politics & history The Richest Americans in History

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A list of the richest Americans in history, with pictures. These are the top wealthiest Americans ever. Each of these people was at one point the richest man in the country. This list goes back all the way to the 1700's including those who made their wealth through shipping, oil, automobiles, technology, and many other industries. The amount of money these people have held has grown from the hundreds of thousands, onto becoming millionaires, and now billionaires. While money isn't everything, the impact many of these people have had on United States history reverberates to this day. Perhaps then there is even more to these fellows than just being the top richest Americans.
Bill Gates 
    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: Eric Havir/Flickr

William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor. Gates originally established his reputation as the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company, with Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, Gates ...more

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Age: 61

Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States of America

Schools: Lakeside School, Harvard College

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#89 on Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

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John Kluge 
    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: Freebase/Fair use

John Werner Kluge was a German-born American entrepreneur who was at one time the richest person in America. He was best known as a television industry mogul in the United States. ...more

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Age: Died at 96 (1914-2010)

Birthplace: Chemnitz, Germany

Schools: Columbia University, Wayne State University

Died: 2010

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Sam Walton 
    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club. ...more

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Age: Died at 74 (1918-1992)

Birthplace: Kingfisher, Oklahoma, United States of America

Schools: University of Missouri–Columbia, Hickman High School

Died: 1992

Cause Of Death: Cancer, Bone cancer, Multiple myeloma

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4

Daniel Ludwig


Daniel Keith Ludwig was a United States shipping magnate, businessman with numerous companies, and billionaire. He pioneered the construction of super tankers in Japan, founded Exportadora de Sal, SA in Mexico and developed it as the largest salt company in the world, built a model community in ...more

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Age: Died at 95 (1897-1992)

Birthplace: South Haven, Michigan, United States of America

Died: 1992

Cause Of Death: Heart failure

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Jean Paul Getty was an American industrialist. He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American, while the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world's richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1.2 billion. At his death, he was worth ...more

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Age: Died at 84 (1892-1976)

Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

Schools: University of Oxford, Magdalen College, Oxford, University of California Berkeley, + more

Died: 1976

Cause Of Death: Cardiovascular disease

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Andrew W. Mellon 
    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

Andrew William Mellon was an American banker, businessman, industrialist, philanthropist, art collector, United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom and United States Secretary of the Treasury from March 4, 1921 to February 12, 1932, from the wealthy Mellon family of Pennsylvania. He and his ...more

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Age: Died at 82 (1855-1937)

Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Schools: University of Pittsburgh

Died: 1937

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Henry Ford 
    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: user uploaded image

Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle ...more

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Age: Died at 84 (1863-1947)

Birthplace: Greenfield Township, Wayne County, Michigan

Schools: Detroit Business Institute

Died: 1947

Cause Of Death: Cerebral hemorrhage

Also Ranked

#87 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

#25 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

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John D. Rockefeller 
    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Richest Americans in History
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American business magnate and philanthropist. He was a co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry, and along with other key contemporary ...more

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Age: Died at 98 (1839-1937)

Birthplace: Richford, New York, United States of America

Schools: Chancellor University

Died: 1937

Cause Of Death: Arteriosclerosis

Also Ranked

#47 on The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

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