In Seattle, the usual suspects again (plus two)


Forbes logoThis morning, Forbes released its annual list of the world’s billionaires. It essentially includes the entire Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, which appears in the fall, plus another 1,026 swells from around the world. Since publication of the last Forbes 400 list in September, the Seattle-area contingent has grown by two, from eight to ten.

The newbies:

Anne Gittinger. $1.2 billion, ranked No. 1,175. She and her brother, Bruce Nordstrom, are the biggest shareholders in department store operator Nordstrom. Bruce, 79, finally made it onto the Forbes 400 list last year (he’s on this one, too, with an unchanged net worth that matches his sister’s and also the same rank). But Forbes researchers back then apparently missed the fine print in the company proxy statement indicating that Anne, 77, had pretty much the same stash. So it fell to New To Seattle to first point this out to the world last September. The sibs are both graduates of the University of Washington.

Gabe Newell. $1.1 billion, ranked No. 1,268. He is majority owner of Valve Corp., a Bellevue video game developer and distributor. Newell, 50, joins that grand tradition of Seattle billionaires who left school short of graduation. He bailed from Harvard.

The other returnees:

Bill Gates. $67 billion, ranked No. 2. That’s actually up $1 billion from last fall.  A Harvard drop-out, Gates, 57, co-founded Microsoft.

Jeff Bezos. $25.5 billion, ranked No. 19. Up a cool $2.2 billion in six months. A Princeton grad, Bezos, 49,  founded Amazon.com.

Steve Ballmer. $15.2 billion, ranked No. 51. Down $700 million. Ballmer, 56, heads Microsoft. He actually graduated from Harvard, but then dropped out of Stanford.

Paul Allen. $15 billion, ranked No. 53. Net worth unchanged. Age 60, he dropped out of Washington State and co-founded Microsoft with Gates before moving into real estate and other endeavors like ownership of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers. With apologies to the fictional Christian Grey, Allen is still Seattle’s richest bachelor.

James Jannard. $2.8 billion, ranked No. 503. Net worth unchanged. He made his fortune producing high-end Oakley sunglasses. Age 63, he is yet another college drop-out (from USC).  Jannard lives in the San Juan Islands, which isn’t exactly in the immediate Seattle area but is close enough, especially if you have a nice plane or boat.

Craig McCaw. $1.6 billion, ranked 931. Up $100 million from last September. Age 63, he made it through Stanford then made his bundle in telecom.

Howard Shultz. Also $1.6 billion, also ranked 931 and also up $100 million. Mr. Starbucks to one and all. Age 59, he is a graduate of Northern Michigan University.

  Follow William P. Barrett’s work on Twitter by clicking here.

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