SAS co-founders still rank among richest Americans

Posted September 21, 2011
Updated September 22, 2011

— Bill Gates tops this year's Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth calculated at $59 billion.

Meanwhile, Jim Goodnight and John Sall, the co-founders of Cary software developer SAS Institute, continue to rank high on the list.

Goodnight was 38th, with an estimated net worth of $7.1 billion, while Sall was 91st, with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.

Former University of North Carolina President C.D. Spangler, a Charlotte businessman, was the only other North Carolinian on the Forbes list. He ranked 273rd, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.

Forbes says Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, saw his wealth increase by $5 billion from last year.

Investor Warren Buffett ranks second, with a fortune of $39 billion, though Forbes says the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chief executive's wealth shrank by $6 billion from a year ago.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison rounds out the top three, with a net worth of $33 billion, a $6 billion increase from last year.

George Soros entered the top 10 list for the first time at seventh. Forbes estimates his wealth at $22 billion.

Three members of the Walton family, descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, also are among the top 10 wealthiest this year.


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  • harinootsak Sep 22, 2011

    SAS is the best software plantation around. Their key to continued success is twofold: annual renewal model and market leader/driver in analytics and forecasting.

  • ICTrue Sep 22, 2011

    "If you look at the percentage of taxes paid on earnings and compare it to the average middle class taxes paid on earnings, my guess would be that the middle class person paid a greater percentage of his earnings than these rich people did. I am not one for taking from the rich to enrich the poor, BUT I think all SHOULD pay taxes at the same rate. According to what I was taught in school we are all equal, and IMHO that means we SHOULD be treated EQUALLY in all things, INCLUDING the tax reate." rednek

    As long as you are including the 40+% that don't pay any taxes then I agree.

  • IAMAmerican Sep 22, 2011

    I have only the utmost respect for Mr. Goodnight, he's a self made millionaire and takes care of his employees. Very rare these days.

  • jgilchr Sep 22, 2011

    "It's interesting to see the transition from an industrialized to a financialized economy reflected on this list. Over 25% of the list is comprised of bankers, traders, hedge fund managers, and private equity moguls. Compare this to 1985, when just four people (or 1% of the list) hailed from the finance industry. In many cases I see those people not creating the wealth they now possess, but instead siphoning much of it off from more productive sectors. This is inherently different from someone who creates a winning product, builds a successful company, and generates new markets. If you receive more in compensation than wealth you directly or indirectly create, you are effectively stealing from someone else. Unfortunately the current financial system encourages this type of behavior."


  • Shelley Cooper Sep 22, 2011

    what do the letters SAS stand for ???

    statistical analysis software

    i use it

    a lot

  • jgilchr Sep 22, 2011

    Trickle down is a myth.

  • snshine62d Sep 22, 2011

    I wish I could get a job there. It would be nice to appreciated at your job.

  • forautumn Sep 22, 2011

    "Rich people don't create jobs, that's what the liberals want us to believe"

    riddle me this...if Bill gates pays more tax, does that mean Microsoft stops hiring?

  • forautumn Sep 22, 2011

    "Lets go protest.... demanding they give up their wealth in the name of "fairness"... According to most liberals... NO ONE should have that much wealth, and it is the responsibility of the govt to seize it, and redistribute it to those it deems are in need. (usually the govt itself) Sure it goes against capitalism, individual rights, and the Constitution... the things that made this country great.... but these guys have far too much"

    Blah, blah, blah..

    Just more pablum from the partisan hack MEP.

  • NotAgain Sep 22, 2011

    Wow a successful company in NC. And very successful. From what I read here about Gov Perdue, you would think she would not allow business success. I guess I was wrong.