May 6, 2009 Forbes announced the wealthiest
African-Americans of the past year. There
are twenty individuals named on this year's
list spanning a wide range of careers.
Remarkably, all twenty people are self-made
millionaires (or billionaires, in one
case) and are involved in everything from
entertainment and athletics to real estate,
media, and construction.
many on the list lost net worth as a result
of hard economic times, the wealthiest
Black American, Oprah
Winfrey, weathered the recession well.
As a talk show host and owner of Harpo
Productions, Winfrey has consistently
created internationally popular television
programs, radio shows, television network,
and reading materials for a wide audience.
As a result, Winfrey earns approximately
$200 million a year with a total net worth
of $2.7 billion, making her the only billionaire
on this year's list.
Johnson, once America's first black billionaire,
slipped into third place with a total
net worth of $550 million. His booming
network, Black Entertainment Television,
earned him $3 billion in 2000 when he
sold it to Viacom. After years of sagging
investments and drops in Viacom stock,
Johnson lost some of his wealth . His
ex-wife, Sheila Johnson, with whom he
co-founded BET, ranks seventh on the list
with a net worth of $400 million.
pro Tiger Woods comes in second after
Winfrey and before Johnson with an estimated
net worth of $600 million. His career
winnings amount to approximately $80 million
with the rest of his assests being earned
through promotional contracts and sponsorships
from large companies like Nike, Gillette,
basketball professional Michael Jordan
ranked fourth on the list with an estimated
$525 million in wealth from his work as
a businessman and entrepreneur. Another
former basketball player, Earvin
"Magic" Johnson ranked fifth
with a net worth of about $500 million.
on the 2009 list of wealthiest African
Americans included Don Peeebles, real
estate development entrepreneur, with
an estimated net worth of $350 million,
Quintin Primo, another real estate mogul,
worth $300 million, and Ulysses Bridgeman
Jr., a former NBA player for the Milwaukee
Bucks, who earned his estimated $200 million
through restaurant franchises. Another
prominent Black American, Kenneth Chenault,
also made the list with a net worth of
$125 million as a result of running the
credit card company, American Express.
list of the richest African Americans
began as a result of readers requesting
a separate list that represented the Black
communities in America. All wealth is
calculated based on net assets including
real estate, art, and stock holdings.
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