc., which published PC Magazine, for $1.4 billion in 1994. His sons, Daniel, Robert, and Dirk, grew their inheritance through Ziff Brothers Investments and reportedly invested some of their billions with managers who used to work at their hedge funds.

The brothers own several homes in Aspen and have put their money toward philanthropic efforts.

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18. The Hunt family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (12)

Net worth: $15.5 billion

Source of wealth: Hunt Oil Company

H.L. Hunt laid the foundation for his family's fortune with Hunt Oil Company. His many heirs (he had 14 children) command several fortunes, from Hunt Oil and Petro-Hunt to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. His children spend their billions on real estate, like the 6 million-square-foot underground business park SubTropolis, and sports teams.

The Hunt family owns the Kansas City Chiefs, which won its third Superbowl earlier this year, and they have a minority stake in the Chicago Bulls.

Forbes valued the team to be worth $3.7 billion, including their debt, last year, a 14,799,900% lifetime return, the publication estimated.

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17. The du Pont family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (13)

Net worth: $16 billion

Source of wealth: DuPont

The du Pont fortune is one of the oldest and most widely shared fortunes on this list. Chemicals giant DuPont was founded in 1802 as a gunpowder manufacturer. Over time, it evolved into producing everything from dynamite to plastics and invented nylon and Teflon. About 3,500 family members control the majority of shares in the company, although none take part in running the company.

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16. The Busch family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (14)

Net worth: $17.6 billion

Source of wealth: Anheuser-Busch

The Busch family roots in the beer industry date back to 1876, when Adolphus Busch created what is now known as Budweiser. While the company passed through each family generation, an estimated 25% of the business was sold between 1989 and 2008, and it was fully bought out for $52 billion in 2008. Roughly 30 members of the family split the fortune.

Part of the family got back into the beer business with William K. Busch Brewing, but the company shut down in 2019.

15. The Butt family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (15)

Net worth: $17.8 billion

Source of wealth: H.E. Butt

Florence Butt founded H-E-B grocery store in Texas in 1905, which her son Howard expanded throughout the state when he took over the company in the 1920s. His son Charles is the majority shareholder and currently runs the company, which has over 400 stores in Texas and Mexico and generated over $38 billion in revenue in 2022. Charles' siblings and two nephews also have stakes in the business.

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14. The Marshall family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (16)

Net worth: $18.5 billion

Source of wealth: Investments

The Marshall family's wealth is diversified: J. Howard Marshall II traded his Great Northern Oil Company shares for an estimated 16% stake in Koch Industries. He passed on the stock to his son, E. Pierce Marshall, which then went to his wife and children when he died. The family has spent millions on lawyers to litigate various claims to the Marshall fortune. J. Howard II made headlines in the 1990 during his brief marriage to the stripper turned model, Anna Nicole Smith.

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13. The Brown family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (17)

Net worth: $20.4 billion

Source of wealth: Brown-Forman Corp.

The Brown family is behind Jack Daniel's, Woodford Reserve, and Old Forester, among other alcohol brands. An estimated 25 family members own more than half of Brown-Forman Corp., which began with pharmaceuticals salesman George Garvin Brown in 1870.

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12. The Hearst family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (18)

Net worth: $21 billion

Source of wealth: Hearst Corporation

About 67 family members share the fortune that William Randolph Hearst created when he took over the San Francisco Examiner in the late 1800s. Soon after, Hearst acquired other newspapers and expanded into radio and TV, creating the foundation for the media giant, Hearst Corporation, which owns 76 newspapers, nearly 260 magazines, television stations, and stakes in cable TV channels that include A&E and ESPN.

Hearst used to own what is now one of the most expensive homes in America. His grandson, William R. Hearst III, is currently the chairman of the company's board.

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11. The Duncan family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (19)

Net worth: $22 billion

Source of wealth: Enterprise Products Partners

Dan L. Duncan founded the gas and oil company Enterprise Products Partners in 1968 with just $10,000. After he died in 2010, the company remained under family control, and his four children inherited a nearly $10 billion estate. The family fortune has since more than doubled.

Randa Duncan Williams is the only one of the children actively involved with the company, serving as a non-executive chairwoman.

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10. The Newhouse family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (20)

Net worth: $30 billion

Source of wealth: Advance Publications

The Newhouse family's wealth derives from the publishing giant Sam Newhouse created. Advance Publications owns Condé Nast Publications, whose media properties include Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ. As of 2021, the company owned a 30% to 35% stake in Reddit.

In April 2016, Sam's sons sold the cable-TV company Bright House Networks for roughly $11.4 billion in cash and stock.

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9. The Pritzker family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (21)

A.N. Pritzker and his sons Jay, Donald, and Robert created the family's wealth by founding the Hyatt Hotel chain and investing in holdings such as Marmon Group. Today, the fortune is split among 13 family members, 11 of whom are billionaires, per Forbes. They reportedly spent much of the 2000s arguing over trusts, ultimately dividing up the fortune at the end.

Members of the Pritzker family have also been involved in politics. Penny Pritzker, Donald's daughter, is the former US Secretary of Commerce. Her brother, J.B. Pritzker, has served as the governor of Illinois since 2019.

Hyatt Hotels reported over $5 billion in annual revenue in 2022.

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8. The Cox family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (22)

Net worth: $34.5 billion

Source of wealth: Cox Enterprises

Since its founding in 1898, Cox Enterprises has a hand in a number of industries — cable and broadband (Cox Communications), newspapers and radio stations (Cox Media Group), and the automotive industry. It generates about $20 billion in revenue per year.

The company's CEO is Alex Taylor, the great-grandson of the founder, James Cox.

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7. The (Edward) Johnson family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (23)

Net worth: $36 billion

Source of wealth: Fidelity

Edward C. Johnson founded one of the world's largest mutual-fund companies, Fidelity, in 1946, which has been run by three Johnson generations since. It's currently helmed by his granddaughter Abigail Johnson. As of 2020, the family owns 49% of the company, which is shared among six family members, according to Forbes. In 2022, the company generated over $25 billion in revenue.

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6. The SC Johnson family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (24)

Net worth: $37 billion

Source of wealth: SC Johnson

The Johnson family is behind SC Johnson, which produces cleaning products such as Pledge, Glade, and Windex. The company was founded by its namesake, S.C. Johnson, in 1882 and was eventually taken over by his son Herbert Fisk Johnson. Herbert died in 1928 without a will, and the family reportedly feuded over the inheritance until it was eventually divided between his two children, Herbert Fisk Johnson Jr. and Henrietta Johnson Louis. Herbert Fisk Johnson III, a fifth-generation member of the family, is the current CEO and chairman of the company.

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5. The Lauder family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (25)

Net worth: $40 billion

Source of wealth: Estée Lauder

In 1947, Estée Lauder received her first major order for $800 of skincare products from Saks Fifth Avenue. The company, which sells cosmetics and fragrances through over 20 brands that include MAC and Clinique, reported annual revenue of over $17 billion in fiscal year 2022.

The Lauders are active philanthropists, and Estée Lauder's sons, Leonard and Ronald, are major art collectors. Leonard donated $1 billion worth of paintings and sculptures to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The family also owns a significant amount of real estate.

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4. The Cargill-MacMillan family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (26)

Net worth: $65 billion

Source of wealth: Cargill Inc.

William W. Cargill founded agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. in 1865. As of 2020, roughly 23 members of the Cargill-MacMillan family owned 88% of the company, which generated over $150 billion in revenue in 2022. As of 2015, 14 of the 23 family members were billionaires.

The family reportedly keeps 80% of Cargill Inc.'s net income inside the company for reinvestment annually.

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3. The Mars family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (27)

Net worth: $94 billion

Source of wealth: Mars Inc.

Jacqueline and John Mars inherited a stake in the candy empire Mars Inc., which invented M&Ms, Milky Way, and Mars Bars, when their father passed away in 1999. The company brings in over $40 billion in annual revenue.

The siblings run the Mars Foundation, which donates to educational, environmental, cultural, and health-related causes.

The family has also been the target of criticism by politicians skewering the ultra-wealthy. Last year, for instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to talk about how the Mars family was benefiting from the rising cost of Halloween candy.

And it's not just peanuts — the price of Halloween candy shot up more than 13.1% between September 2021 and September 2022, and Sanders criticized the upcharge despite the family's $94 billion worth, which has likely risen during the pandemic.

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2. The Koch family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (28)

Net worth: $129 billion

Source of wealth: Koch Industries

Brothers Charles and David Koch expanded their father's oil-refinery firm into the conglomerate Koch Industries after their other brothers, Frederick and William, left the business following a failed takeover. Today, Koch Industries generates roughly $125 billion in revenue annually.

David Koch stepped down from a leadership position in the company in 2018 and passed away in 2019. Charles Koch has been the company's chairman and CEO since 1967.

David Koch's foundation has pledged to contribute more than $1.2 billion to cancer research, hospitals, education, and cultural institutions, Koch's external relations team told Barron's in 2019.

The Koch brothers have also used their wealth to reshape conservative politics in a substantial way over the past few decades — since the 1970s, they have donated at least $100 million to fund the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement and fortify the Republican Party, according to The New York Times.

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1. The Walton family

The 25 richest American families, ranked (29)

Net worth: $247 billion

Source of wealth: Walmart

Sam and Bud Walton founded Walmart in 1962. Following its success, they founded Sam's Club in 1983. In 2022, Walmart reported annual salesof over $600 billion, making it the largest retailer by revenue in the world.

The Walton family fortune is dispersed among seven family members, including cofounder Sam Walton's three children, Rob, Jim, and Alice, who is the third-richest woman in the world with a $56.7 billion fortune, according to Forbes.

In June, Rob Walton, his daughter, and her husband, purchased the Denver Broncos football team for $4.65 billion — the most money ever spent to buy a US sports franchise.

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The 25 richest American families, ranked (2024)

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