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Four Hoosiers among richest Americans; Irsay ascends

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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is moving up the ranks of the richest Americans a year after making his way onto the Forbes 400 list of the nation’s wealthiest people.

Irsay, 51, ranked 290th on the list with an estimated net worth of about $1.4 billion, according to the list released Wednesday. He made Forbes’ list for the first time last year, ranking 347th with a net worth of $1.1 billion.

Other Hoosiers dropped in the rankings. Cook Group founder Bill Cook of Bloomington landed at No. 101 with $3.1 billion, down from No. 85 last year after losing $400 million of his wealth; White Lodging leader Dean White of Crown Point was No. 221 with $1.8 billion, down from No. 202 despite a $50-million increase in net worth; and Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group co-founder Herb Simon, No. 330 with $1.25 billion, down from No. 317. His wealth was unchanged at $1.25 billion.

This year’s Forbes 400 reflects an "uptick" in wealth among the richest Americans, the magazine said. More than half saw their net worth increase, while just 85 members saw a decline. Forbes said 16 member were new to the list, and 18 returned after an absence.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the list for the 17th straight year with $54 billion, improving on the $50 billion reported in 2009.

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  • Ballard?
    How does Jim place sole blame on Ballard for these corporate giveaways? The deal with the Colts was struck before Ballard was elected. only the most recent deal with the Pacers, which is relatively minor, happened with Ballard as mayor.

    As a gesture of a goodwill, Irsay should donate or return the Colts 50% take from other entities rent of Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the $ that almost forced the IHSAA to change venues for high school football championships until the Colts signed on as "sponsor" of the event.
  • Too much to take.
    Once again, That Ballard mayor giving away the city's needed money, assets, and resources to people who don't need it. All for a status of saying he made it to the top 400. Gee. And what he has given to the Pacers, and now spending money for a digital banner sign in the Field House, how much more is this guy going to screw the people of Indianapolis?
  • Rich Boy Irsay
    I'm really glad to see that the various subsidies that we taxpayers are providing to the Colts are paying off to Jim. They're certainly not paying off for those who are picking up the tab.
  • Thanks Indianapolis, especially Fred
    Thank you central Indiana taxpayers for paying for my teams operating expenses and giving me all the profits with nothing in return.

    Hope my new partnership with the United Way will help you dig deeper into your own pockets to help the needy while I blow your money on myself.

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  2. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  3. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  4. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

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