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Forbes 400
Forbes 400
Special Feature:
Forbes 400
October 8, 2012
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THE FORBES 400
FACT & COMMENT- Steve Forbes
Why philanthropy must have these 400-type entrepreneurs.

LEADERBOARD
THE FORBES 400’S CHARITY GALAXY
It’s a small world at the top of the nonprofit food chain.

THEY DON’T BUILD ‘EM LIKE THEY USED TO
What would America’s most famous landmarks of philanthropy cost to erect today?

COMING UP SHORT
These 32 moguls-some of them still billionaires-have fallen from our list.

THE ONE-MAN SPACE PROGRAM- Rich Karlgaard
New Forbes 400 member Elon Musk believes his biggest contribution to the world will be launching mankind beyond it.

TECH WRECK
Five tech entrepreneurs crossed the billion-dollar mark this winter. It was a short flight.

SCORECARD
Larry Ellison gained $8 billion this year-the same amount Mark Zuckerberg lost.

PHILANTHROPY’S FUTURE FACES // GROWTH LESSONS
Introducing a malnutrition maven, a “toilet hacker,” a cycling crusader, a gay rights champion and scions of Soros and Buffett. Plus: The cost of living extremely well.

THE FORBES 400
THE FORBES 400 SUMMIT- Randall Lane
In June FORBES convened the greatest-ever gathering of philanthropists: 161 billionaires or near-billionaires intent on solving the world’s most intractable problems. Six legends- Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Case, David Rubenstein and Leon Black, who have collectively committed more than $100 billion of personal wealth-sat down to debate the highs and lows of giving back. Plus: Meet the new members of the Giving Pledge and Warren Buffett’s secret hero.

THE POWER OF CATALYTIC PHILANTHROPHY- Bill Gates
While the private sector does a phenomenal job meeting human needs among those who can pay, there are billions of people who have no way to express their needs in ways that matter to markets.

THE EDUCATION OF OPRAH WINFREY- Clare O’Connor
Five years ago the talk show titan’s altruism turned into the worst crisis of her adult life. Rather than abandon her South African school, Winfrey learned from her mistakes-and doubled down on what she believed in.

REVERSE ENGINEERING THE BRAIN- Matthew Herper
Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen helped revolutionize the world with personal computers. Now he’s betting a half-billion dollars that he can do something even more radical: draw a circuit diagram of human consciousness.

THE SECRET CONSERVATIONIST- Monte Burke
With the government lacking the funds and mandate to conserve American land, a handful of billionaires have filled the void. Hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon did so at a cost of $400 million-and his privacy.

GOING FOR BROKE- Steven Bertoni
Chuck Feeney has earned $7.5 billion, but he’s not on The Forbes 400. Instead, the Duty Free Shoppers founder has secretly given it away as fast as he’s made it. All he’s got left is $2 million-and credit for inspiring the modern philanthropy movement.

JEFF SKOLL’S CHANGE FACTORY // LEADERSHIP AT THE TOP- Kerry A. Dolan
The former eBay president has put $1 billion behind a new kind of philanthropy, a brew that blends social entrepreneurship and the power of media to tackle poverty and any other problem that piques his interest.

BIBLICAL BILLIONAIRE- Brian Solomon
David Green insists God is the true owner of his $3 billion arts and crafts chain. Act as His disciple, Green has become the largest evangelical benefactor in the world-with plans for unprecedented gifts once he’s in heaven.

THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN AMERICA- Edited by Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan
For every name on the rich list who inherited his or her wealth, two more made it on their own. Nothing exceeds like success. Plus: Thoughts on philanthropy from Jon Bon Jovi, Martha Stewart, Marc Andreessen, Donna Karan, Jim Breyer and Alex Rodriguez

THE TOP 20
Their total net worth is $532 billion, up $73 billion since last year.

THE NEW CLASS OF 2012
Twenty newcomers climbed into the ranks this year, including four immigrants and four hedge fund tycoons.

INDEX
America’s wealthiest citizens, from Abraham to Zuckerman.

THOUGHTS
On philanthropy.