America is one of the best places in the world to grow and preserve wealth. The richest families in America are descendants of some of the pioneers of American industry, who built their empires and families from scratch, and then handed over the legacy of wealth to their children and their children’s children.
Aristocratic families are often shrouded in secrecy; they make a point of keeping their affairs and financial dealings private. Nevertheless, with so much interest from the world, it is not always possible to keep wealth, and those who have it away from public domain.
America’s richest families have experienced mixed fortunes over the last few years; while some have actually seen their wealth grow, others have seen their wealth depleted just as the world’s economy has suffered.
Top 10 Richest Families In America 2022
1. Walton Family
Net Worth: $200 Billion
The Walton Family is the richest and most powerful non-political family in America. It was established by Sam Walton; a visionary American who established Walmart, a chain of supermarkets in 1962. Today, the company operates around 10,585 Hypermarkets, Grocery Stores, and Discount Department Stores, and employs about 2.3 million people world wide.
Walmart is the single largest private sector employer in the world, and one of the most recognizable brands in the United States, and in the world. From their headquarters in Bentonville, Arizona, 7 members of the Walton family control one of the world’s biggest companies by number of business locations and by number of employees.
The Walton Family controls the company from the background; the daily running of the company is put in the hands of very talented individuals. Members of the Walton Family have consistently been ranked among the richest in America for around 2 decades. The family owns about 50% of the company; the rest of which is owned by the public.
2. Koch Family
Net Worth: $140 Billion
The Koch Family is not as large as the Waltons, but it is even more influential. The Koch Family was established by Fred Koch, who devised a new method of refining crude oil into gasoline. He established Koch Industries in 1940, but died in 1967, causing his four sons to fight over control of his company.
Two brothers left the company after settlement, and then Charles and David Koch put in the work of turning Koch Industries into the world’s second largest diversified conglomerate, with interests in Asphalt, chemicals, energy, fertilizers, finance, minerals, natural gas, commodities trading, plastics, petroleum, pulp and paper, fibers, and ranching.
David and Charles Koch were some of the most politically influential businessmen in America; some of their political initiatives have been instrumental in shaping American politics, and public perception. David died in 2019, but he left 3 grown children behind.
3. Mars Family
Net Worth: $126 Billion
The Mars family is one of those aristocratic families that like to live in secrecy. It was established by Forrest Edward Mars Sr., who established the Mars Candy Empire back in 1911. He was a visionary businessman who brought sweetness to the homes of many families, and brought joy to children around the country.
The candy business was so successful, that the family was ranked as the richest family in America in 1988. Three generations later, the family is still one of the wealthiest in the country and in the world.
The Mars Family has not been asleep; it has gradually shifted from just a candy making empire; now including other products and services to its businesses so as to ensure stability. Some of the company’s products include Candy, Gum, Mint, Confectionery, Beverages, Foodstuff, and Pet food. The company has about 100,000 employees.
4. Lauder Family
Net Worth: $40 Billion
The Lauder Family is close knit unit of 10 individuals who owe their wealth and prestige to a fashion empire established by their predecessor. The Lauder Family was established by Estee and Joseph Launder; American Jews, with Hungarian and Czech ancestry. Estee Launder had a vision to enhance women’s beauty by producing cosmetic products, including make up, and accessories.
The company is now the world’s foremost cosmetic company; it has a range of products including skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care, and it has around 48,000 employees. The company was established in 1946, and is now publicly traded.
The Lauder Family controls the company, and is led by William P Launder, who serves as the Executive Chairman of The Estee Launder Company.
5. Cargill-MacMillan Family
Net Worth: $38 Billion
The Cargill- MacMillan Family is made up of two distinct branches; Wallace Cargill, and his Son in Law John Macmillan. Members of the family may go by the surnames Cargill or Macmillan, or Cargill- Macmillan. This family has existed for five generations; and now; with daughters being married into other families, such names as Meyer, Liebmann and Pictec can also be found among them.
The family gains its wealth officially through its “agribusiness” ventures, but investigative journalism has proven that the family is also involved in commodity trading and investments not only in America, but also in some of the remote, dusty locations of the world, as long as there is potential for profit. The Cargill Family has been described as the “CIA of agribusiness.”
6. S.C. Johnson Family
Net Worth: $37 Billion
The S.C Johnson Family is the largest billionaire family in America; it is made up of 68 persons. The S.C Johnson Family was established by Samuel Curtis Johnson, who founded S.C Johnson in 1886. The Johnson Family has over the generations controlled the company- the company is usually led by someone with the name Johnson. Even right now the Executive Chairman of the company is Herbert Fisk Johnson III.
S.C Johnson produces several home care products including insecticides, cleaning agents, and so on. Some of the popular brands produced by this company include Raid, Baygon, Mr. Muscle, Toilet Duck, and Kiwi.
The S.C Johnson Family may not have the greatest amount of wealth, but it surely has its business very well diversified, with over 26 products selling in markets around the world.
7. (Edward) Johnson family
Net Worth: $36 Billion
This family was established by Edward Johnson II, a money manager. By the efforts of Edward Johnson and his progeny, the Johnson Family is one of the richest families in America, and one of the biggest money managers in the country.
He established Fidelity Investments; which is now one of the largest investment houses in the world, and which has a lot of products and services including Annuities, Mutual Funds, Checking Accounts, Electronic Trading Platforms, Life Insurance Credit Cards, as well as Investment Management, Stockbroking, Financial Planning, and Wealth management.
The Edward Johnson family has been in control of the company for three generations; after Edward Johnson II, the company was led by Edward Johnson III who died in March 2022, and it is now led by Abigail Johnson his daughter.
8. Cox Family
Net Worth: $34.5 Billion
The Cox family is one of the biggest families in the area of media and publicity. The Cox Family was established by James Cox in 1898, and has since grown to become a major force in media and other sectors. Some of the businesses under the business include; Cox Communications and Cox Automotive. Some of the brands are AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim.
Cox Enterprises, Inc. is a global conglomerate; the family operates the businesses from its headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Cox Enterprises employs about 55,000 employees, and has a sizable share of the media market.
The Cox Family is a fourth generation powerhouse in the world of media and technology.
9. Pritzker Family
Net Worth: $32.5 Billion
The Pritzker Family is one of richest families in America; and their holdings are mainly in hotels and other investments. The Pritzker Family was established by Nicholas Pritzker (1871–1957), a Jewish immigrant from Kyiv, who founded Pritzker & Pritzker law firm in Chicago.
A few generations later the family entered into hotels; with the purchase of Hyatt Hotels, which was ran by Jay Pritzker. Today Hyatt is one of the biggest hotels in the world; with 1,175 locations throughout the world.
The company is still owned by the family, but the Pritzker Family has also added investments in manufacturing and industrial services, as well as financial services. The family also owns the Royal Caribbean cruise line.
10. Newhouse Family
Net Worth: $30 Billion
The Newhouse family is a unit made up of 23 individuals. The family is Jewish by ancestry, and was established by Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr. who established a publishing company; Advance Publications. Three generations later, the company is a media conglomerate comprising of magazines, newspapers, news and information websites, and television stations.
The Newhouse family is quite large because since Samuel Irving Sr. till date his two sons have proceeded to have large families to continue the Great Newhouse legacy.
Advance Publications has 102 locations worldwide; and employs over 12,000 people.
Some of the richest families in America are enjoying 5 generations of wealth. This speaks volumes about the stability of American society and the dependability of the American economy. Some of these families are made up of up to 68 persons, meaning that there may need to be some legal intervention to maintain order within the family.
When bylaws are made as a preemptive measure in order to ensure peace, it keeps the family out of bad press, and ensures that things go smoothly.