Palo Alto, CA

The richest woman in Palo Alto, California

Luay Rahil
Photo byWikimedia Commons

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 woman in California.

One of these billionaires is Laurene Powell Jobs. Her net worth exceeds $12.6 billion, making her the 50th richest individual in the country, and she lives in Palo Alto, California, with her family.

Who is Laurene Powell Jobs?

Laurene Powell Jobs is an American billionaire, business executive, and the founder of Emerson Collective, an organization committed to creating pathways to opportunity so people can live to their full potential.

Like her late husband, Steve Jobs, she is considered an enigma. She is deeply private, and she keeps a tight circle around her.

You can't find much information about her personal life online, but according to Walter Isaacson, Laurene Powell Jobs was born in New Jersey in 1963 and grew up in West Milford, N.J. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation, she worked as a trading strategist for three years at Goldman Sachs. Then, she left Goldman Sachs to attend Stanford Business School. In 1989, when Steve Jobs visited the school to give a speech, he found himself seated next to her. Mr. Jobs asked her out and married her two years later. The couple had three children, Reed, Erin, and Eve.

She stayed out of the public eye while working to help the public.

When Mr. Jobs was alive, She stayed out of the public eye and ran a natural food company. She worked on important causes behind the scenes, specifically education and immigration reform, and cared for her family.

She started College Track in 1997 to help prepare low-income students from underserved communities for college. Because of her effort, more than 90% of College Track high school graduates go to college.

In 2004, Powell founded Emerson Collective, a "social change organization" named after one of her favorite authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

She inherited a lot of money and used it to gain a lot of influence.

Her husband, Steve Jobs, died in 2011, and she inherited his wealth, including stakes in Apple and The Walt Disney Company. Since that date, Powell spent a lot of her money to support social and political causes, making her one of the most powerful women in the world.

According to New York Times, "She recently acquired Pop-Up Magazine and major stakes in the Atlantic magazine and Monumental Sports, which owns the Washington Wizards and Mystics basketball teams and the Washington Capitals hockey team."

She has a diverse interest because she believes issues like poverty, education, personal health, and environmental justice are interconnected. You can't solve one problem and ignore the others.

There's nothing fair about billionaires being billionaires.

She doesn't believe anyone should accumulate billions of dollars, yet she is hardly apologetic about her wealth.

She says, "I inherited my wealth from my husband, who didn't care about the accumulation of wealth. So I am doing this in honor of his work, and I've dedicated my life to doing the very best I can to distribute it effectively in ways that lift individuals and communities in a sustainable way."

She isn't interested in passing her fortune down to her kids.

In one of her rare interviews, she told David Gelles, "I'm not interested in legacy wealth buildings, and my children know that," she added. "Steve wasn't interested in that. So if I live long enough, it ends with me."

She is becoming a Democratic megadonor.

However, she is not shy about using her wealth to influence politics. Last February, she hired former Massachusetts Congress member Joe Kennedy to help her broker relationships in Washington, DC.

She spent four years working against former President Trump's attempt to end the DACA program for young undocumented immigrants.

She continues to expand her influence. She's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University's board of trustees. She is also a founding member of the Climate Leadership Council with Ray Dalio and Michael Bloomberg.

If you had her wealth, what causes would you support?

Comments / 3

Published by

Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

More from Luay Rahil

Comments / 0