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The Lone Star Elite: Who Are the Richest Folks in Texas?

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By Angela Kaye Mason, Tex.Org Contributor

In 2013, Texas had more Forbes 400 listers than any other state except California and New York, with 41 slots being filled up with people from the Lone Star state. This year, Texas comes in at third place again, this time with 39 of Forbes’ slots being filled with Texans. Although there are only 2 less of Texas’ richest on the Forbes 400 list this year, Texas actually lost 3 from 2013, since one of the 2014 slots was filled by newcomer George Bishop of GeoSouthern Energy. Harold Simmons, one of the highest ranking billionaires from last year’s list died in December. Elaine Marshal of Koch Industries was moved to the “Richest Families” list, and Dan & Farris Wilks just missed the cut. Who else is among this year’s richest Texans? Here’s your top 15.

1- Alice Walton

Alice Walton is a 64 year old from Fort Worth, Texas. She is worth $34.9 billion dollars, which makes her the ninth highest-ranking richest person in the country. She is the daughter of Sam Walton…of Walmart. Although she has favored the Republican Party throughout her life, Alice Walton recently donated $25,000 to support Hillary Clinton in a presidential bid.

2- Michael Dell

Michael Dell is a 49 year old from Austin, Texas who just so happens to own Dell Computers. His worth of $17.7 billion ranks him at number 25. Because he took his company private in 2013, Dell does not have to reveal its financials, but Michael does claim that Dell is growing faster than IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, or Oracle. Dell was founded by Michael when he was just 19 years old…in his college dorm room with a startup fund of $1000.

3- Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal is a 61 year old from Dallas, Texas. Coming in at number 38, Beal made his $12.1 billion by purchasing distressed assets during a recession that had the biggest banks in the country receiving bailouts. From 2004 to 2007, Beal neither loaned anything, or borrowed anything unless absolutely needed. When the recession hit hard in 2008, he began to buy up distressed assets all over the US. He is also a world-renown poker player and mathematician. He created the Beal Conjecture, which is a very complex math problem which has stumped mathematicians for years, despite the fact that Beal promised $1 million to anyone who could solve it.

4- Richard Kinder

Richard Kinder comes in at number 41 of the country’s richest people. Worth $10.7 billion, the 69 year old Kinder is from Houston, Texas. Kinder Oil is the second largest pipeline company in the United States, and boasts of 180 storage terminals and 82,000 miles of pipelines. (That would go around the earth three times.) In August, Kinder Oil made a $70 billion deal that consolidated all of its oil and gas holdings into one. It was the second largest energy transaction ever made, just behind 1999’s Exxon-Mobil merger. Kinder is a former Army captain whose Kinder Foundation gives money to further education, art, and quality of life for Houston residents.

5- Charles Butt

The Butt family from San Antonio is ranked 47 in the country’s richest people. Charles is 76 years old, and is worth $9.8 billion. His grandmother, Florence Butt founded the H.E. Butt grocery chain of Texas, of which he is now chairman and CEO. The company was founded out of necessity, when Florence’s husband was no longer able to work after contracting tuberculosis. Her son, Howard began running the company in the 1920s, and it grew all over the state. Charles began working as a bag-boy when he was just 8 years old, and has been running the company since 1971.

6- Randa Duncan Williams

This 53 year old hails from Houston, Texas, and is worth $7 billion dollars. She and her two sisters and a brother control Enterprise Product Partners, which is a huge pipeline company that they inherited from their father, Dan Duncan. Of the four siblings, Randa is said to be the most involved in the running of the family business, and was elected as the non-executive chairman of the company’s board in 2013. Each of the sibling’s net worth has climber to over a billion each since September of 2013.

7- Dannine Avara

Another daughter of Houston and of Dan Duncan, this 50 year old is worth $7 billion as well. In 2013, a con woman targeted Dannine and other members of Forbes 400, Harvey Weinstein and Gary Goetzman in a California con-man’s extortion scheme. The woman later lead guilty.

8- Milane Frantz

Also from Houston, this 45 year old is the third daughter of Dan Duncan worth $7 billion. She is on the board of the Hermann Park Conservatory and the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees.

9- Scott Duncan

The last of the Duncan siblings, 31 year old Scott is also from Houston. He is the youngest billionaire in the United States to have inherited his wealth.

10- Jeffrey Hildebrand

Another Houston native, Jeffery Hildebrand is a 55 year old who is worth $6.5 billion. In a few years, his Hilcorp is set to be the largest privately owned oil company in the United States. In 2011, Jeffrey turned a hundred million dollars into $1.3 billion when he sod Eagle Ford share to Marathon Oil. He believes in giving back…after the company doubled in size in 2010, every one of Jeffery’s employees were given $50,000 to purchase a new car. He was appointed by Rick Perry as a regent of the University of Texas in 2013, and is currently building a new 500,000 square foot tower in Houston which will reach 24 stories high.

11- Ray Lee Hunt

This 71 year old is from Dallas, and is worth $6.1 billion. Although he wasn’t always doing so well, he is now believed to be the richest of all of his 13 brothers and sisters. His father was the legendary HL Hunt, and was known to have sired many children in different places. Ray’s half-brothers Herbert and Nelson Bunker were once worth over $10 billion, but were not quite so careful with their fortunes as Ray. Hunt Oil I one of the biggest private oil companies in the United States, and was once of the very first American oil companies to get an oil exploration deal in Iraq’s Kurdish region after Saddam Hussein’s demise.

12- Kelcy Warren

Kelcy Warren is a 58 year old pipeline tycoon who is worth $6.1 billion. He continues to add more to his empire like a Monopoly player collecting all of the properties. Kelcy founded Energy Transfer along with Ray C Davis in 1995, and recently purchased the Texas convenience store chain Susser to his collection of corporations. Energy Transfer has also purchased Southern Union pipeline and Sunoco gas.

13- Robert Rolling

Rowling is a 61 year old from Dallas worth $6 billion. He and his father Reese Rowling sold almost all of their oil and gas assets to Texaco for $500 million. Rowling took most of his cash and invested it into the purchase of the Omni Hotels chain, which makes up the bulk of his net worth now. Rowling was also appointed as a regent of the University of Texas by Governor Rick Perry, and donated $25 million to the University’s business school in 2013.

14- Trevor Rees-Jones

From Dallas, Jones is a 63 year old worth 45.4 billion. At one point he was a bankruptcy attorney who decided that he no longer wanted to be the lawyer who cleaned up after deals were made, but the guy making the deals instead. He became a shale fracking engineer and started with Barnett shale, partnering with Ross Perot. He sold out in 2008 and made a net of $1.5 billion. He poured his cash back into the business, and continued in such “deals” to become what he is today.

15- Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones is the 71 year old owner of the Dallas Cowboys. He is worth $4.2 billion. He purchased the team for $150 million back in 1989, and that team has topped the Forbes charts in worth for eight straight years in a row. The Cowboys team is now worth $3.2 billion. He is a huge supporter of the Salvation Army.

Those are the top 15 Texas from Forbes’ 400 list. Those who wish to see them all can visit here, on their site.

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