The rich are getting richer.
Forbes announced 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. Nearly all are wealthier than the previous year.
Today, I will uncover the richest person in Medina, Washington.
According to Forbes Magazine, eight billionaires on the Forbes 400 consider Washington home. One of them is Charles Simonyi. His net worth exceeds $6.1 billion, making him the 168th richest individual in the country.
Who is Charles Simonyi?
Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-American software architect.
Simonyi is an innovator and philanthropist who was the chief creator of core Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel and founded local productivity software company Intentional Software.
He was born in Budapest, Hungary. His dad was an electrical engineer who gave lectures at the Technical University of Budapest. At 17, Simonyi left Hungary and never returned.
One-way ticket out of Hungary.
He went to Denmark and worked there before moving to the United States in 1968, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mathematics & Statistics in 1972.
He worked in multiple companies while earning his doctorate from Stanford University in 1977. During his doctorate studies, he scaled programming through formal communication among programmers, a technique he called meta-programming.
In 1981, Simonyi visited Bill Gates at Microsoft.
At Microsoft, Simonyi created Word, and Excel, the company's most profitable products. Then, in 2002, he left Microsoft to co-found a company called Intentional Software.
Fifteen years later, Microsoft bought Intentional Software for an undisclosed amount of money, and Microsoft brought Charles Simonyi back to Microsoft.
He is a rich man who is not afraid to give his money away.
Simonyi has been an active philanthropist. He donated money to many organizations, such as the Simonyi Professorship of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.
Charles and his wife Lisa Simonyi operate a nonprofit organization for Arts and Sciences. The organization helps communities in the arts, sciences, and education fields.
In February 2017, Simonyi and his wife Lisa gave the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department $5 million to build a new building.
The family also supported Former President Donald Trump in 2016 and donated $52,700 for his presidential campaign. In 2020, they donated more money to Trump's re-election campaign.
He still goes to work because work gives him meaning.
Charles Simonyi is a 71-year-old who has been to space twice, and he still goes to work.
In 2020, he told a group of his friends, "I came from work here, and I'm going back to work tomorrow. So I am working. That gives meaning to me. It gives meaning to my existence. And I think I'm working on something where I can contribute a lot, where I have a lot of experience, and I will continue it."
If you had his money, would you work?