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Billionaires
Billionaires
Special Feature:
Billionaires
March 26, 2012
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Follow the 1,226 wealthiest people in the world in this special issue with Mexico's Carlos Slim who is focusing on his foundation and the well-being of his country. This issue covers the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, ending with the U.S. with Bill Gates as the wealthiest of the 425 billionaires in the country. 

BILLIONAIRES
FACT & COMMENT- Steve Forbes
Know-nothing senator.

LEADERBOARD
SCORECARD
The year’s winners and losers: Salinas surges and Schaeffler sinks.

BACON TO BACON- Caleb Melby
It’s “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” billionaire-style. In the incestuous world of Hollywood and money, we needed only three degrees to link a ubiquitous actor and a camera-shy hedge fund mogul.

BILLIONAIRE BOX SCORES
Breaking down all the money in the world.

DROP-OFFS- Fred Dreier
The world said farewell to 12 billionaires over the last year.

ACTIVE CONVERSATION
Our story on billionaire Sheldon Adelson stirred up strong responses-including an on-air tussle between an MSNBC anchor and a Columbia University professor.

FROM OIL GUSHERS TO BLOCKBUSTERS- Christopher Helman
Tim Headington uses wildcatting instincts to make Oscar-winning movies.

THOUGHT LEADERS
 CURRENT EVENTS- Lee Kuan Yew
The world is truly a global village.

CAPITAL FLOWS- Louis Woodhill
Solyndras in the classroom.

INNOVATION RULES- Rich Karlgaard
Lessons from Dad and Jeremy Lin.

THE BILLIONAIRES ISSUE
THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD- Edited by Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan
Carlos Slim leads the pack for the third straight year, comfortably ahead of Gates and Buffett.

THE TOP 100
Talk about haves: The list’s upper crust has an average net worth of $17 billion. From Sheldon Adelson to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s been a very good year at the top.

NEWCOMERS
Laurene Powell Jobs and Ivan Glasenberg lead our list of newly minted billionaires.

HALL OF FAME
These 24 people have graced our list as billionaires for each of the past 26 years.

SPECIAL GATEFOLD
ROLLING IN THE DEEP
A quarter-century timeline of billionaire ups and downs (but mostly ups).

ONES TO WATCH
The future is promised to no one. But for these innovators it certainly looks bright. Meet our picks for likely billionaires in the making.

THE AMERICAS
THE TOP 20
At $69 billion Carlos Slim’s fortune is $5 billion smaller than it was last year, but it’s still more than double the size of the region’s No. 2 mogul, Brazil’s Eike Batista.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SLIM- Kerry A. Dolan
The planet’s richest person has technically retired to focus on his foundation. But he’s keeping a sharp eye on his gigantic businesses-and on global affairs.

ASIA-PACIFIC
THE TOP 20
India’s Mukesh Ambani loses the title of Asia’s wealthiest to Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing.

LI KA-SHING’S MIDAS TOUCH- Russell Flannery
Asia’s richest man dominates Hong Kong and holds the keys to China, but it’s his brilliant tech investments that have turned heads. In a rare interview Li reveals his new strategy-and where he’s putting his money now.

TRANSCENDENTAL BILLIONAIRE- Naazneen Karmali
Subhash Chandra built the largest structure dedicated to the mediation style he credits with his success.

EUROPE
THE TOP 20
Bernard Arnault leads this year’s list of the continent’s wealthiest.

HE OWNS THE PLACE- Julia Ioffe
The richest man in Georgia (he’s worth half the country’s GDP) is out to topple his nation’s leader. It’s either an act of patriotism-or self-preservation.

FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY- Clare O’Connor
In a country where “entrepreneur” is a dirty word and the establishment despises him, telecom and Web pioneer Xavier Niel built a $4.5 billion fortune-and become a cult hero in the process.

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
THE TOP 20
Magnates from Saudi Arabia and Israel possess half of the region’s 20 largest fortunes.

CAPITALIST KIBBUTZ- Caleb Melby
Industrial parks are Stef Wertheimer’s weapon of choice in the fight to end conflict in the Middle East.

UNITED STATES
THE TOP 20
With a fortune of $61 billion, Bill Gates is the richest of America’s 425 billionaires.

AMERICAN BOOTY- Clare O’Connor
Sara Blakely is the youngest self-made woman to join this year’s billionaires club, turning $5,000 in savings into a new retail category: shapewear.

THE LAST MASTER BUILDER- Morgan Brennan
Stephen Ross is putting his billions, and his legacy, on the line to fix Manhattan’s West Side-and prove that private developers can still profitably transform the urban landscape.

INDEX
The world’s billionaires, from Abello to Zyuzin.

RICH IN HISTORY
A quarter-century of fortune hunting: FORBES looks back at the covers of our annual billionaires list.

THOUGHTS
From billionaires past and present.