12 of the 50 richest people in America made their money in tech

Two prime examples.
Two prime examples.
Image: AP Photo/Nati Harnik
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Of America’s 50 richest people, a quarter made their fortunes in technology, and collectively represent just eight firms, reveals the just-released Forbes 400 list.

Here’s what the Forbes 400 list looks like when just the members who made their money in technology are included. (Number 10, Michael Bloomberg, is often counted as a “media” maven, but it’s arguably his company’s pioneering use and deployment of technology to distribute that media which made his fortune.) The fortunes of Microsoft and Google have each minted three of the richest Americans.

1. Bill Gates (Microsoft)

3. Larry Ellison (Oracle)

10. Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

12. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

13. Larry Page (Google)

14. Sergey Brin (Google)

20. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

21. Steve Ballmer (Microsoft)

25. Michael Dell (Dell)

26. Paul Allen (Microsoft)

35. Laurene Powell Jobs & family (Apple)

47. Pierre Omidyar (eBay)

49. Eric Schmidt (Google)

It’s also obvious that technology has created wealth that skews toward the highest end of the spectrum. If we look for example just at the 20 richest Americans, we find that 35% made their money in tech. And were it not for the Walton Family (Walmart) and the Koch brothers (Koch Enterprises), more than half of the 10 richest Americans would be tech billionaires, including the founders of Microsoft, Oracle, Bloomberg, Amazon and Google, with Mark Zuckerberg trailing not far behind—and likely to climb the ranks if Facebook’s share price continues to increase. And if you look at just those on the Forbes 400 list who are under 45, 12 of 20  made their money in tech.