The Associated Press
NEW YORK – What could a Chinese dumpling maker and Mexican telecom mogul have in common? They are among a record number of wealthy people who held the title of billionaire over the past year.
The tally of billionaires around the globe reached 946, their combined wealth growing 35 percent to $3.5 trillion, according to Forbes magazine’s 2007 rankings of the world’s richest people.
Leading the list are two men who manage to keep getting richer as they give more and more money away. Microsoft founder Bill Gates ranked No. 1 for the 13th straight year, beating out friend and fellow philanthropist Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
The Gates fortune rose $6 billion to $56 billion last year, while Buffett garnered in an additional $10 billion to boost his net worth to $52 billion.
Five Americans ranked in the top 20, and Americans accounted for 44 percent of the overall list.
Breathing down Buffett’s neck was Mexican telecom giant Carlos Slim Helu, who added $19 billion to his fortune, the largest one-year gain over the past decade. With $49 billion to his name, Helu was $3 billion shy of the No. 2 spot.
Self-made mogul Li Wei, founder of Synear Food Holding, made the list for the first time with a dozen other Chinese.
- The Associated Press
ARIZONANS ON LIST
Tucson native and Rincon High School graduate Arturo Moreno, 60, who made his fortune from billboards, has an estimated worth of $1.2 billion. Moreno also owns the Los Angeles Angels major league baseball team.
Leading Arizonans on the list was Bennett Dorrance, 58, a Campbell Soup heir who is worth $2.2 billion.
Others on the list are John Sperling, 86, founder of the University of Phoenix, and his son Peter, 47. They each have a worth estimated at $1.2 billion.