The richest person in Colorado

Luay Rahil

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Earlier this year, Forbes published its annual list of 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 Denver, Colorado.

According to Forbes Magazine, seven billionaires on the Forbes 400 consider Colorado home, but none is wealthier than Charles Ergen, who lives in Denver, Colorado, with a net worth of $13 billion. He is the 56 richest person in the country.

Who is Charles Ergen?

Charles William Ergen is an American billionaire business executive. He is co-founder and chairman of Dish Network and EchoStar. He was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on March 1, 1953.

His mother was one of the first female accountants in Minnesota. His father was an Austrian immigrant working in Sweden as a nuclear physicist and left Europe before World War II.

He attended the University of Tennessee, graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting, and earned his MBA from Wake Forest University in 1976. After graduation, Ergen became a public accountant for the snack maker Frito-Lay.

However, he quit after two years and invested in the stock market, aiming to go into business for himself. Then, in 1980, he saw a truck carrying a huge satellite-television dish, so he partnered with his future wife Candy, Jim DeFranco, and started Dish Network. Their target market was rural Colorado.

They kept growing the company and took it public in 1996. Today, it boasts over 11 million subscribers. In 2008, they created EchoStar, which has ten satellites in space.

On his LinkedIn profile, he shares something personal to connect with his team. He says, "As an avid mountain climber and member of the Colorado Mountain Club, I have climbed all the state's 14 thousand-foot peaks. In addition, I scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, and Nepal's Mount Everest base camp."

Ergen's family supports many causes, such as Covenant House, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

If you had $13 billion, what causes would you support?

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