Billionaires Cook, Simon see bump in net worth

Gayle Cook and Herb Simon each saw their net worth shoot up in the past year, according to calculations released by Forbes magazine Monday.

Cook, the widow of Cook Group Inc. founder Bill Cook, and Simon, the owner of the Indiana Pacers, were two of four Hoosiers to make Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires.

Also making the list again this year were Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and hotel and apartment developer Dean White.

Cook, 79, saw her wealth rise 17.6 percent over the past year, according to Forbes’ calculations, to $4 billion. Her ranking among the world’s richest individuals improved one spot from last year, to No. 329.

Simon, 78, who also co-founded Indianapolis-based mall owner Simon Property Group Inc., saw his net worth rise 22 percent, to $2.2 billion. Simon’s ranking rose to No. 670 from No. 719 a year ago.

Irsay, 53, saw his net worth tick up by $100 million, to $1.5 billion. But his ranking continued to fall, from 913 last year into a tie for 974 this year. Two years ago, Irsay ranked No. 721, with roughly the same net worth.

Hotelier Dean White, 89, ranked No. 831 with a net worth of $1.8 billion, unchanged from a year ago.

There are 1,342 billionaires in the world, according to Forbes, with the largest number hailing from the United States.

Topping the list was Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, with $73 billion. Coming in second was Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, with $67 billion.

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