Billionaire Cook slips on Forbes 400 list despite boost in wealth

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Indiana’s richest resident has added to his net worth from last year but has fallen in the rankings of America’s wealthiest people.

Cook Group Inc. CEO Carl Cook of Bloomington has an estimated net worth of $7.5 billion, according to the newly released Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. That was good for 65th on the 2017 list. However, although his wealth rose from $7.2 billion last year, he dropped four places from his 61st ranking in 2016.

Cook, 55, is among only three Hoosiers on the latest list. He’s joined, as usual, by real estate tycoon and Indiana Pacers owner Herbert Simon and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Irsay, 58, saw his net worth rise from $2.5 billion last year to $2.7 billion, placing him 302nd on this year's list. Like Cook, his ranking slipped despite his gain in wealth. In 2016, he was ranked 274th.

Simon, 82, the co-founder of Simon Property Group, saw both his net worth and his ranking drop from $3 billion and 222nd in 2016. This year, he is tied at 302nd with $2.7 billion.

Hotel and billboard magnate Dean White, who traditionally has been among Indiana's richest residents, fell from contention after his death in late 2016 at 93. White ranked 260th on the 2016 Forbes 400 list with an estimated net worth of $2.4 billion.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with an estimated $89 billion fortune, topped the list for the 24th year in a row. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took second place with $81.5 billion after briefly surging ahead of Gates in July. Legendary investor Warren Buffett was third with $78 billion.

Every person in the top 10 got at least $1 billion richer in the past year, according to Forbes. Gainers (there were 289) since last year’s list outnumbered losers (just 51) by more than five to one. The group’s total net worth climbed to $2.7 trillion, up from $2.4 trillion, and the average net worth rose to $6.7 billion, up from $6 billion.

The most notable loser was President Donald Trump, whose fortune fell $600 million to $3.1 billion, Forbes said. That placed him 248th on the list.

A tough New York real estate market (particularly for retail locations), a costly lawsuit, and an expensive presidential campaign all contributed to the declining fortune of the 45th president, according to the magazine.

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