Meet America’s Black Billionaires
Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation
At the start of 2020, the United States is currently home to five of the world’s eleven black billionaires. Get to know some of the wealthiest African Americans in the country below.
Robert F. Smith ($5 billion)
Robert F. Smith, the billionaire businessman who made headlines when he wiped out the enter student debt for the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse College, earns his wealth as founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco. In 2017, Forbes named Smith one of the 100 greatest living business minds and in 2018, Smith surpassed Oprah Winfrey as the wealthiest African American in the country.
David Steward ($3.9 billion)
David Steward is the founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc, the largest black-owned business in the United States. Founded in 1990, World Wide Technology employs 5,000 people and brings in over $11 billion in revenue annually. The Fortune 500 company provides technology and supply chain services large public and private organizations around the globe.
Oprah Winfrey ($2.7 billion)
Media maven, television producer, and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey, comes in as the third richest African American in the United States, after holding the crown as the wealthiest throughout the 20th century. Oprah’s work in television attributes to much of her multi-billion dollar net worth and is amongst the ranks of the richest self-made women in America.
Michael Jordan ($1.9 billion)
Former basketball superstar, Michael Jordan, played 15 seasons in the NBA, 13 of which were with the Chicago Bulls and two with the Washington Wizards. During his career, he won six NBA championships, his first in 1991. Endorsement deals with major brands such as Nike, Gatorade, Mc Donalds, Wheaties, and Hanes attributed to Jordan’s high earnings. In 2014, he became the first NBA player to reach billionaire status, which is only right because, in the fourth quarter of 2019, his Jordan Brand sneakers generated a billion dollars in revenue for Nike, a new milestone.
Jay-Z ($1 billion)
In 2019, Jay-Z became hip-hop’s first billionaire. His music alone did not get him there, however. Back in 2013, Jay-Z invested $2 million in Uber. His partnerships and Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades) champagne and D’Ussé cognac also play a major part in his accumulation of wealth. In 2015, he acquired the music streaming service Tidal. In 2017, he sold a third of the company to Sprint for $200 million. The rapper’s love for collecting art will also keep him healthy for a while.