Familiar four Hoosiers return to list of billionaires

Cook Group Inc. CEO Carl Cook is the richest person in Indiana with a net worth of $6.5 billion, according to calculations released Monday by Forbes magazine.

Cook, 52, is among four Hoosiers on the magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires. He ranks 216th overall and No. 72 in the United States. Also making the list were retail real estate developer Herb Simon, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay , and hotelier Dean White.

Cook received most of his fortune from his parents, Bill Cook and Gayle Cook, who spent several years transferring the family’s wealth to their son. Bill Cook, who founded the Bloomington-based life sciences company, died in 2011.

Simon, 80, ranked No. 628 on the list with net worth of $2.9 billion. That’s up from 868th and $2.05 billion in 2014. Simon was cofounder of Melvin Simon & Associates, the precursor to Simon Property Group, the world’s largest shopping mall company.

Forbes attributed the jump in Simon’s worth partly to the rising value of the Indiana Pacers franchise, which he owns. The Pacers are worth about $300 million more today than they were a year ago, Forbes estimated.

Next on the list is hotel and billboard magnate White, 91, of Crown Point. White moved up more than 130 places, to No. 737, and his net worth rose by more than $500 million, to $2.5 billion.

Indianapolis Colts owner Irsay, 55, rounded out the Indiana contingent at 1,105th, with $1.8 billion in net worth. Irsay’s number’s were little changed from a year ago.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates topped the annual list with an estimated net worth of $79.2 billion, the 16th time in 21 years he's been the richest person in the world.

This year’s list has a record 1,826 billionaires who have a combined net worth more than $7 trillion. A record 290 newcomers joined this year’s ranking, including former NBA superstar Michael Jordan.

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