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Nine Princeton alumni among Forbes 400 wealthiest list

<h5>Jeff Bezos in 2018.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of Grant Miller / <a href="https://www.bushcenter.org/about-the-center/newsroom/press-releases/2017/11/jeff-bezos-forum-on-leadership.html" target="_self">The George W. Bush Presidential Center</a></h6>
Jeff Bezos in 2018.
Courtesy of Grant Miller / The George W. Bush Presidential Center

This year’s edition of the annual Forbes 400 list, which was released on Oct. 5, lists the 400 wealthiest Americans, nine of whom graduated from the University. 

Jeffrey Bezos ’86 claimed the top spot on the list, with a net worth of 201 billion dollars. Three other alumni, MacKenzie Scott ’92, Eric Schmidt ’76, and Carl Icahn ’57, as well as members of the Frist family, were also in the top 50. 

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Alumni on the list were collectively worth nearly 340 billion dollars. The list shows that the wealthiest Americans have had their wealth grow by about 40 percent in the past year, to over $4 trillion overall.

Forbes also included a section on “Philanthropy Score,” which is described in the list’s methodology as being “based on what percentage of their wealth they have given away,” as well as how much of their donated money actually reached nonprofit organizations, as opposed to just their own foundations. 

On this metric, which is measured on a scale of 0 to 5 with 5 being the most philanthropic, four of the alumni scored a 1, four scored a 2, and only one alumna, Scott, scored a 4. 

Those listed were also measured on a “Self-Made Score,” which ranges from 1–10, and the alumni on the list averaged a 6.33 on this metric. 

The average age of the alumni listed is 63.9 years old, with the oldest being Icahn and the youngest being Jose Feliciano ’94, who in Sept. 2020 announced that he and his wife, Kwanza Jones ’93, would donate $20 million to fund the construction of two new residential halls.

With the exception of David Siegel ’83, whose wealth remained relatively unchanged in the last year, every alumni on the list had their wealth increase.

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The other alumni on this year’s list are Meg Whitman ’77, the primary donor and namesake of Whitman College, and John J. Fisher ’83.

Contributing reporting from Marie-Rose Sheinerman, Evelyn Doskoch, Charlie Roth, Sidney Singer, Jasmyn Bednar, and Alison Araten. 

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