Recently a report from Forbes found that there are 2,755 billionaires in the world. Of this list, nine of them live in Tennessee, and two of them live in Nashville.
Let's take a quick look at the world of billionaires and the ones who live in Nashville.
In 2020- the rich got richer
2020 was a challenging year for most people around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc leading to lockdowns and a lot of people losing their jobs.
However, for the wealthy, things seemed to get even better in 2020. The wealth of the billionaires on the rich list increased from 8 trillion to 13.1 trillion. That’s a whopping 63%. In total, 86% of the people on the list are more affluent than they were this time last year.
There was a new billionaire added every 17 hours — a total of 493 who didn't make the 2020 billionaires list.
The Richest Person in Nashville
The wealthiest person in Nashville is Thomas Frist Jr. Frist was a former Air Force flight surgeon who founded the Hospital Corp of America in 1968 together with his father, Thomas Frist Senior.
Frist attended Montgomery Bell Academy, a Nashville prep school for boys, and even played quarterback for their state championship football team.
Hospital Corp of America owns and operates 185 hospitals and 1800 sites of care across 21 states in America. While First no longer works at the HCA, his sons, Thomas Frist III and William Frist are board members.
Like many of the world's billionaires, Frist had a profitable 2020. He increased his net worth from $7.5 billion to $15.7 billion, which was enough to place him at number 126 globally.
"You always win when you surround yourself with good people." Thomas Frist Junior
The Book Billionaire
In second place on Nashville's billionaire list is Martha Ingram, with a net worth of $3.5billion. This ranks her as number 859 on the world's billionaires list.
Her husband, Bronson, founded the book distribution and marine firm Ingram Industries. When Bronson passed away in 1995, Martha took over the business. The following year she publicly listed the computer distribution part of the business as Ingram Micro.
Ingram was a co-founder of the Schermorn Symphony Centre and formerly served as Chairman of the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. In addition, Ingram is well known for her philanthropy and was once named by Business Week as the 50th most generous philanthropist in the United States.
Ingram has also co-authored three books.
The Tennessee Billionaires
Seven other billionaires live in Tennessee. They are:
- Frederick Smith, CEO and founder of FedEx. He lives in Memphis. His net worth is $5.1 billion.
- Jimmy Haslam. President of Pilot Flying J truck stops. Majority Owner of the Cleveland Browns. He lives in Knoxville and has a net worth of $3 billion.
- Jon Yarbrough founder of Video Gaming Technologies, which produces casino games. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, and is worth $2.9 billion.
- Brad Kelley built Commonwealth Brands, a tobacco company. He lives in Franklin, Tennesee, and has a net worth of $2.6 billion.
- Former Tennessee Governor, Bill Haslam. Former President of his family's chain of truck stops, Pilot Flying J., Lives in Knoxville. Net worth is $1.9 billion.
- Jeff Lorberbaun built Mohawk Industries into the world's largest flooring business. He lives in Chattanooga and has a net worth of $2 billion.
- Forrest Preston founded Life Care Centers of America, providing accommodation and care for the elderly. He lives in Cleveland, Tennesee, and has a net worth of $1.1 billion.
Where the billionaires live
Presently there are 724 billionaires in the US, up from 614 in 2020. Closing in fast is China with 698 billionaires — up from 456 the previous year.
Let's hope that Nashville adds to its billionaire list in 2022!
Have you met or worked for any of the billionaires on this list? How was it? Let us know in the comments below.