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Who's the richest person in your city? Forbes releases list from 50 largest U.S. cities

Forbes has released a list of the richest people in each of 50 U.S. cities, filled with names you know (Bill Gates) and some surprises.
/ Source: TODAY

Forbes has released the inaugural version of a list that answers an age-old question for people in 50 American cities: Who is the richest person in town?

While some of the names on the list are certainly familiar (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison), many other moguls may not be so obvious to many Americans.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates, of Seattle, tops the list with a net worth of $77.2 billion.AP

Here is are some takeaways from the list:

  • Forty of the 52 people are billionaires, so it's best to have a "B" after your net worth if you want to be in the discussion. (Three members of the Lerner family share the title of the richest people in Cleveland). The median net worth of the people on the list is $3.7 billion.
  • The richest person overall is, of course, Microsoft founder Bill Gates of Seattle. At $77.2 billion, he is the richest person in the world. On the other end of the spectrum is Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini, who is the richest man in Hartford, Connecticut, at $180 million.
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (San Jose, $42.6 billion) is way ahead of schedule. At 31, Zuckerberg is 16 years younger than the next closest person the list, Chicago's Ken Griffin, a hedge fund billionaire who is 47. The oldest on the list is Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman at 97. The list's median age is 70.
  • You have to be big-time to be the king of Seattle. Behind Gates in the Emerald City are Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, former Microsoft CEO and current Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Balmer and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who owns the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. Those three are among the 51 richest people in the world, according to Forbes.
Image: Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg, above with wife Priscilla Chan, is the richest person in San Jose, Calif., with $42.6 billion.AP file
  • If Tennessee Powerball winners John and Lisa Robinson were able to keep all of their $528 million in lottery winnings without paying taxes, they would be the richest people in Hartford and just shy of being the richest people in Richmond, Virginia (Ethyl Corp.'s Bruce Cobb Gottwald, $580 million) and Birmingham, Alabama (coal magnate Gary Drummond, $600 million). For now, the Robinsons will have to settle for being the richest people in Munford, Tennessee, population 6,000.
  • There's a lot of new money on the list. Out of the 52 people, 31 of them are self-made. That means entrepreneurs like Gates, Zuckerberg, Papa John's founder John Schnatter (Louisville, $710 million) and Nike's Phil Knight (Portland, $25.4 billion) are more common than heirs like Wal-Mart's Alice Walton in Dallas ($30.4 billion) and Philadelphia's Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, heir to the Campbell Soup Co. fortune at $3.7 billion.
  • In two cities that have had long-standing rivalries in sports and other areas, the difference between being the richest person in New York and Boston is about $28.7 billion. New York's David Koch checks in at $41 billion, while Boston's Abigail Johnson is estimated to have a fortune of $12.3 billion.
  • It's a man's world. Forty-two of the 52 people on the list are men, and all of them are white except Kansas City's Min Kao ($2.1 billion), who owns GPS maker Garmin.
  • The owner of your local professional sports team has a good shot at being on the list. Cleveland's Norma Lerner is the widow of Al Lerner, who brought pro football back to Cleveland in 1999 and owned the Browns until his death in 2002. Herb Simon of Indianapolis ($2.8 billion) owns the Indiana Pacers, Jacksonville's J. Wayne Weaver ($870 million) is a former owner of the Jaguars, Baltimore's Steve Bisciotti ($3.2 billion) owns the Ravens, Salt Lake City's Gail Miller ($1.8 billion) owns the Jazz and New Orleans' Tom Benson ($2.2 billion) owns the Saints.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.