Special Report

30 Richest Americans of All Time

Source: Mathew Brady / Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

25. James G. Fair (1831-1894)
> 2018 estimated net worth: $53.8 billion
> Source of wealth: Mining industry
> Birthplace: Clogher, Northern Ireland

James G. Fair moved from Northern Ireland to the U.S. as a boy, and traveled to California during the 1849 gold rush to seek his fortune. Fair proved himself adept at understanding the state’s geologic formations and over time secured a leadership position at the Hale and Norcross mining company. He later helped the mining company find the Big Bonanza, the discovery of which in 1873 represented the largest cache of gold and silver in U.S. history.

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

24. Sergey Brin (b.1973)
> 2018 estimated net worth: $54.0 billion
> Source of wealth: Google
> Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Born in Moscow in 1973, Sergey Brin and his family immigrated to the States to escape the Soviet era discrimination against Jewish people.. He and Larry Page, a Stanford computer science student, created Google as a project. Their mission was to create an internet search engine that would rank the results according to what was most popular. Brin has been a billionaire since 2004, when Google went public.

Source: Pirie MacDonald / Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

23. Russell Sage (1816-1906)
> 2018 estimated net worth: $54.5 billion
> Source of wealth: Stock trading
> Birthplace: Verona, New York

Russell Sage was born into a poor family, but he used his financial skills to build a fortune. He initially owned a shop, then used the profits to try his hand at other ventures. He later moved to New York City, where he became a stock trader. Some of his innovative trading methods — including using puts and calls — are still employed on Wall Street to this day.

Source: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

22. Larry Page (b.1973)
> 2018 estimated net worth: $55.2 billion
> Source of wealth: Google
> Birthplace: East Lansing, Michigan

Larry Page is the son of a computer scientist and a computer programming teacher. He and Sergey Brin invented the search engine Google while studying at Stanford University.

Source: Courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons

21. Moses Taylor (1806-1882)
> 2018 estimated net worth: $55.4 billion
> Source of wealth: Citibank
> Birthplace: N/A

Moses Taylor’s father was a close associate of John Jacob Astor, who had bought City Bank of New York, now Citibank, after the panic of 1837 and put the younger Taylor in charge. After Moses achieved success, the Taylor family donated some of his fortune to open Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The hospital was founded to treat the families of workers for DL&W Railroad and Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company, for which Moses Taylor had served as a director.

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