Charlie Ergen.
Charlie Ergen.
YouTube file photo

Meet Colorado's Ten Billionaires

Forbes has just released its list of the world's billionaires, and of the 2,043 individuals who've achieved this benchmark, ten of them live in Colorado.

We introduced you to the wealthiest quintet from the batch in our October 2016 post "Meet the Five Richest Coloradans Right Now"; they seem to be maintaining their standard of living pretty well.

However, the other five billionaires from the state are considerably less well known, with the exception of a certain homegrown movie producer. Two of them come from the same incredibly prosperous family, while the other pair built fortunes while working in finance and tech, respectively.

Continue to meet the top ten, featuring up-to-date Forbes data showing entrant's wealth as of both yesterday and today, plus introductions inspired by the magazine's mini-profiles. Click to see the complete list.

Thomas Bailey circa 2001.
Thomas Bailey circa 2001.

Number 10: Thomas Bailey

Billionaire number 1,795

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $1.1 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $1.1 B

Forbes notes that Bailey built his fortune by way of Janus, a mutual fund that he founded in Denver circa 1969. The business was at its most profitable during the 1980s and 1990s, only to suffer a downturn after the turn of the century. Bailey resigned as CEO of Janus in 2002 and sold his share in the business two years later for a reported $1.2 billion — and as judged by his current worth, he's still got most of that nest egg. His current passions include horse breeding and fly fishing.

A screen capture of an article featuring Whitney MacMillan, William MacMillan's late uncle.
A screen capture of an article featuring Whitney MacMillan, William MacMillan's late uncle.

Number 9 (tie): William MacMillan

Billionaire number 1,678 (tie)

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $1.24 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $1.2 B

MacMillan is among the fourteen related billionaires who own control of Cargill, Inc., which Forbes describes as "the largest private company in America." Founded by W.W. Cargill in 1865, the firm specializes in food, commodities, source ingredients and financial-risk management. William is the son of Cargill MacMillan Jr., a onetime senior vice president of the company (he died in 2011), and nephew of Whitney MacMillan, who, according to Forbes, was the last family member to hold the position of CEO before retiring in the mid-1990s. He's served on Cargill's board of directors.

A look at assets from the MacMillan family business.
A look at assets from the MacMillan family business.

Number 9 (tie): Cargill MacMillan III

Billionaire number 1,678 (tie)

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $1.24 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $1.2 B

Cargill III is another of the billionaire heirs to the Cargill riches. If he's had direct involvement in the corporation on par with William MacMillan, whose worth mirrors his own, Forbes doesn't mention it.

Kenneth Tuchman
Kenneth Tuchman

Number 7: Kenneth Tuchman

Billionaire number 1,567

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $1.34 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $1.3 B

Tuchman's wealth is based on his gigs as chairman and CEO of TeleTech, dubbed by Forbes as a "call center outsourcing giant." His company bio reads in part:

Kenneth D. Tuchman sees the world from the customer’s perspective. In 1982, fed up with the way businesses were operating customer care as a burden and a cost center, he founded TeleTech to transform the way companies deliver the customer experience.

With his innate understanding of the power of data and technology to connect customers directly with brands, Tuchman saw the customer experience revolution on the horizon and built a company to lead it. His perspective on the importance of the customer as a strategic asset fuels TeleTech's culture of technology innovation and operational excellence. With a holistic approach that integrates strategy, process, technology, and execution capabilities, TeleTech helps its Global 1000 clients turn the complexities of customer care into a seamless competitive advantage that delivers customer loyalty and long-term sustainable economic growth.

Gary Magness in 2011.
Gary Magness in 2011.

Number 6: Gary Magness

Billionaire number 1,468

Bob Magness, Gary's dad, started TCI, a cable company that merged with AT&T eighteen years ago in a deal valued at $48 billion. Gary has lived a public life, taking part in off-road truck racing and working with his wife, Sarah Siegel-Magness, as a movie producer. Their best-known film was 2009's Precious. In addition, Forbes highlights his philanthropic acts — among them the Precious Center for Teen Leadership — and notes properties such as Colorado cattle ranches.

Continue to meet the five richest billionaires in Colorado.

Pat Stryker
Pat Stryker
File photo

Number 5: Pat Stryker

Billionaire number 717

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $2.9 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $2.8 B

The size of Stryker's bank account is explained by the success of the Stryker Corporation, founded by her grandfather, a surgeon and inventor of medical devices; the company generated $11.3 billion in sales last year, by Forbes's calculations. A Fort Collins resident, she's known for venture capital, real-estate development and philanthropy. In December, we detailed one of her gifts in the post "Colorado Billionaire Pat Stryker's Key Gift to National Lynching Memorial, Museum."

A stand-in graphic for James Leprino.
A stand-in graphic for James Leprino.
File image

Number 4: James Leprino

Billionaire number 660

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $3 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $3 B

Leprino makes his money from cheese; Leprino Foods is "the world's largest mozzarella cheese maker," Forbes points out, with customers such as Domino's, Papa John's and Pizza Hut. The firm is currently building a $300 million processing plant in Colorado that's set to open this year. Nonetheless, Leprino himself clearly has no interest in the limelight. If there are photos of him circulating on the Internet, we haven't found them, and neither has Forbes, which has used a place-holder image like the one seen here for years.

John Malone
John Malone
YouTube file photo

Number 3: John Malone

Billionaire number 174

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $7.6 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $7.7 B

Malone is the man behind Liberty Media, whose properties include the Atlanta Braves — and the company agreed to buy Formula One, the car-racing league, for $4.4 billion last September. A few months earlier, Forbes reports, another one of his outfits, Charter Communications, merged with Time Warner in a transaction said to be worth $85 billion. It's appropriate that the mag begins his blurb with the line, "The cowboy cable king is wheeling and dealing again."

Phil Anschutz, right, with Jack Vickers at the dedication of a Boys & Girls Club in Denver circa 2013.
Phil Anschutz, right, with Jack Vickers at the dedication of a Boys & Girls Club in Denver circa 2013.
Free Lunch Photography

Number 2: Phil Anschutz

Billionaire number 96

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $12.7 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $12.5 B

Anschutz is an enigma. Beginning with the assets from his father's oil business, he's built an empire that includes railroads, real estate and very public businesses such as entertainment, sports and media, including the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper. Personally, though, Anschutz steers clear of the press, and he was undoubtedly unhappy about being dragged into the news for his de facto sponsorship of Neil Gorsuch, who's currently going through the nomination process to become the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Charlie Ergen
Charlie Ergen
YouTube file photo

Number 1: Charlie Ergen

Billionaire number 47

REAL TIME NET WORTH — as of 3/21/17: $18.4 B
2017 BILLIONAIRES NET WORTH — as of 3/20/17: $18.3 B

Back in 1980, Forbes divulges, Ergen was selling satellite dishes from the back of a truck to customers in the Denver metro area; he also worked as a professional gambler while in college before being ejected from a Las Vegas casino for card-counting. From these humble beginnings sprang DISH Network, which has fourteen million subscribers and has made Ergen the wealthiest person in Colorado.

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