Three of the 20 richest people in the world live or have roots in the Seattle area and collectively are worth nearly $300 billion, according data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and current as of March 20.
All three of the individuals have seen their wealth expand since the beginning of the year, propelled by a robust stock market ― with the collective gain year to date totaling nearly $36 billion.
The mega-billionaire business leaders linked to the Seattle area include, No. 1, Jeff Bezos, founder and the largest shareholder of online retail behemoth Amazon, with a total net worth of $146 billion; No. 2, Bill Gates, co-founder of software giant Microsoft, with a net worth of $100 billion; and No. 16, Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and owner of the L.A. Clippers NBA franchise, with a net worth of $44.3 billion.
The three Seattle-linked individuals making the list may come as no surprise, but Bloomberg offers some “random facts” about each that might be enlightening. In the case of Bezos, he learned how to castrate cattle while working on his grandparents’ ranch in Texas. Gates apparently likes to play cards (bridge) with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, ranked No. 4 on the billionaires list. And Ballmer, Bloomberg notes, joined Microsoft as “employee No. 30 in 1980.”
Of the world’s top 20 billionaires, according to the Bloomberg index, 13 are from the U.S., two are from China, two are from France, and one each hail from India, Mexico and Spain. More than half of the billionaires in the top 20 made their fortunes in either the technology or retail sectors, with the technology sector leading the way with eight billionaires.