Fortune 500 rank: 5
For decades, Warren Buffett has been the patron saint of aspiring businessmen the world over. Not only is he known as the greatest investor of all time, but he also has a reputation as charitable, honest, and possessed of a keen, if folksy, wisdom. A typical Buffett sound bite: "You should invest in a business that even a fool can run, because someday a fool will."
Preaching a gospel of value investing, charitable giving and sound corporate governance, Buffett has been a hugely influential force on the world of business over the decades. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, has also climbed into the ranks of the Fortune 500 and Fortune's list of World's Most Admired Companies. The company raked in $1.6 billion last year, and despite a bout with testicular cancer, Buffett has indicated he has no inclination to retire.
Wal-Mart retook the top spot, Berkshire Hathaway made the top five, and Apple grew enormously.