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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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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