The richest Americans

Wealth is relative, and the value of the dollar is far from fixed. So this ranking of American plutocrats measures their total wealth as a fraction of U.S. GDP at their time of death (or for Gates, 2006).

Stephen Van Rensselaer
1764-1839
Stephen Van Rensselaer
Member of the Erie Canal commissions and president of the State's first board of agriculture.

Industry: Land

Wealth at death: $10,000,000

Wealth/GDP: 1/194

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The Wealthy 100, by M. Klepper and R. Gunther (updated by the authors)
The Fractional Life With jewelry, yachts and vineyards available by the slice, even the superrich are learning to share. Here are seven ways to enjoy the luxury life. (more)
Almanac of American Wealth Who's got it and how they're spending it. (more)
How they give back The largest donations in U.S. history. (more)