Phoenix, AZ

The 8 billionaires who live in Phoenix

Ash Jurberg
Photo by Nate Johnston on Unsplash

According to the latest report by Forbes this week, there are currently 2,755 billionaires on Planet Earth. I am willing to bet all my money — which is several zeros less than a billion — that you are not one of them. There are, however, 7 people living in Phoenix who did make the list.

In all, 12 billionaires are residing in Arizona, but I thought it would be great to take a quick look at the 8 who still live in Phoenix. Of course, this doesn't include the richest person in Arizona's richest resident, Ernest Garcia II, who lives in Tempe.

Phoenix's Richest Resident

This does bestow the title of the richest Phoenix resident to his son Ernest Garcia III. Worth a whopping $7.4B Ernest Garcia III is the CEO and co-founder of Carvana, a platform for buying and selling used cars. Carvana started in 2012 as a subsidiary of DriveTime, his father's company.

In 2017 he separated Carvana from Drivetime, launching an IPO that raised $225 million. The success of Carvana has led to Garcia being ranked number 339, wealthiest in the world.

The Shoen Brothers

The next two wealthiest Phoenix residents are the Shoen brothers- Mark and Joe. Their parents cofounded U-Haul, the truck and trailer rental company y, back in 1945.

Joe is the president of U-Hauls parent company Amerco having led a coup against his own father in 1986 that forced his father into retirement and put most of his 12 siblings offside. Joe had a good 2020 increasing his net wealth from wealth $2.4B to $3.5B.

Mark sided with brother Joe in the family dispute that followed the U-Haul shakeup and still owns 20% of U-Haul. He is also the owner of one of the largest private self-storage operations in the U.S. As a result, his wealth increased from $2.9B to $3.9B, placing him at 752 wealthiest globally and perhaps importantly in a family which seems competitive, 107 spots higher than Joe.

The baseball team owner

Despite living in Phoenix, Arturo Moreno is the owner of the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. The purchase of the Angles was a smart investment. In 2003 he paid $184 million. It is now worth nearly $2 billion. Moreno originally made his fortune via his billboard advertising company Outdoor Systems. In 1999 he sold his company for $8.7 billion.

Moreno is a philanthropist donating millions of dollars each year to the Moreno Family Foundation, which supports underprivileged youth and education nonprofits.

"There's two types of education. One where you learn by a book, and you're taught, and the other one is a baseball bat. Every time you make a mistake, somebody comes and hits you in the back of the head." Arturo Moreno

The other Phoenix Billionaires

Next on the list is a man who inherited his wealth. Bennett Dorrance owns a 15% stake in Campbell Soup, the company his grandfather, John T. Dorrance, founded when he invented condensed soup. Benett has a net wealth of $2.9 billion.

Stewart Horejsi shows that with some shrewd investing and research, anyone can make it rich. Stewart began buying stock in Berkshire Hathaway (the company owned by Warren Buffett) for $265 per share after reading John Train's "The Money Masters" in 1980. As the share price of Berkshire Hathaway increased, Horejsi's wealth increased with it- it is now at $2.4 billion.

The Sperling family has had a major impact on Phoenix. John Sperling founded Apollo Education Group as well as the University of Phoenix in 1973, and Apollo Education Group became well-known for its online University of Phoenix network. His son Peter Sperling is now worth $1.6 billion.

Last but certainly not least is Trevor Milton, who founded Nikola Motor in 2014 to build semi-trucks powered by batteries and hydrogen. Milton has a net worth of $1.4 billion.

In 2020 the rich got richer.

Despite 2020 being a terrible year for most people, the billionaires' wealth on the Forbes list increased from 8 trillion to 13.1 trillion. That’s a whopping 63%. In total, 86% of the people on this list are richer than they were this time last year. In addition, there was a new billionaire added every 17 hours — a total of 493 who didn't make the 2020 billionaires list.

COVID-19, in fact, created 40 new billionaires. Those whose companies created vaccines, such as Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, and Ugur Şahin, the CEO and co-founder of BioNTech — partner of Pfizer who joined the Billionaires list.

While Phoenix has seven billionaires, it is a city outside the US that boasts the title of most billionaires. Beijing has more billionaires than any other city in the world, having overtaken New York City.

Let's hope more people from Phoenix make the 2022 list!

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