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Michael Dell
(Hartmann Studios)

Michael Dell remains the wealthiest man in Austin.

The Forbes 400 is out and once again, Austin boasts a considerable amount of America's richest with eight local residents—five of which have jumped to higher spots on the list. Combined, the eight self-made billionaires enjoy a staggering $58.9 billion.


Coming in with over half of the Austin billionaires' share, Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, still tops the list for the richest man in Austin at $35.6 billion. Overall, he is ranked 18th richest in the country and has amassed $12.7 billion since March.

Robert F. Smith, co-founder, chairman and CEO of private equity and venture capital firm Vista Equity Partners, came in at 125th place overall with $5.2 billion to his name. Smith is the first Black man to sign a Giving Pledge, a campaign that encourages the ultra-rich to pledge the majority of their money to philanthropic causes. He is also reportedly under a federal tax investigation.

Bert "Tito" Beveridge, founder of the popular Tito's Handmade Vodka, is worth $4.6 billion and ranks 154th overall. The Tito's founder started the business in 1997 with 19 credit cards, which gave him $90,000, and slept on couches and floors in the process.

At 268th place on the list, Thai Lee, CEO of IT provider SHI International, is worth $3.1 billion and is the only Austin woman on the list. Lee was born in Bangkok but lived in South Korea until high school, when she moved to the U.S. Lee also ranked #5 on Forbes' America's Self-Made Women list in 2019.

Joseph Liemandt, founder of investment firm ESW Capital, came in 278th on the list with $3 billion to his name. Liemandt is no stranger to The Forbes 400, as he was the youngest self-made member of the list in 1996 with just $500 million to his name.

John Paul DeJoria, founder of tequila company Patrón Spirits Co and co-founder of hair care brand John Paul Mitchell Systems, currently ranks 319th on the list. DeJoria is worth $2.7 billion, which is $400 million less than last year, but about the same as his value in 2018.

At 353rd place, Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, made much of his $2.4 billion fortune by being one of the early venture investors in Facebook. Breyer has invested in over 40 successful companies, including Etsy and Marvel Entertainment but is down from his $2.5 billion spot on the list last year.

Finally, ranked 359th, Brian Sheth, the other co-founder of Vista Equity Partners, is worth $2.3 billion. Sheth has had relatively steady growth of his fortune, only breaking $2 billion total since March 2018. Sheth is chairman of Global Wildlife Conservation, an environmental foundation based in Austin.

Despite the pandemic, many of America's richest have benefitted from the volatility of the stock market. In fact, these 400 billionaires have increased their total net worth by $240 billion from last year, totaling a record $3.2 trillion.

The annual Forbes 400 list calculates net worths using stock prices from July 24, 2020.


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