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Two Tennesseans make Richest Americans list for 1st time

Forbes announced its list of the 400 richest Americans list this week, and two Tennesseans made the list for the first time.

To make this year’s list, participants needed a net worth of at least $1.55 billion, the highest total since Forbes began tracking the numbers in 1982.

Here are the listmakers from Tennessee:

NO. 62 THOMAS FRIST JR. AND FAMILY $7.6 BILLION

Thomas Frist and his father founded HCA in 1968 and eventually built the nation’s largest for-profit hospital company. He and his family still own a major share in the company.

NO. 129 MARTHA INGRAM AND FAMILY $3.9 BILLION

Martha Ingram took over Ingram Industries after her husband, Erskine, died in 1995. The company has a number of key business lines in the distribution, publishing and marine business. In 2013, she helped broker a deal that helped save Nashville’s symphony hall from a foreclosure auction.


NO. 155 FREDERICK SMITH $3.5 BILLION

Frederick Smith is the founder and CEO of FedEx, the largest overnight shipping company in the world. He developed the idea for the company while an undergrad at Yale University.


NO. 302 BRAD KELLEY $2.1 BILLION

Franklin’s Brad Kelley owns about 1.5 million acres of ranchland in Texas, New Mexico and Florida. Kelley, who became a billionaire by building his discount cigarette business, purchased the Lonely Planet line of tourist guidebooks in 2013 through his NC2 Media.


NO. 324 FORREST PRESTON $2 BILLION

Forrest Preston is the founder and chairman of Cleveland, Tenn.-based Life Care Centers of America Inc., the nation’s third-largest nursing home operator.
The nation’s aging population has helped sparked growth for Preston’s company and helped him make the list for the first time as a result.
The company operations more than 200 facilities nationwide.


NO. 353 JIMMY HASLAM $1.8 BILLION

JImmy Haslam – the brother of Gov. Bill Haslam – is the CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain and the current majority owner of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. For more than a year, Haslam’s company has been under investigation for an alleged rebate scam. Several executives with the company have already pled guilty and the company has agreed to pay back in millions to customers.


NO. 368 JON YARBROUGH $1.7 BILLION

Entrepreneur Jon Yarbrough, who founded Video Gaming Technologies in 1991, made the list for the first time after selling his company to Australian gaming company, Aristocrat Leisure Limited, for $1.3 billion.
VGT makes and sells video gaming machines, primarily to tribal gaming centers in the United States. Last year, the company brought in $236 million in revenue.

Article source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2014/09/29/forbes-richest-americans-tennessee-2014/16440901/

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