Earlier this year, Forbes published its annual list Forbes 400, which ranks the richest Americans by their net worths. The 400 richest Americans saw their combined wealth increase 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion. Almost all are richer than last year.
Today, I will uncover the richest person in Cary, North Carolina.
According to Forbes Magazine, three billionaires consider North Carolina their home, and none is wealthier than James Goodnight, who lives in Cary, with a net worth of $9 billion. He is the 90th richest man in the country.
Who is James Goodnight?
James Howard Goodnight is an American billionaire businessman and software developer. He has been the CEO of SAS Institute since 1976, which he co-founded that year with other staff members of North Carolina State University.
Goodnight was born to Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson in Salisbury, North Carolina, on January 6, 1943. He started to work at age 12 at his dad's hardware store, where he learned the value of hard work.
The most efficient software in the world
James Goodnight attended the North Carolina State University and graduated with a master's and Ph.D. in Statistics in 1968. He paid for his education by programming computers, where he developed a new software called SAS with the help of his colleagues. SAS stands for statistical analysis system for analyzing data.
SAS helps businesses organize the enormous amounts of data that they manage and analyze that data to present information to the company and investors on more efficient ways to run the business.
He says, "SAS began in college. We used SAS to make it easier to analyze all the data from agricultural experiments. By the time we finished college, we had about 120 customers using SAS, and we continued to support those customers and added more. Today, we have 83,000 different customers."
He has been serving as CEO of SAS for more than 45 years, SAS's revenue for 2020 was $3 billion, and the company has been profitable since its inception.
SAS healthy culture.
Jim Goodnight created a great and respectful company that consistently produces the most optimal workplace performance.
Dr. Goodnight values people over profits. So when other companies were laying off employees in 2008, Goodnight responded by telling his team, "None of its 13,000 worldwide employees would lose their job."
His team responded by working harder and creating better products that better serve their customers. SAS's employees describe the company culture stating, "SAS is more than just a company. This is a place that welcomes your family and friends. A place that encourages curiosity and individuality."
James Goodnight philanthropy
Inside Philanthropy says, "Goodnight is a strong champion of education and channels much of his philanthropic work in this area through his company. While Goodnight's giving tends to focus on his home state of North Carolina, SAS gives to educational organizations throughout the country."
Goodnight is very committed to causes that help people and the planet. For example, SAS was committed to helping Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake in early 2015. As a result, the company was able to work with the International Organization for Migration to allocate resources better and help the most amount of people. The company also helped in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.
James Goodnight is a very generous person. If you had his money, what causes would you support the most?