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Zell Chicago’s richest again; Lefkofsky nearly doubles wealth: Forbes

Sam Zell 70 with $4.9 billiranked 216 real estate private equity

Sam Zell, 70, with $4.9 billion, ranked 216, real estate and private equity

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Photos: Forbes' top 10 list of world's billionaires
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Updated: April 10, 2012 11:26AM



Chicago is home to 18 billionaires, with Tribune Co. Chairman and real estate mogul Sam Zell topping the list and Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky making the biggest jump, according to Forbes magazine.

Forbes published its list of the world’s billionaires Wednesday. This year saw a record number of billionaires worldwide at 1,226, worth a combined record $4.6 trillion. At the top of the list — in the same ranking as last year — was Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim, worth $69 billion, followed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates at $61 billion and investor Warren Buffett at $44 billion.

Zell ranks No. 1 in Illinois, as he did last year, with a net worth pegged at $4.9 billion. His No. 216 ranking worldwide was lower than each of the past four years, according to Forbes’ listings. The Tribune Co. has been in bankruptcy protection since December 2008.

Lefkofsky’s net worth nearly doubled, skyrocketing 93 percent to $2.9 billion, from Forbes’ previous listing in August, putting him at No. 401 worldwide.

The list reflected Lefkofsky’s worth on Feb. 14, or three months after Groupon started selling a small portion of its shares to the public. Groupon’s shares have traded at or below the initial $20 price for most of the time they’ve been on the market.

Between Zell and Lefkofksy is Citadel hedge fund leader Ken Griffin at $3 billion, a 23 percent jump in net worth from his previous estimated value in August.

TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey held the No. 4 spot among Illinois residents, at $2.7 billion, with the same net worth as 2011, the list showed.

Others from the Chicago area are:

◆J.B. Pritzker, No. 464, $2.6 billion; hotels, early-stage technology investor and managing partner and co-founder of private investment firm The Pritzker Group.

◆Ty Warner, No. 521, $2.4 billion; Beanie Babies.

◆Thomas Pritzker, No. 578, $2.2 billion, head of the Pritzker Group.

◆William Wrigley Jr., No. 578, $2.2 billion, chewing gum; board member of Wrapports LLC, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times.

◆J. Christopher Reyes, No. 601, $2.1 billion, Reyes Holdings.

◆Jude Reyes, No. 601, $2.1 billion, Reyes Holdings.

◆Neil Bluhm, No. 634, $2 billion, real estate.

◆Jean “Gigi” Pritzker, No. 683, $1.9 billion.

◆Penny Pritzker, No. 719, $1.8 billion.

◆Joseph Mansueto, No. 764, $1.7 billion, investment research; an investor in Chicago Sun-Times’ owner Wrapports LLC.

◆James Pritzker, No. 854, $1.5 billion.

◆Nicholas Pritzker II, No. 960, $1.3 billion.

◆Michael Krasny, No. 1,075, $1.1 billion, CDW computer company founder.

◆Patrick Ryan, No. 1,075, $1.1 billion, insurance.

The Lester Crown family and Matthew Bucksbaum and family fell off the list this year after Forbes stopped including large families who share fortunes.



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