A select few live at the tippy top of the 1%. According to Yahoo Finance and Insider Monkey, here's a ranking of the wealthiest families in the world. Can you guess which family has the top spot?
30. The Marshall Family - Estimated $18.5 Billion
The Marshall family fortune comes from J. Howard Marshall II partnering up with the Koch family several decades ago. The partnership has certainly paid off - with lots of dollar dollar bills, y'all.
Marshall owned 16% of Koch Industries. While that may be a failing grade in math class, it turned the Marshall family into one of the wealthiest in the world. J. Howard Marshall II married Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, and his son, E. Pierce Marshall, was caught in a legal battle with her over his father's inheritance.
29. The Brown Family – Estimated $20.4 Billion
Raise your glasses high for this next family fortune! The Brown family owns one of the largest spirits and wine businesses in the world, the Brown-Forman Corporation. Under the company are well-known brands like Jack Daniel's, Finlandia, and Korbel.
The company was founded by George Brown in 1870 when he came up with the idea to sell whiskey in sealed glass bottles. Over 100 years later, around 40 members of the Brown family control more than 70% of the company's voting shares. Plus, one of his descendants, Campbell P. Brown, serves as the chairman of the company.
28. The Hearst Family – Estimated $21 Billion
Extra, extra, read all about this family's billions. William Randolph Hearst entered the newspaper industry in 1887. Over his career, he built an empire, acquiring newspapers nationwide. Hearst started building himself a castle on 40,000 acres of land. Fun fact, his life inspired the famous film Citizen Kane.
The family remains involved in the company's ownership and management to this day. William's grandson, William R. Hearst III, chairs Hearst Corporations, which owns newspapers, magazines, television stations, and television channels, including Esquire, Cosmopolitan, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more.
27. The Mills Family – Estimated $26.2 Billion
Four generations have been in control of Medline Industries, the company that A.L. Mills began in the early 1900s. While Mills started the business by selling aprons to butchers, he expanded to medical gowns shortly after. Since then, Medline Industries has become one of the leading suppliers of medical supplies.
Just to demonstrate how ginormous the company is, per Zippia, its annual revenue is $11.7 billion. Plus, they are America's largest privately held manufacturer. The Mills family has come a long way since their great-grandfather was selling aprons on the streets of Chicago.
26. The Mistry Family – Estimated $27.4 Billion
For this next family fortune, we'll be traveling across the world to India. In 1865, Pallonji Mistry founded a construction company named Shapoorji Pallonji Group. The company became a construction giant and built many of Mumbai's most famous landmarks, including the Taj Intercontinental and the Bombay Stock Exchange.
They also helped to renovate and repair the Taj Mahal after the 2008 Mumbai Attacks. Shapoor Mistry, a great-grandson to the founder, currently runs the company. The family has enjoyed their vast fortune over the years. They own a 200-acre stud farm in Ireland and a 10,000-square-foot home in India.
25. The Cox Family – Estimated $28.3 Billion
Founded in Ohio, James M. Cox started this American-made company on the recommendation of his son, James M. Cox Jr. He entered the radio business. Currently, Cox Enterprises is known as a global conglomerate. While they still are a significant player in the communication industry, they are also in the auto industry.
Cox Communications has become America's third-largest cable company, and Cox Automotive has brands like AutoTrader and Kelley Blue Book under its umbrella. Alexander C. Taylor, James Cox's great-grandson, is the company's Chairman, President, and CEO. Many of the board members for Cox Enterprises are family members.
24. The Dassault Family – Estimated $28.5 Billion
Would you like a baguette with your billions? This next family probably would! The Dassault family hails from France and has become one of the wealthiest families in the world. Marcel Dassault began his empire by producing airplane propellers in World War I. What started as Dassault Aviation is today the Dassault Group.
The group is made up of many companies, ranging from aviation to real estate. The Dassault family also owns a newspaper, a winery, an art auction house, and property in Paris. Marcel's son, Serge, ran the company until his death at 93. The family is still involved in the company.
23. The Kwok Family – Estimated $29.2 Billion
Another family empire is the Kwok family from Hong Kong. Kwok Tak-Seng founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, which has become one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong. Per Forbes, the company has around $102.7 billion in assets and generates $8.3 billion in revenue. Those are some big numbers!
There has been no lack of drama for the Kwok family, either. The founder's eldest son, Walter, was kidnapped and reportedly held captive in a wooden crate until his family paid a ransom. Also, Walter took his brothers, Thomas and Raymond, to court when he accused them of trying to kick him off the company's board wrongfully.
22. The Van Damme, De Spoelberch, De Mevius Families – Estimated $29.9 Billion
In the case of these three families, sharing is extremely caring and profitable. The Van Damme, De Spoelberch, and De Mevius families combined forces in 1987. They merged their family-owned breweries to create the largest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Bush InBev, aka AB InBev.
If the company name doesn't ring any bells, their brands definitely will. Some of their brands include favorites like Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois. AB InBev has around 630 beer brands selling in over 150 countries. That is a whole lot of beer and billions for these Belgium families.
21. The Newhouse Family – Estimated $30 Billion
Every empire has to start somewhere. For Samuel Irving Newhouse, it was with the Staten Island Advance. Newhouse bought the local newspaper and turned it into a media conglomerate as he acquired more newspapers and, eventually, magazines. Newhouse turned the business over to his sons, Samuel "Si" and Donald.
Si focused on the magazine division, while Donald ran the newspaper and television divisions. The group owns Condé Nast, which includes famous publications like Vogue, The New Yorker, and Wired. If that weren't enough, they also have an ownership stake in Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit.
20. The Duncan Family – Estimated $30.1 Billion
Flashback to 1968, NASA orbited the moon, Diana Ross was playing on the radio, and Dan Duncan founded Enterprise Products with $10,000 and two propane trucks. Now Enterprise Products is worth $56.62 billion, per Macrotrends, and the Duncan family has amassed a fortune.
While only one of Dan's children remains involved in the company, the Duncan family still owns one-third of the stock in the company. Randa Duncan Williams serves as the non-executive chairman of the board. Keep scrolling to see what other families have earned enough to become the richest in the world!
19. The Lauder Family – Estimated $32.7 Billion
Estée Lauder and her husband, Joseph, started making cosmetics in 1946 in New York City. Since then, the company has grown from a small operation with four products to a leading business in the cosmetics industry. Underneath the Estée Lauder company are 29 brands, including Bobbi Brown, Le Labo, MAC Cosmetics, and more.
The family has remained heavily involved with the company. Estée's son, Leonard, spent three decades there. His son, William, is now the company's chairman. Her second son, Ronald, serves as the chairman of the Clinique division. It doesn't stop there! Ronald's two daughters, Aerin and Jane, also work there.
18. The Pritzker Family – Estimated $34.6 Billion
A.N. Pritzker went through a few careers before creating a family empire that has made the Pritzkers one of the richest in the world. With his sons, they bought the Hyatt House Hotel in Los Angeles in 1957, and it became the cornerstone of their hotel chain. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts has over 1,350 hotels in its portfolio today.
The family still manages the company, with Thomas Pritzker serving as executive chairman. Even the family members who didn't join the family business have impressive resumes. Penny Pritzker was the United States Secretary of Commerce, JB Pritzker was the governor of Illinois, and Liesel Pritzker works as an actress.
17. The Quandt Family – Estimated $36 Billion
Buckle your seatbelts for this next family fortune. Driving up is the Quandt family, who founded the German car company BMW. Gunther Quandt began the business, but his son, Herbert, is credited with saving it from bankruptcy. Today, Herbert's children are still involved with BMW.
Two of his kids from his third marriage, Stefan and Susanne, are on the board and own shares. The ownership of these shares has made Stefan and Susanne some of the wealthiest people in the world. Don't worry. Herbert's children from his other marriages weren't left empty-handed. They were given shares from his other companies.
16. The Hartono Family – Estimated $36.3 Billion
The Hartono family made their money from building Djarum, a cigarette company. While Djarum helped them create their fortunes, an investment in one of the biggest banks in Indonesia cemented the family as one of the richest in the world. The Hartonos also have holdings in an electronics brand and real estate around Jakarta.
The Hartono brothers, Michael and R. Budi, took their father's company and made it an empire. Budi's son, Victor, has taken over the reins and is in charge of Djarum. Their innovation and perseverance have earned them a spot on this exclusive list. Forbes listed them as one of Asia's Richest Families in 2017.
15. The Von Baumbach Boehringer Family – Estimated $36.6 Billion
German businessman Albert Boehringer founded Boehringer Ingelheim Group in 1885. Over the past 100 years, the company has evolved to become one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Germany. There are around 146 affiliates globally and nearly 50,000 employees.
The company focuses on respiratory diseases, metabolism, immunology, oncology, and conditions associated with the central nervous system. Also, Albert's great-grandson, Hubertus von Baumbach, is still involved with the family business. He serves as chairman of the board.
14. The Johnson Family – Estimated $37 Billion
Over the years, S.C. Johnson has made it known that they are a family company. What is now a cleaning products giant with estimated revenues of $10.5 billion, per Forbes, started as a flooring company in 1886. Unexpected, right? Founder Samuel Curtis Johnson expanded into cleaning when he came out with floor care products.
His son, Herbert, grew the company globally. Under their umbrella are brands like Windex, Glade, and Ziploc. Now, Herbert Fisk Johnson III is the chairman and CEO of the company and is the fifth generation to run it. Also, three members of the ten-person board of directors are members of the Johnson family.
13. The Ferrero Family – Estimated $37.1 Billion
This family has been cashing in on sweet treats for decades. Confectioner and pastry maker Pietro Ferrero owned a bakery in Alba, Italy. The town was known for producing hazelnuts, which is how Nutella came to be. No, really. Alongside his son, Michele, Pietro founded Ferrero SpA and created a sweets empire.
Michele handed over control to his sons, Pietro Jr. and Giovanni. Unfortunately, Pietro passed away, leaving Giovanni in charge. Today, the company has 18 factories, makes 365,000 tons of Nutella a year, and produces other delicious favorites like Kinder, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tac mints, and many more.
12. The Johnson Family – Estimated $40.2 Billion
A savvy businessman and lawyer defied the odds during the Great Depression. Edward C. Johnson II was the only person to have his fund, the Fidelity Fund, approved during this challenging time in American history. The company is now known as Fidelity Investments and is one of the largest asset managers in the world.
The Johnson family owns stock representing 49% of the voting interest in the company, and they are still in the big seat. Abigail Johnson runs the company, taking over from her father, Edward "Ned" Johnson III, in 2014. She is the third generation to be in charge.
11. The Albrecht Family – Estimated $41.4 Billion
Have a groceries list that you've been meaning to get to? The Albrecht family can help with that. Brothers Theodor and Karl started Albrecht Diskont, a grocery store chain. Nowadays, everyone simply knows it by the name Aldi. They also own Trader Joe's, making the Albrechts a grocery empire.
After a disagreement about selling cigarettes, the brothers split the company into two legally separate units. Then in 1971, Theodor was kidnapped and held for ransom. The drama continues to this day. Theodor's grandson, Nicolay, sued his mother and sisters, accusing them of stealing money from the family trust.
10. The Hoffmann Family – Estimated $45.1 Billion
Landing a spot in the top ten richest families in the world is the Hoffmann family. Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche founded a pharmaceutical company at the turn of the 20th century, which he named after himself. Fun fact, it was the first company to produce synthetic vitamin C.
Andre Hoffman, Fritz's great-grandson, has served as the company's vice-chairman since 2006. He also owns 1.5% of the company. The Hoffmann family has made a reputation for themselves as one of Switzerland's most affluent and secretive families. Continue scrolling to see what other families are on the list.
9. The Thomson Family – Estimated $53.9 Billion
Oh, Canada also has a few billionaires enjoying life up north. One of them includes the Thomson family. Roy Thomson started his career by selling radios and eventually established his own radio station. He then moved on to purchase a newspaper and continued to expand his portfolio.
Now, the family has one of the biggest media and publishing empires in the world, Thomson Reuters Corporation. They own Bell Canada and the Toronto-based newspaper Globe and Mail. The company is still majority-owned by the family, and Roy's grandson, David Thomson, serves as the chairman.
8. The Cargill MacMillan Family – Estimated $65.2 Billion
The Cargill MacMillan family owns one of the largest private companies, with revenues of $114.6 billion, per Forbes. Cargill, Incorporated, was founded in 1865 by William Wallace Cargill. What started as a grain storage business today does much more and has made a fortune for the family.
Today, Cargill sells and markets food, trade commodities, and food processing and provides financial risk management. Around 90 family members own 88% of the company, but the last family member to run it was Whitney MacMillan, who retired as CEO in 1995. This company isn't just a gold mine, it's a grain mine!
7. The Wertheimer Family – Estimated $79 Billion
Although it is not the Wertheimer family's name that is synonymous with the luxury brand Chanel, they are the ones behind it. French businessman Pierre Wertheimer co-founded Chanel with designer Coco Chanel, and to this day, the Wertheimer family has been involved and working for the company.
Pierre's grandsons, Alain and Gerard, own the company, which is headquartered in London. The brothers also own vineyards in France and California, participate in horseracing, and own a horse racing stable. They have also acquired several brands, including Eres Lingerie, Tanner Krolle, and Holland & Holland.
6. The Ambani Family – Estimated $84.6 Billion
Dhirubhai Ambani was the son of a village schoolteacher, but he had grand ambitions in mind for the future. Ambani started Reliance Textile Industries while working at a gas station and trading spices and yarn. Eventually, his company became one of the biggest companies in India and the world.
Reliance Textile Industries has its hand in multiple businesses, including energy, telecommunications, mass media, and more. After Dhirubhai passed away in 2002, his sons, Mukesh and Anil, had a big fight. They divided the business empire into two. The third generation of the family is still heavily involved in the business.
5. The Hermès Family – Estimated $94.6 Billion
Hermès is a luxury powerhouse. Everybody wants to get their hands on a Birkin bag, which has a starting price of $8,850. However, it didn't begin this way. In 1837, Thierry Hermès founded a harness workshop in Paris. When his son, Charles-Emile, took over, he added saddlery. The business continued to grow.
The first handbags were introduced in 1922, and Thierry's descendant, Jean-Louis, is credited with turning the luxury brand into what it is today. Currently, Axel Dumas, a sixth-generation family member and Jean-Louis's nephew, serves as the company's CEO, while his cousin, Pierre-Alexis Dumas, works as the artistic director.
4. The Al Saud Family – Estimated $105 Billion
Not only is this next family one of the wealthiest in the world, but they are also royalty. The Al Saud family is the ruling family of Saudi Arabia. Their wealth comes from oil reserves that were found in the country. Their family history stems from centuries of rulers.
If the going ever gets tough with ruling a country, they have the perfect escape on their luxury yacht. They also own properties worldwide, like a chateau in France. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman made news when he reportedly purchased a Leonardo da Vinci painting for $450 million.
3. The Koch Family – Estimated $128.8 Billion
In 1940, Fred Koch co-founded the Wood River Oil and Refining Company. Eventually, this would turn into Koch Industries, which today is one of the largest private companies in America. The business is based out of Wichita, Kansas, and the Koch family still owns 42% of it.
In a battle fit for HBO, his four sons were caught in a legal struggle over the company when Fred passed away. The second oldest, Charles, works as Koch Industries' chairman and CEO. In addition to oil, Koch Industries is involved with cloud computing, finance, investments, raw material trading, and so much more.
2. The Mars Family – Estimated $160 Billion
When Tom Cruise yelled, "Show me the money!" in Jerry Maguire, it was apparently all chocolate. The Mars family owns Mars Incorporated, one of the world's largest candy and pet food companies. Frank Mars started the business in 1911 when he sold candy from his kitchen.
Mars Incorporated is responsible for creating everyone's candy favorites, like M&M's, Skittles, Snickers, and more. They are also behind pet food brands like Pedigree. The Mars family is quite private, rarely agreeing to interviews or photos. The only exception usually comes from Frank's granddaughter, Jacqueline Mars.
1. The Walton Family – Estimated $224.5 Billion
Taking the number one spot for the richest family in the world is the Walton family. Their story began in 1962 when Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store. Since then, the retail chain has become one of the world's largest retailers and private employers.
About half of the company's stock is owned by family members. The Waltons have been enjoying their wealth. His daughter, Alice, has a massive art collection, including works from Andy Warhol. His son, Rob, collects vintage cars. Plus, multiple family members joined forces to purchase the Denver Broncos football team.