Decabillionaire Dynasties: These are the 10 richest families in America


Because $1 billion isn’t what it used to be, Forbes introduces the first-ever ranking of the nation’s clans worth $10 billion or more. Some famous families make the cut, but others like the Kennedys and Gettys, aren’t wealthy enough.
Charles and Chase Koch, 2023. GUERIN BLASK FOR FORBES

America’s first billionaire, oil baron John D. Rockefeller, appeared on Forbes’ inaugural rich list, compiled by B.C. Forbes himself in 1918. At the time, he was worth $1.2 billion, the equivalent of about $25 billion today. By the time of his death in 1937, Rockefeller had given away roughly $11 billion in current dollars, and left the rest to his heirs. More than 200 of them, who carry on the tradition of giving through the $5.3 billion (net assets) Rockefeller Foundation, share an estimated $10.3 billion fortune today.

That’s enough to rank them at no. 42 on Forbes’ first-ever list of Decabillionaire Dynasties. At a time when markets and asset values are soaring, and the number of billionaires seems to multiply by the day, Forbes decided to up the ante and rank only those families worth $10 billion or more. Forty-five multigenerational families made the cut. Altogether they are worth a combined $1.3 trillion. By comparison, just 36 families were worth $10 billion or more in 2020, the last time Forbes counted up the fortunes of America’s richest families.

These extended families live all across the country in at least 23 states and are based out of hometowns ranging from Louisville, Kentucky to Wichita, Kansas to Racine, Wisconsin. But there are certain places where more of them can be found. New York City, home to the descendants of makeup mogul Estée Lauder (d. 2004) and publishing legend William Randolph Hearst (d. 1951) as well as the Rockefellers, has the most with seven. Chicago (four families) and Atlanta (three families) round out the top three.

While several other historic 19th century families like the Cargills, Du Ponts and Mellons make the cut, others like the Gettys, Vanderbilts and Morgans couldn’t keep up. (Carnegie, meanwhile, gave all of his money away).

What hasn’t changed: Walmart founder Sam Walton’s heirs continue their reign as America’s wealthiest family, worth $267 billion, exactly $150 billion more than number two Mars. Still, relatively speaking, the Waltons’ fortune grew by less than many other wealthy families. They are up only 8% since 2020 – the last time Forbes ranked family wealth – due to Walmart’s struggling stock, billions paid in taxes on huge stock sales, at least $4.4 billion of charitable stock gifts and a higher estimate of the Walmart stake held by charitable trusts in the name of Sam’s son John Walton (d. 2005), which is excluded from the family fortune. By comparison the S&P 500 has climbed 29% in that time.

Meanwhile, the Mars family moves up to no. 2, with a total net worth of $117 billion. That’s nearly double what they were worth nearly a decade ago when Forbes started tracking family wealth, but it’s still a staggering $150 billion less than the Waltons.

Some clans are worth much more than they were even a few years ago. Apart from the Walton and Mars families (who are up $20 billion and $23 billion, respectively), the descendants of Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy (d. 2014) were the biggest gainers on an absolute basis (up $19.4 billion). The descendants of Enterprise Rent-A-Car founder Jack Taylor (d. 2016) saw the largest percentage increase (up 144%).

The family of corporate raider Sam Heyman (d. 2009), including his sons-in-law David Millstone and David Winter, is the only clan to appear on a Forbes richest families list for the first time (estimated net worth: $19.2 billion). Their Standard Industries is best known for its roofing and chemicals businesses. But the industrial conglomerate made news Tuesday as a potential buyer of Air Mail, the digital media startup cofounded by ex-Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter in which it had already invested.

Not all families have fared as well. Four clans who were worth more than $10 billion in 2020 have since lost their decabillionaire status. Among them: Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family (estimated net worth: $5.2 billion), whose offer to settle all OxyContin-related civil claims against them for $6 billion has been appealed to the Supreme Court. The descendants of New York real estate moguls Sol Goldman (d. 1987) and his brother Irving Goldman (d. 1995) also dropped $7.7 billion to an estimated $5.5 billion fortune, due to significantly lower property valuations revealed as part of an intrafamily legal dispute among Sol’s children.’

This story was first published on and all figures are in USD.

America’s Decabillionaire Families

1. Walton

Net Worth: $267 billion

Source: Walmart

Hometown: Bentonville, Arkansas

Family Members: At least 39

Sam Walton at left, Alice Walton, Jim Walton
(L) A 1984 photo of Sam Walton, 67, touring a toy display at a Wal-Mart manager meeting in Little Rock. (R) Jim Walton, left, Alice Walton, centre, and Rob Walton, right, children of Sam Walton, attend a Walmart shareholders’ meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Danny Johnson/AP, April L. Brown/AP

Despite selling roughly $22 billion of Walmart stock over the past decade — and giving $11 billion away — the seven billionaire descendants of company cofounders Sam (d. 1992) and Bud Walton (d. 1995) still own an estimated 45% of the retail giant’s shares.

Sam’s eldest son, Rob, sits on Walmart’s board alongside Rob’s nephew, Steuart, and son-in-law Greg Penner, who replaced Rob as the retailer’s chairman in 2015 and as controlling owner of the NFL’s Denver Broncos in October. The family’s fortune is enhanced by the seven sports teams (including the Los Angeles Rams and British soccer powerhouse Arsenal) owned by Stan Kroenke, husband of Bud’s daughter Ann Walton Kroenke.

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2. Mars

Net Worth: $117 billion

Source: Candy, pet food

Family Members: At least 37

Siblings Jacqueline and John Mars, along with the four daughters of their brother Forrest Jr. (d. 2016), own candy and pet food giant Mars. The McLean, Virginia–based company owns dozens of iconic brands, including M&Ms, Snickers, Ben’s Original rice and Pedigree dog food; it posted revenue of $47 billion in 2022. Frank Mars (d. 1934) began selling buttercream candy from his kitchen in 1911.

John, now 88, was the last family member to serve as CEO, stepping down in 2001. Jacqueline’s son Stephen Badger and Forrest Jr.’s daughter Victoria sit on the board.

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3. Koch

Net Worth: $116 billion

Source: Koch Industries

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas

Family Members: At least 19

Charles Koch

Guerin Blask for Forbes

Charles Koch, 88, took over what became the $125 billion (2022 sales) conglomerate Koch Industries when his father, Fred, died in 1967. Koch has its fingers in everything from oil refining and fiber optics to paper towels. Charles and Julia Koch, the widow of his brother David (d. 2019), both have a 42% voting stake.

Siblings Bill and Frederick (d. 2020) were bought out by Charles and David in 1983, prompting two decades of litigation over the payout (reportedly around $800 million). GOP megadonor Charles is not a Trump fan: His Stand Together nonprofit network and Koch Industries each contributed $25 million to a super PAC that endorsed Nikki Haley for president.

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4. Cargill-MacMillan

Net Worth: $60.6 billion

Source: Cargill Inc.

Family Members: At least 100

The extended family—which includes 21 individual billionaires—owns an estimated 88% of Cargill, the largest private company by revenue in the U.S. Founded in 1865 by W.W. Cargill as a grain storage company, the $177 billion (revenue) firm is a major player in grain, producing corn syrup, starch and livestock feed, and is involved in meatpacking and energy trading. Whitney MacMillan (d. 2020) was the last family member to serve as CEO, from 1976 to 1995.

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5. Johnson

Net Worth: $44.8 billion

Source: Fidelity

Family Members: At least 12

Edward C Johnson 2d (seated) and Edward C “Ned” Johnson 3d of Fidelity Investments in 1972. Joe Dennehy/Getty Images

Abigail Johnson, the granddaughter of Fidelity Investments founder Edward C. Johnson II (d. 1984), became CEO of the mutual fund giant in 2014 and chairman two years later. Under her leadership, Fidelity’s assets have ballooned to $4.4 trillion, from $2 trillion, while expanding sustainable funds and embracing Bitcoin.

Abigail’s brother Edward IV runs investment firm Pembroke Real Estate, which is owned by Fidelity. Her father, Edward “Ned” Johnson III (d. 2022), ran the firm for four decades.

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6. Pritzker

Net Worth: $41.6 billion

Source: Hotels, investments

Hometown: Chicago

Family Members: At least 82

(L) A.N. Pritzker, (C) J.B. Pritzker, (R) Penny Pritzker AP, Michael Prince for Forbes Newscom

The third generation of the Hyatt Hotels dynasty boasts 10 billionaires, including Penny Pritzker, the former U.S. commerce secretary; Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, the country’s richest elected official; filmmaker Gigi Pritzker, a producer of the 2021 film The Eyes of Tammy Faye; and Tom Pritzker, the current chairman of Hyatt Hotels.

The family’s fortune dates to the 1957 purchase of one motel in Los Angeles. The Pritzkers spent years in the early 2000s suing one another over trusts before agreeing in 2005 to divide the fortune. View Profile

7. Johnson

Net Worth: $38.5 billion

Source: S.C. Johnson

Family Members: At least 70

Samuel Curtis Johnson bought a parquet flooring company in 1886 and two years later developed a floor wax. Today S.C. Johnson owns brands like Windex, Shout, Ziploc and Raid.

The family still fully controls the $11.2 billion (estimated sales) private company. Herbert Fisk Johnson III, great-great-grandson of the founder, is chairman and CEO. His sister Helen Johnson-Leipold is chair and CEO of Johnson Outdoors, a publicly traded company that sells scuba gear, camp stoves and tents.

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8. Cathy

Net Worth: $33.6 billion

Source: Chick-fil-A

Hometown: Atlanta

Family Members: At least 47

S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, poses on his son, Dan T. Cathy’s, Harley Davidson motorcycle (which is painted to look like a cow), in 2001 in front of the company’s headquarters in south Atlanta. Ric Feld/AP

The first family of fried chicken has come a long way since S. Truett Cathy (d. 2014) opened the first Chick-fil-A in an Atlanta shopping mall in 1967. The 3,000-plus-location chain is run by his grandson Andrew, who succeeded his dad, Dan, as CEO in 2021.

The restaurants rang up $6.4 billion in 2022 sales; next year Chick-fil-A is planning to open its first overseas location, in the U.K. The chain, which has traditionally been closed on Sundays, may have to tweak its policy for new contracts with seven locations along the New York State Thruway if a proposed state law requiring that rest stops offer food seven days a week passes.

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9. Duncan

Net Worth: $30 billion

Source: Pipelines

Hometown: Houston

Family Members: At least 13

Dan Duncan poses for a portrait with a pair of his trophy lions on display at his central Texas ranch east of Austin Monday, March 13, 2006, in Rosanky, Texas. Brett Coomer/Getty Images

Dan Duncan (d. 2010) started oil-and-gas pipeline company Enterprise Product Partners in 1968 with $10,000 and a couple of partners. It has since ballooned into an enterprise that spans some 50,000 miles of pipelines and generates more than $58 billion in annual revenue.

The partners are long gone, and Duncan’s fortune, which he left to his four children, has tripled since his death thanks to bountiful dividends and a soaring stock price. Randa Duncan Williams, his oldest child, has chaired the board since 2013 and is the only Duncan remaining with a role in the business.

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10. Cox

Net Worth: $26.8 billion

Source: Media

Hometown: Atlanta

Family Members: At least 37

10-Anne Beau Cox Chambers by American Photo Archive-Alamy
Anne Cox Chambers (d. 2020). American Photo Archive/Alamy

Media giant Cox Enterprises includes Cox Communications (cable and broadband), Cox Automotive (Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim) and newspapers including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Alex Taylor, the 49-year-old CEO, is the fourth generation of family members to lead the now $22.1 billion (sales) company.

In July, James “Fergie” Chambers, a cousin of Taylor’s and a self-described communist, announced on social media that he had sold his shares back to the company to protest the family’s financial support of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, which trains police and firefighters.

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Edited by Matt Durot & Andrea Murphy, Forbes Staff

Reported by Richard J. Chang, Grace Chung, Matt Craig, Amy Feldman, Chris Helman, Monica Hunter-Hart, John Hyatt, Phoebe Liu, Devin Martin, Jemima McEvoy, Chase Peterson-Withorn, Chloe Sorvino, Giacomo Tognini and Gigi Zamora

Here is Forbes’ definitive ranking of the 45 richest families in America. We’ve excluded individual billionaires (and their widows, in certain cases) who are credited with the entire family fortune and appear on The Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. The number of family members is an estimate of the living descendants (and their spouses) of the fortune’s founder. Estimated fortunes were calculated using stock prices from January 16, 2024.

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