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25 richest families in America

  • 25 richest families in America

    Americans are enthralled with watching the lifestyles of the rich and famous unfold on reality television and social media. Despite the extravagant cars and vacations showcased on such shows as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “The Real Housewives” franchise, the wealth of these celebrities pales in comparison to some of America’s richest families.

    To find out which clans hold the most wealth, Stacker compiled a list of the 25 richest families in America using 2019 data from Forbes. Families are ranked in ascending order by their total wealth, with the richest family taking the #1 spot on this list. When ties occur, the families are ranked from most to fewest family members.

    The gap in net worth between the #25 and the #1 richest family is surprisingly wide, with the wealthiest family in America amassing nearly $120 billion more than the 25th-richest. When added together, the 25 families on this list have a combined net worth of over $721.5 billion. If these families were a country, they’d be the 21st richest nation in the world. These families are wealthier than Argentina, Poland, Sweden, and Taiwan when ranked by gross domestic product.

    Most of America’s richest families charted their paths to massive wealth in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some struck it rich by discovering oil in the American South or founding a local business, while others made risky but smart investments. The ancestors of America’s wealthy families were also able to turn failing businesses, like breweries and newspapers, into global enterprises.

    While some clans have kept low profiles for over a century, others have gained national attention and name recognition for inheritance battles, affairs, political scandals, and illegal practices. From the world’s largest alcohol manufacturers to grocers, investors, and oil barons, check out the 25 richest families in America.

    [Pictured: Aerin Lauder]

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  • #25. Gallo family

    - Net worth: $10.7 billion
    - Number of family members: 17 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: wine, liquor
    - Headquarters: Modesto, CA

    Brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo founded E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, Calif., in 1933. In 1966, the winery was named the largest in the United States based on sales volume, and today, Forbes reports that E. & J. Gallo Winery is the largest winemaker in the world.

  • #24. Rockefeller family

    - Net worth: $11 billion
    - Number of family members: 174
    - Source of wealth: oil
    - Headquarters: New York, NY

    In 1863, John Rockefeller founded the first oil refinery in Pittsburgh, Pa. Less than a decade later, Rockefeller started Standard Oil and soon became the wealthiest man in the world. Since then, other notable Rockefellers have served as vice president of the United States and CEO of Chase National Bank.

    [Pictured: Justin Rockefeller and his wife Indre.]

  • #23. Butt family

    - Net worth: $11 billion
    - Number of family members: 5
    - Source of wealth: supermarkets
    - Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas

    Florence Butt founded the C.C. Butt Grocery Store, now called H-E-B Grocery, in 1905. The family-controlled company has since expanded, with hundreds of stores across Texas and Mexico.

  • #22. Mellon family

    - Net worth: $11.5 billion
    - Number of family members: 200 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: banking
    - Headquarters: Pittsburgh, PA

    The Mellon family’s massive wealth all started with Thomas Mellon, also known as “the Judge.” Born to immigrant farmers, Mellon studied law and eventually founded a bank, BNY Mellon, in 1869. Today, an estimated 200 family members share the $11.5 billion net worth.

    [Pictured: Hanley Mellon, Matthew Mellon, and their son William.]

  • #21. Marshall family

    - Net worth: $12 billion
    - Number of family members: 3 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: diversified
    - Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

    In the 1960s, J. Howard Marshall II traded his oil company shares for a 15% stake in Koch Industries. Since then, fighting over the family’s wealth has made national headlines.

    [Pictured: Anna Nicole Smith, widow of J. Howard Marshall II.]

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  • #20. Brown family

    - Net worth: $12.3 billion
    - Number of family members: 25 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: liquor
    - Headquarters: Louisville, KY

    George Garvin Brown founded Brown-Forman Corp. in 1870. Today the company produces some of the most well-known alcohol brands in the world, including Jack Daniel’s and Korbel.

  • #19. Sackler family

    - Net worth: $13 billion
    - Number of family members: 20 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: pain medicines
    - Headquarters: Stamford, CT

    Much of the Sackler family’s wealth comes from Purdue Pharma. However, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2019 as part of a settlement agreement because of its role in the opioid crisis as the maker of the painkiller Oxycontin.

    [Pictured: Madeleine Sackler]

  • #18. Busch family

    - Net worth: $13.4 billion
    - Number of family members: 30 (est.)
    - Source of wealth: Anheuser-Busch
    - Headquarters: St. Louis, MO

    The Busch family legacy began when Adolphus Busch took over a St. Louis brewery in the late 1800s. That same brewery later became Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest breweries in the world. Despite its wild success, the family sold the company in 2008.

    [Pictured: August A. Busch IV]

  • #17. Hunt family

    - Net worth: $13.7 billion
    - Number of family members: 33
    - Source of wealth: oil
    - Headquarters: Dallas, Texas

    H.L. Hunt started the Hunt family fortune when he struck oil throughout the American South. Hunt and his company, Hunt Oil Co., later made Dallas, Texas, home base, and Time magazine in 2008 named him one of the wealthiest men in the country.

    [Pictured: Lamar Hunt Jr.]

  • #16. Goldman family

    - Net worth: $13.7 billion
    - Number of family members: 7
    - Source of wealth: real estate
    - Headquarters: New York City area, NY

    The Goldman family owns hundreds of pieces of high-priced real estate across New York City. Founder Sol Goldman’s company is now owned by his four children and is run by his daughter, Jane.

    [Pictured: Amy P. Goldman Fowler]

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