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Martha debuts on Forbes billionaire list
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett remain on top. Oprah, Donald Trump also make the super-rich list.
March 11, 2005: 8:51 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The new Martha Stewart is richer than ever, according to Forbes.

After getting out of prison last week, the homemaking maven has landed herself a spot on the magazine's annual billionaire list for the first time.

According to the issue, due for release on Friday, Stewart has a net worth of $1 billion, thanks mostly to the value of stock in her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (Research) which more than doubled while she was in jail.

Although Stewart transferred ownership of her 29.4 million Class B shares to her daughter Alexis before going to prison, the magazine said the 64-year-old entrepreneur ultimately has the control of the stake and the ownership would eventually be returned to her.

Overall, it's no surprise that Bill Gates is still the world's richest person, but Forbes said investment guru Warren Buffett is nipping at Gates' heels.

The Microsoft (Research) co-founder's fortune slipped to $46.5 billion from 46.6 billion, while Buffett increased his net worth by 1.1 billion to $44 billion, significantly narrowing the gap between him and Gates. The two billionaires compete in bridge tournaments.

Lakshmi Mittal, the owner of Mittal Steel Co. NV, took a distant third with a net worth of $25 billion. Close behind were Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, whose $23.8 billion fortune put him slightly ahead of Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.

Rounding out the top 10 were Ingvar Kamprad, founder of multinational furniture company IKEA; Paul Allen, Microsoft's co-founder; German supermarket magnate Karl Albrecht; Oracle Corp. (Research) CEO Larry Ellison and Wal-Mart (Research) Chairman S. Robson Walton, the eldest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. After a dip in Wal-Mart's stock price, he is the only family member to land among the ten richest this year.

Other notable billionaires included: talkshow host Oprah Winfrey ($1.3 billion), real estate guru Donald Trump ($2.6 billion), casino mogul Stephen Wynn ($2.1 billion) and Dietrich Mateschitz, boss of energy drink Red Bull ($2 billion).

For the second consecutive year, the magazine said the billionaires on the list have grown richer. The total net worth of the 691 billionaires soared by $300 billion to $2.2 trillion this year from $1.9 trillion last year.

With 131 new billionaires coming from 27 countries, the United States claims 69 new faces. New York City has the highest number of resident billionaires with 34, while Moscow and San Francisco tie for second, each with 20.

Out of the 691 billionaires in the world, only 68 are women.  Top of page


Bill Gates
Warren Buffett
Martha Stewart
Donald Trump
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