The Only Black Billionaires In America

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It’s no secret that in America, it’s just harder to become successful if you’re not white. There’s plenty of talented people of color that prove this exact thing. But while the odds are stacked higher against them than they would be against a white person, every now and then a black person comes around that becomes extremely successful.

There’s not too many of them around, but seven currently living black people have managed to become billionaires in the United States of America. Let’s find out who, and how.

Jay-Z

Perhaps the most obvious one on this list, Jay-Z has amassed a lot of his wealth from his music. Apart from that, he’s also a very successful producer and entrepreneur. He’s currently spending more of his time dealing with his several business ventures rather than making music, but who can blame the guy? With 14 albums and 22 Grammy’s already, Jay-Z has nothing to prove to anyone anymore when it comes to being a good musician.

Oprah Winfrey

You get a billion dollars! You get a billion dollars! Everyone gets a billion dollars! I mean, we know why Oprah is rich. She had the most successful talk show in the history of talk shows and then started her own media network after retiring. She’s always been clever when it came to managing her money, which is why her net worth is still comfortably worth 2 billion dollars.

Kanye West

I know what you’re thinking: wasn’t Kanye bankrupt? Well, sort of. He’s certainly made some bad investments in the past, but he’s also been clever enough to use his name and persona to the fullest to market himself into oblivion. The biggest example are his very successful Yeezy sneakers, and those royalties alone are about in the $140 million range. Kanye West himself claims he’s worth 3 billion dollars, yet Forbes agrees to disagree and places him on a modest 1.3 billion. Still enough, I’d say.

Tyler Perry

Who now? Tyler Perry is one of the few black people in Hollywood to actually become rich off of his comedic writing. A big factor in this is that he actually owns all the rights to the shows he writes, which is a very rare thing in Hollywood. While he isn’t exactly the most known person on this list (his most known work is the Madea franchise), he’s been clever enough to manage his work intelligently, which has paid off massively for him.

David Steward

Not many people have probably heard of this man, but he’s basically the co-founder of World Wide Technology. They provide IT services to Verizon and the government, among many others. Most of his net worth is in his company. The company in itself is worth $12 billion, of which David owns $3,5 billion. That doesn’t mean his business was always successful – in fact, David mentions that in the early days of his business adventure, he sometimes couldn’t afford to pay himself a wage.

Michael Jordan

Not only was Michael Jordan one of the most successful athletes of his era, but he also helped create the Air Jordan sneakers. But all that wasn’t how he made most of his wealth. In fact, the one thing that helped put him over the edge of billionaire life was investing in the Charlotte Hornets, a basketball team. When done right, investing in sports teams can be a good way to gain a lot of results from your investment and see your capital rise quickly. And thanks to his recent documentary, Michael has gained a revival as a meme.

Robert F. Smith

The absolute richest black man in America, with a net worth of over $5 billion, is Robert F. Smith. He’s the CEO of Vista Equity Partners, which is one of the biggest private equity firms in the United States. Before that, he worked at Goldman Sachs, where he learnt the ropes of the business. He handled multi billion dollar deals and went on to do his own thing after about half a decade. And not only is he a very wealthy man, but he’s also a huge philanthropist. If you know him by name, it’s probably from that one time when he made a speech for a graduating class in a predominantly black college and paid off the student loans of the entire class – which was about $34 million.



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