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Familiar group of Hoosiers back on billionaires list

March 3, 2016
Cook Group Inc. CEO Carl Cook is the richest person in Indiana, with a net worth of $4.8 billion, according to calculations released Wednesday by Forbes magazine.

Cook, 53, is among four Hoosiers on the magazine’s annual list of the world’s billionaires. Also cracking the list were real estate developer Herb Simon, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and hotelier Dean White.

Cook, who ranked 298th on the list, 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.

Carl Cook's fortune tumbled from $6.5 billion to $4.8 billion over the last year, according to the magazine, which didn’t explain the decline but noted Cook Group has been deluged by lawsuits from patients claiming their blood clot filters had harmed them or failed.

The second-wealthiest Hoosier, according to the list, is real estate magnate Herb Simon, 81, co-founder of Simon Property Group, with a net worth of $2.8 billion, a shade below last year’s $2.9 billion. He ranked 612th on the list.
 
The next Hoosier on the list is hotel and billboard magnate Dean White, 92, of Crown Point. White ranked 722nd, with his fortune slipping from $2.5 billion to $2.4 billion.
 
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, 56, rounded out the Indiana contingent, with a fortune valued at $2.3 billion, a big jump from $1.9 billion the prior year. He ranked 771st.
 
The new list of 1,810 billionaires is topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with an estimated $75 billion net worth. He’s been atop the list 17 of the 22 times he has qualified. 
 
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