Four Hoosiers rate among 400 wealthiest in U.S.

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The widow of medical device industry pioneer Bill Cook again is the top Hoosier on the latest Forbes 400 list of the nation’s wealthiest people, and this time has cracked the top 100.

Gayle Cook, 79, of Bloomington rose 19 spots on the list to finish 85th with a net worth of $5.2 billion, according to the annual list released Monday. In 2012, she was ranked 104th with a net worth of $3.7 billion. Bill Cook, who died in April 2011, founded Cook Group Inc. in Bloomington.

Simon Property Group co-founder and Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon fell in the rankings, settling at No. 293 this year with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Simon, 78, was ranked 218th last year with a net worth of $2.2 billion.

Hotelier Dean White, 90, of Crown Point was the next wealthiest Hoosier, ranking No. 296 with $1.9 billion.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, 54, lost yardage on the list, dropping from No. 311 to 342th. His net worth actually increased from $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is the richest American for the 20th year in a row and has reclaimed the title of world’s richest person from Mexico’s Carlos Slim with a net worth of $72 billion. Warren Buffett, again No. 2, was the year’s biggest dollar gainer, having added $12.5 billion to his fortune for a total of $58.5 billion.

Facebook’s hot stock pumped up Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune by $9.6 billion, leaving him with $19 billion. That total put him back into the top 20 after missing the top cut last year.

Five years after the financial crisis sent the fortunes of many in the U.S. and around the world tumbling, the wealthiest as a group have finally gained back all that they lost, according to Forbes.

The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a record $2.02 trillion, roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Russia. That is a gain of $300 billion from a year ago, and more than double a decade ago.


  • Hard work
    The socialist comments aren't funny, they're sad. All four men in the article are tops in their trade, took personal risks and worked hard. Mr. White for instance in a WW II veteran that came home and worked his rear end off. At 90, he still goes to work every day! That's more than many people half his age are willing to do nowadays. Kudos to all those listed. Their work ethic as well as philanthropy should be emulated by oths!
  • funny
    I love reading the socialist posters comments and their envy for the successful people in our state.
  • Worth what?
    I'm going to go out on a limb and state that no human being is worth a billion dollars. It's time to bring back 1963's top marginal federal tax rate of 91%. Even 1981's top marginal rate of 70% would be an improvement.
  • re: What a surprise!
    Having recently gotten out of debt, and putting a substantial amount in savings this year, I can agree it feels good to be in the subsidized class! Instead of paying 10-15% interest on my credit cards (business debt), I am now being courted by card companies with multi hundred dollar sign on bonuses ($75 from Discover, $400 from AmEx), increased % cash back offers (my old 1% standby is now 1.25% to 1.33%, depending on the card). And, to top it all off, I am no longer paying interest. Anyone can escape the lowest rung on the ladder and enjoy the perks of being on top of your financial game.
  • What a surprise!
    How unusual that three of our state's richest are getting big amounts of money from all levels of state government. Yeah, let the middle of lower class subsize the wealthy. Way to go team.

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