Special Report

American Billionaires That Got Richer During COVID

Source: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

10. Larry Page
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$19.1 billion (+37.6%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $50.9 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $70.0 billion
> Industry: Technology

Like his fellow Alphabet co-founder Sergey Brin, Larry Page’s net worth increased by about $19 billion throughout the pandemic so far. Now worth an estimated $70 billion, Page is one of the 10 wealthiest people on the planet. Alphabet, like many other tech companies, now has a higher stock price than at any point before the pandemic.

Page was also an early investor in Tesla. The electric car maker’s stock price dipped below $100 per share in March, before increasing to over $400 per share in October.

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9. Phil Knight
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$19.6 billion (+66.5%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $29.5 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $49.1 billion
> Industry: Fashion & Retail

Nike founder Phil Knight is worth over $49 billion, after his net worth increased by over 66% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the company struggled at the beginning of the pandemic, it placed a greater emphasis on direct-to-consumer sales after retail locations were forced to close. Nike and other athletic apparel makers have fared well as more and more Americans have been working from home and opt for more comfortable clothes instead of more professional attire.

In April, Nike announced it would use its manufacturing facilities to make face shields and other protective equipment for health care workers.

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8. Bill Gates
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$20.0 billion (+20.4%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $98.0 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $118.0 billion
> Industry: Technology

Bill Gates owns just over 1% of Microsoft after selling or donating much of his stake in the company he co-founded. Yet his net worth still grew by an estimated $20 billion during the pandemic, as he is invested in a number of other assets. Gates’ net worth of $118 billion makes him the second richest person in the world.

Gates’ charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged to spend $300 million combatting COVID-19 through therapeutics, testing, and vaccines.

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7. Larry Ellison
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$21.3 billion (+36.1%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $59.0 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $80.3 billion
> Industry: Technology

As more and more people are working remotely, cloud computing is an essential component of many businesses. Software company Oracle, which provides cloud services, has bounced back after a slight dip due to COVID-19. With Oracle’s bounce co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison’s net worth also jumped — to over $80 billion. Communication company Zoom utilizes Oracle’s cloud infrastructure. After Oracle’s stock price fell below $40 per share in March, it quickly rebounded and was worth over $61 per share in mid-October.

Oracle also partnered with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in an attempt to help the government agency register volunteers for vaccine tests.

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6. Steve Ballmer
> Wealth growth during pandemic: +$22.3 billion (+42.4%)
> Est. net worth; March 18, 2020: $52.7 billion
> Est. net worth; Oct. 13, 2020: $75.0 billion
> Industry: Technology

Former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is now worth an estimated $75 billion, whereas his net worth was $52.7 billion when the pandemic first hit.

Ballmer is the largest individual shareholder in Microsoft after co-founder Bill Gates sold off large stakes in the company. Microsoft stock was worth around $140 per share on March 18. Seven months later, it was valued at over $220 per share, an increase of more than 50%.

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