Executives and Herb Simon and Jim Irsay and Bill Cook

Cook heads contingent of Hoosier billionaires on Forbes list

March 4, 2014

The widow of Cook Group Inc. founder Bill Cook saw her net worth skyrocket in the past year, according to calculations released by Forbes magazine on Monday.

Gayle Cook, 80, was ranked 240th among the world’s billionaires with a net worth of $5.8 billion in Forbes’ annual list of the planet’s richest people. That was a 45-percent bump from $4 billion on the previous year’s list, on which Cook ranked 329th.

In all, four Hoosiers made the rankings of the world’s 1,645 billionaires: Cook, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, retail real estate developer Herb Simon, and hotelier Dean White.

Simon, 79, who also owns the Indiana Pacers, lost ground on the list with a net worth of $2.05 billion and a ranking of 868th. The previous year, Forbes’ calculations placed him at 670th with $2.2 billion.

Irsay, 54, saw his fortune tick up by $100 million, rising to $1.6 billion from $1.5 billion the previous year. He still lost footing in relation to other names on the list, slipping from 974th to 1,029th.

White, 90, ranked 869th with a net worth of $2 billion. That represented an 11-percent increase from $1.8 billion the previous year, good for 831st place.

Topping the list was 58-year-old Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, with $76 billion. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, 74, came in second with $72 billion. The biggest mover was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth jumped from $15.2 billion to $28.5 billion as Facebook shares soared in the latter half of 2013.

The combined net worth of all the billionaires on the list is $6.4 trillion, according to Forbes.
 

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