MO MONEY

These are the 10 biggest landowners in the United States

Sports magnate Stan Kroenke—who owns the Denver Nuggets, most of Arsenal soccer club, and the (former) St. Louis Rams—has bought a vast Texas ranch, covering 520,000 acres and spread over six counties, that was on the market for $725 million. That puts him in the top 10 of US landowners. But just how high?

Here are the others that make up the top 10 biggest landowner in the US, according to the Land Report 100 (pdf), which tracks land ownership:

1. John Malone

Malone is the largest landowner in the US, with 2.2 million acres of land. Though the name may draw some blank faces, the billionaire is one of the most powerful men in cable. If his $55-billion takeover of Time Warner Cable gets the green light, Malone’s Charter Communications will be the nation’s second-largest cable company.

2. Ted Turner

The 77-year-old is another media mogul who owns around 2 million acres of land across seven states, which is just shy of three Rhode Islands. Turner, who founded CNN, is also the owner of the world’s largest private herd of bison. (His Standing Butte Ranch featured in the Academy Award-winning film Dances with Wolves.)

Turner now spends his time with his four girlfriends across the 28 homes he owns, including 14 ranches.

3. The Emmerson family

The Emmerson family own 1.9 million acres of land. Curly Emmerson and his son, Archie, better known as “Red,” founded the Sierra Pacific Industries in 1949. The company is one of the country’s largest lumber producers. It employs over 4,500 and for the last 36 years, the company has been giving scholarships to the children of its employees.

Sierra Pacific Industries is working on a range of developments, which includes a significant conservation project in California.

4. Brad Kelly

The reclusive billionaire has accumulated 1.7 million acres of land in less than a decade. Kelly, who made his money from the discount cigarette business, says he didn’t really plan on acquiring so much land. “I grew up on a farm and that’s about as good an explanation as there is,” he told the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

5. The Reed family

In 2015, the Reed family, owners of 1.3 million acres of land, celebrated their success by planting their 100-millionth tree. The Reed’s family company— Green Diamond Resource Company—manages and owns a range of forests in California and Washington. The company is now owned by the fifth generation of Reeds.

6. The Irving family

The Irvings are one of America’s wealthiest families; from their dynasty’s founding in 1881, their fortune is now estimated to be worth $4 billion through a number of investments that range from tissue manufacturing to oil and gas. The Irvings, who refine 320,000 barrels of oil a day, supply the US with a fifth of its oil imports from their refineries in Canada.

They have amassed an impressive 1.2 million acres of land.

7. The Singleton family

Henry Singleton acquired 1.1 million acres of land (pdf) before his death in 1999. In a span of 14 years, he purchased 28 ranches. In his later years, Singleton went back to raising cattle. The Singleton family now run these ranches in New Mexico and California.

8. The King family

With over 900,000 acres of land, the heirs to Richard King’s historic ranch are set for life. The land stretches over six Texas counties and operates a range of ventures, which includes ecotourism and cattle and feedlots operations.

9. Stan Kroenke

And that brings us to Kroenke, who now owns more than 865,000 acres of land in the US—an area that’s four-and-a-half times the size of New York. The Waggoner ranch, which currently employs 120 people, is one of the 20 largest cattle ranches in the US. Kroenke, who is worth more than $7 billion, also owns farms in Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia. As one Arsenal supporter said:

10. The Pingree family

The heirs to David Pingree fortune inherited 830,000 acres of land and round out the top 10. David Pingree, nicknamed the Merchant Prince of Salem, first started buying land 1841.

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