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Forbes 400 names seven Austin billionaires while two bite the dust

(Laura Figi/Austonia)

The 2021 Forbes 400 is here and the rich are getting richer—the 400 richest Americans got 40% wealthier and the cutoff to make the list is higher than ever before at $2.9 billion. The jump cost Austin two slots on the list but out of the 37 Texan billionaires, seven of them call the capital city home.


Austin's most affluent have amassed $262.1 billion altogether, though $190.5 billion comes from transplant Elon Musk. Houston and Dallas boast most of the rest of the state's billionaires, though Fort Worth had a few as well.

Two names were axed: John Paul DeJoria, founder of tequila company Patrón Spirits Co and co-founder of haircare brand John Paul Mitchell Systems, and Brian Sheth, co-founder of Vista Equity Partners. DeJoria was $100 million short of making the cut and Sheth went from a net worth of $2.3 billion to $900 million, a far cry from the quota.

According to Forbes, fortunes were calculated using stock prices and exchange rates from Sept. 3, 2021.

​Elon Musk, $190.5 billion

At second place on the list, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is only trumped by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at $201 billion. The two billionaires have historically been neck and neck, in terms of money and the space race, frequently switching places with each other. Musk has gained $39 billion since April 2021 and $122.5 billion since last year's Forbes 400.

​Michael Dell, $50.1 billion

Maintaining his spot at 18th place on the list, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies Michael Dell was by far the richest man in Austin until Musk came to town. Since the Forbes 400 last year, Dell has gotten $14.5 billion richer even though a large portion of Dell's fortune lies in his private investment firm MSD Capital, which has stakes in hotels and restaurants. Throughout his lifetime, Dell has given away $1.8 billion, or 3% of his total wealth.

Robert F. Smith, $6.7 billion

Robert F. Smith, founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, came in 141st on the list with a $1.5 billion increase in wealth since last year's list. Smith came in with a philanthropy score of two—the billionaire became the first Black billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment to giving away the majority of your wealth to philanthropic causes, and committed to pay off student debt for the class of 2019 at Morehouse College. In October 2020, Smith agreed to pay $139 million to the Department of Justice and IRS for a tax evasion scheme.

​Bert Beveridge, $4.8 billion

Vodka mogul Bert "Tito's" Beveridge has nearly doubled his wealth over the last four years—in the 2017 list, Beveridge clocked in at $2.5 billion. The Tito's Handmade Vodka founder started the business in 1997 with 19 credit cards, which gave him $90,000, and slept on couches and floors in the process. Beveridge dropped down several slots on the list, going from 154 to 224th place, but gained $200 million since last year.

Thai Lee, $4.1 billion

No stranger to the Forbes 400, CEO of IT provider SHI International Thai Lee has increased her wealth by nearly 25% since last year but dropped by five places, settling at 273rd place. Lee has also been included in Forbes' America's Self-Made Women list, coming in 5th and 6th in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

​Joseph Liemandt, $3 billion

Investment firm ESW Capital Joseph Liemandt has consistently maintained a net worth of $3 billion since Forbes' 2018 list but dropped 99 places, to 377th place, this year. However, $3 billion is nothing to sneeze at and this isn't his first rodeo—Liemandt was first included on the list in 1996 as the youngest member.

​Jim Breyer, $2.9 billion

Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital Jim Breyer was one of the first venture investors in Facebook and it paid off handsomely. Breyer has invested in more than 40 successful businesses, including Marvel Entertainment and Etsy. Though he's worth more now than he was this time last year, an extra $400 million, he dropped 36 slots down to 389th place.

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Comedy, live music, McConaughey Q&A: Events in Austin this weekend


💈 Finley’s Pop-up Barbershop

Experience luxury grooming the old-fashioned way at a revival of the Driskill Hotel’s early 1900s barbershop put on by Austin-based Finley’s. The pop-up will offer men’s haircuts, beard trims, hot towels, neck massages and straight razor shaves. Click here to book an appointment.

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday | The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

😂 Moontower Comedy Presents Hannah Gadsby

Catch veteran Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby touring with her newest show, “Body of Work,” written while she pondered the effects of the pandemic. Tickets are still available in the orchestra section, starting at $60.

Doors at 6 p.m. Friday | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.

🎤 Rex Orange County Who Cares? Tour

Alexander James O'Connor, AKA Rex Orange County, is returning to Austin to perform his newest album, “Who Cares?” Tickets are still available starting at $49 each.

Doors at 7:30 p.m. Friday | Germania Insurance Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd.

⚾️ Round Rock Express vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

Catch our local Minor League team play against the El Paso Chihuahuas at home this week. Tickets start at $22.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Friday | Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd.

🎶 Bleachers—The 2022 Tour

Enjoy a night of indie-pop from Grammy-winning producer Jack Antonoff, whose stage name is Bleachers, from the intimacy of Stubb’s. Tickets are still available starting at $33.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Saturday | Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River St.

🎸 The Peterson Brothers with Latasha Lee

Catch the groovy, Bastrop-born brothers are taking their rightful place on stage with soulstress Latasha Lee at Antone’s. Arrive early, seating fills up quickly! The show is 21+ and tickets start at $15.

Doors at 7 p.m. Saturday | Antone's Nightclub, 305 E 5th St.

🤠 Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey Q&A

Famous former Longhorns Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey are joining forces for a Q&A about catching greenlights and living a limitless life. Each ticket will get the holder a copy of Acho’s new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.” Tickets are $39 per person.

1:15 p.m. Sunday | LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St.

⚽️ Austin FC vs. Orlando City

Austin FC is facing off against Orlando City at the biggest party in Austin, Q2 Stadium. Tickets are still available starting at $65 but ticketless Verde fans can still support at one of the many Pub Clubs.

7 p.m. Sunday | Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Pl.


Austin FC wins big! Team makes history, takes No. 1 spot in 2-1 LAFC win

Over a year after its first loss, Austin FC was all smiles as it beat LAFC to take home the top MLS West spot Wednesday. (Austin FC/Twitter)

Over a year after they took the stage for the first time in Los Angeles, Austin FC returned to Banc of America Stadium to snatch the No. 1 spot from LAFC in a 2-1 statement win late Wednesday night.

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