Last year, when Forbes published its celebrated annual list of the 400 richest Americans, I suggested here in New To Seattle that someone in Seattle had been missed–Anne Gittinger, whose grandfather co-founded Nordstrom in 1901. My close reading of the company proxy suggested she was in a tie–at $1.2 billion–with her older brother, Bruce Nordstrom, who had become the first Nordstrom ever to make the list. Re Gittinger–Seattle’s richest woman in her own right–I wrote, “Maybe next year.”
Well, next year arrived this morning, when the 32d edition of the 400 was released. Both Gittinger and Nordstrom are on the list, tied at No. 386 with an estimated net worth each of $1.3 billion. (Last year, Nordstrom was No. 360).
Actually, there is a total of 15 people tied at No. 386, so the Seattle sibs sit at the very bottom. But you can do a lot worse than sit at the very bottom of the Forbes 400 list.
Otherwise, the Seattle-area continent amounts to the Usual Suspects, albeit with a little thinning out at the top. Last year, four of the top 20 spots went to folks around the Puget Sound. This year, only two are in the top 20.
Besides the Nordstrom family, here’s the rest of the nine from the region:
—Bill Gates (Microsoft), No. 1 for the 20th consecutive year, pegged at $72 billion, up $6 billion from last year. He’s now richer than all the other Seattle-area tycoons combined despite hefty regular contributions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
—Jeff Bezos (Amazon), No. 12, worth $27.2 billion, up 17% from last year’s $23.2 billion when he was ranked No. 13.
—Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), No. 21, which is down from No. 19 last year even though his estimated net worth, $18 billion, rose from $15.9 billion last year.
—Paul Allen (Microsoft, real estate, sports teams), No. 26, worth $15.8 billion. Last year he was No. 20 at $15 billion. Despite the fictional tycoon, Christian Grey, in the Seattle-set Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, Allen remains Seattle’s richest unmarried person.
–-James Jannard (Oakley sunglasses), No. 166 at $3 billion. Last year, his $2.8 billion put him at No. 150.
–Howard Schultz (Starbucks), No. 273, figured at $2 billion, up from No, 311 and $1.5 billion last year.
—Craig McCaw (telecom), No. 314, at $1.8 billion. Last year his $1.5 billion put him at No. 311. Along with Gates, McCaw has been on every Rich List since 1986.