Lexington, KY

The 2 billionaires who live in Lexington, Kentucky

Ash Jurberg

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

According to a report released by Forbes, there are 2,755 billionaires across the globe. Of those two, call Lexington home. So let's take a look at the two lucky Lexington residents who are part of the billionaire club.

The Public Storage fortune

The wealthiest person in Lexington, and in fact the entire state of Kentucky, is Tamara Hughes Gustavson. With a net worth of $5.6 billion, she is placed at number 496 on the world's billionaire list.

Her fortune comes thanks to her father, B. Wayne Hughes, who co-founded the Public Storage in 1972. His current net worth is $3.3 billion, placing him at 925 globally. He had a good year, increasing his net worth from $2.6 billion. While Tamara still owns 11% of the company, Hughes has given most of his shares to his daughter and son B. Wayne Hughes junior. He currently owns just 1% of the company.

Tamara joined the company in 1983 and was Vice President before leaving to raise her children from 2003 to 2007. She returned as a board member after the four-year absence.

In 2011 Hughes Senior formed American Homes 4 Rent, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and rents out approximately 53,000 single-family homes across 22 states. Tamara sits on the board of American Homes 4 Rent as well.

The Hughes family has grown Public Storage to a company that has $2.2 billion in sales across its 2,000 self-storage locations worldwide. In addition, it has a European division called Shurgard that went public in 2018.

The family does give back some of their wealth. Tamara is a regular donor to the HollyRod Foundation, which researches autism, Parkinson's, and other diseases. Hughes Senior founded the Parker Hughes Cancer Center in Minnesota, which conducts research to develop drugs and treatment for leukemia and cancer children. He also made an anonymous donation to the University of Southern California of $400 million. Well, it was anonymous until the LA Times found out and reported it.

In addition to the wealth he made across 2020, Hughes' horse Authentic won the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders Classic.

There could have been a third billionaire in Lexington, but B. Wayne Hughes Jr lives in Malibu, California, so he doesn't count as a Lexington billionaire despite having a net worth of $1.6 billion.

While Lexington can boast just two billionaires, there are billionaires living in other states helping Kentucky through donations. Mackenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, donated $15 million last year to West Kentucky Community College in Paducah. While Bezos is currently the second wealthiest person in the world, Scott is placed at number 22.

Let's hope the Hughes family or other of the world's billionaires invest more in Lexington and across Kentucky.

Have any readers met or had any interactions with Gustavson or Hughes? What was it like?

As always, please leave your comments in the section below.

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