This story has been updated with new data.
There are close to 2,500 billionaires in the world, including four with Hudson Valley ties, and the Top 10 among them have a combined net worth of $582 billion, according to a report, "Who Are the Richest of the Rich," published Sunday in The New York Times.
Many want to know how they made their piles, and how they spend them.
So says the Times story that cited stats from Wealth-X, the self-proclaimed “global authority on wealth intelligence.”
Making it onto Wealth-X’s upcoming list of the world’s Top 10 billionaires is media mogul and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who owns an estate in North Salem. Bloomberg is ranked at No. 9.
Bloomberg’s current net worth, according to Forbes, is $46.5 billion. In 2015, Marketwatch.com declared him the “Richest Person in New York,” with a net worth of $33.7 billion.
Wealth-X, however, said Bloomberg's net worth is currently $45.4 billion.
The 74-year-old owner, founder, and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial data and media company, bought a home in the bucolic northeastern Westchester town in 2012 reportedly for $4.55 million.
Also on the Top 10 list at No. 5 with a $50.7 billion pile was 32-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, a former Harvard University student whose founding of Facebook made him a billionaire.
The internet entrepreneur and philanthropist was born in White Plains and raised in Dobbs Ferry.
The others in the Top 10 were: Bill Gates (No. 1, $89.3 billion, Microsoft); Warren Buffett (No. 2, $71.5 billion, investor); Amanico Ortega (No. 3, $70.7 billion, Inditex fashion group); Jeff Bezos (No. 4, $68 billion, Amazon.com); David Koch (No. 6, $47.6 billion, Koch Industries); Charles Koch (No. 7, $47.1 billion, Koch Industries); Lawrence Ellison (No. 8, $47 billion, Oracle); and Lawrence Page (No. 10, $42.7 billion, Google).
Mentioned in the Times article -- but not as one of the Top 10 richest -- is Bedford’s George Soros, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist.
Soros and Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and Facebook director, were held up by the Times as examples of how billionaires can use their wealth to influence policy and public life.
According to mrc.org, which describes itself as “America’s Media Watchdog,” Soros has given away at least $550 million to liberal causes over the past decade.
The octogenarian investor married Tamiko Bolton, a health care and education consultant half his age, in 2013. He had five children from two previous marriages to Annaliese Witschak and Susan Weber Soros.
According to Soros’s website in 2013, his net worth was $20 billion and he had handed out $7 billion to promote issues such as democracy and free speech and to fight poverty around the world.
But a billionaire can accomplish only so much. The Times said Bloomberg was once approached by a hedge fund manager who offered him $1 billion to change public education in New York. Bloomberg, who explained to him that the city's annual school budget was $22 billion, told the Times that he never heard from the man again.
Issues such as financial inequity and taxes on the wealthy seem especially relevant after the election of Bedford estate owner Donald J. Trump, said to be the richest president ever to occupy the Oval Office, and the number of millionaires and billionaires either in his administration, such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, or poised to join it, like banker-turned-investor Wilbur Ross. Ross is awaiting his Senate confirmation hearing as secretary of commerce.
Trump, according to media reports, has declared his net worth to be in excess of $10 billion. That figure has become a bone of contention. In 2015, both Forbes and Bloomberg (the media outlet, not the ex-mayor) estimated Trump’s worth at $5 billion, according to an article in The New Yorker.
The Times, while conceding that Trump is probably a billionaire, added that the commander in chief has shown little proof of his real wealth.
What’s not in dispute is that Trump owns the $19.5 million estate, known as Seven Springs, in Bedford.
He also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville, a hamlet in the Dutchess County town of East Fishkill, and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor.
The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. Trump State Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.
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