Nashville, TN

The richest person in Nashville, Tennessee

Luay Rahil
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The rich are not getting richer.

Earlier this year, Forbes announced its annual list of Forbes 400, which ranks the richest Americans by their net worths. The 400 richest Americans saw their combined wealth decrease by $500 billion from last year to $4 trillion.

Today, I will uncover the richest person in Nashville, Tennessee.

According to Forbes Magazine, five billionaires on the Forbes 400 consider Tennessee home. None wealthier than Thomas Frist, Jr. His net worth exceeds $17 billion, making him the 42nd richest individual in the country.

Who is Thomas Frist, Jr.?

Thomas Frist, Jr. is a co-founder and the major shareholder of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a company that manages more than 185 hospitals across its network.

He was born on August 12, 1938. He grew up in Belle Meade and attended Montgomery Bell Academy, an exclusive independent private school in Nashville. In 1961, he graduated from Vanderbilt University and, in 1965, received an MD from Washington University in St. Louis.

Thomas Frist Sr. was tired of the broken hospital system.

His dad, Thomas Frist Sr., was a well-known cardiologist and internist who practiced medicine in the Nashville area for 50 years.

Thomas Frist, Sr. saw a big problem in the not-for-profit and church-affiliated hospitals that dominated the Nashville area in the 1950s, so he partnered with a few doctors and created Park View Hospital in 1960.

Thomas Frist, Jr. wanted to expand on his father's brilliant idea.

In 1968, Thomas Frist, Jr. gave his father a brilliant idea. He asked his dad to partner with him to create a multi-hospital, for-profit corporation. They recruited Jack Massey to help them found what became the Hospital Corporation of America in 1968, now HCA.

Thomas Frist, Jr. convinced his dad by telling him, "Banks are together, filling stations are together, grocery stores are together, why can't we put hospitals together? The economy of scale means so much.'' As a result, they were successful in creating a robust hospital network.

They developed a powerful hospital system.

HCA used its greater buying power to reduce costs for equipment and supplies, allowing for more cost-effective access to health care. He served various roles at HCA, ranging from Board member to Chairman and CEO.

In 2006, he helped coordinate the privatization of Hospital Corporation of America for $31.6 billion, the biggest leveraged buyout in history, with money from Merrill Lynch, KKR, Bain Capital, and the Frist family.

He has a lot of money and gives very little away.

Bloomberg reported that Phil Knight could buy 12.6 million troy ounces of gold and 278 million barrels of crude oil. So, he has a lot of money, and according to Forbes, he has given away less than 1% of his wealth.

If you had his money, what causes would you support?

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