Each year Forbes releases a report listing all the billionaires in the world. In 2021 there are currently 2,755 billionaires on Planet Earth. So it is a very exclusive club. Lately, I have been doing a series of articles looking at the billionaires that live in major cities across the United States.
Of those 2,755, only one of them lives in the state of Maine. So today, let's take a look at the lucky billionaire who lives in Scarborough, Maine.
The wealthiest person in Scarborough, Maine.
The wealthiest person in Maine and the only billionaire in the state is Susan Alfond. She has a net worth of $2.4 billion which ranks her number 1362 in the entire world for wealth. And she can thank her father, Harold, for her vast fortune.
Harold Alfond started work at the Kesslen Shoe Company in Kennebunk, Maine, after graduating high school in 1934. After six years there were bought a shoe factory with his father in Norridgewock, Maine, which they sold in 1940.
Shoes were in the family's blood, and in 1956 Harold purchased a wool mill in Dexter, Maine, and founded the Dexter Shoe Company producing shoes for chains across the United States as well as his own shoes under the Dexter name.
In 1993 Harold sold the company to Warren Buffett in return for $420 million of stock. This was an incredibly wise move, as these shares are worth billions now.
The shares were split between Harold Alfond's four children upon his death. The youngest child, Peter, died in 2017. Ted and Bill Alfond both live in Massachusetts; hence Susan is the only billionaire in Maine.
The Alfond name is well known in Maine- the son of Bill Alfond and grandson of Harold is Justin Alfond. Justin served as Democratic State Senator from the 8th district, which represents much of Portland. He was first elected in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010, 2012, and 2014 when he was chosen to be the leader of the Democrats.
Both Harold and Susan Alfond are big on philanthropy.
In 1950 Harold and his wife Dorothy established the first private foundation in Maine. Together they donated millions of dollars to health care, educational institutions, scholarships, and social services agencies in Maine.
The Harold Alfond Foundation continues to fund charitable institutions and programs in the State of Maine. Susan has continued the family's focus on philanthropy.
The global list
At the moment, there are 724 billionaires in the US, up from 614 in 2020. However, making a dash for the Gold Medal on the Billionaires Podium is China with 698 billionaires — up from 456 the previous year. It should be no surprise then that Beijing has more billionaires than any other city in the world, having overtaken New York City.
Let's hope that in the future, Maine can add more billionaires to its population in 2022!
Have you had any interactions with Susan Alffond or any of the Alfond family? What has your experience been like?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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