Net Worth: $29 Billion
Industry: Consumer goods
Notable Member(s): H.F Johnson
Claim to Fame: S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
The Johnson’s are one of the 25 richest families in the world that sit on over $1 trillion, combined. And, you can bet that at least 5 things in the room you’re in right now are from the S.C. Johnson company, who produces everything from toilet paper to bug spray. The family owns a countless number of major brands, including Pledge, Raid, Grand Prix, and Glade.
The empire was started back in 1886 by the S.C Johnson. At the time, the only thing the company manufactured was floor-cleaning supplies. One of the floor wax’s that he created happened to become extremely popular, which skyrocketed the business to success. In 1928, S.C’s son, H.F, took the reins. At the time, the company had just over 300 employees. Today, S.C. Johnson employs over 120,000 people around the world. The company prides itself on its equal-rights practices and the fact that they’ve always valued women in the workforce. Before the 1920s, women were in charge of multiple departments throughout the organization. Altogether, the brands owned by the Johnsons’ bring in billions each year.
Net Worth: $12 Billion
Notable Member(s): Thomas Frist Jr.
Claim to Fame: The Hospital Corporation of America
Thomas Frist is another legendary businessman that has topped quite a few lists – including the fact that he is the single richest person in the state of Tennessee. The Hospital Corporation of America is a for (major) profit organization that manages nearly 200 hospitals and 120 other medical centers throughout the country.
HCA was founded in Frist’s home state of Tennessee in 1968 and grew exponentially over the next couple of decades. They have experienced quite a bit of legal turmoil since they launched, including several lawsuits that were launched against them in the early ’90s for “questionable billing methods.” HCA holds the ranking of the 63rd largest corporation in the US. The medical industry certainly seems to run in the Frist family blood system, as a number of family members are involved with it, in one way or another. In 2009, Thomas handed the reigns of the company over to Billy, his son. Today, the family is worth nearly $12 billion and counting. In fact, one of every 22 ER visits in the country takes place in an HCA facility – and just think about how expensive those visits can be.
Net Worth: $3.7 Billion
Notable Member(s): Michael Milken
Claim to Fame: The Milken Institute
Michael Milken has traveled a questionable road to get to where he is today, but he does have an estimated worth of nearly $4 billion. He got his foot in the door of the financial industry in 69’, when one of his college professors helped him land a job at an investment bank. He stayed with the bank for several years and branched out into a department of his creation.
But he soon found himself in troubled waters, after he became the target of a lengthy insider trading operation and was convicted of 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989. He pleads guilty and got sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and had to pay nearly $600 million in fines. Milken wound up having his initial sentence reduced and served 2 years, along with paying $200 million. After he was released from prison, he became very philanthropic. He and his brother, Lowell, started a foundation for medical research and education. They have donated over $60 million to teachers through the Milken Educator Awards, and started other ventures, like launching Knowledge Learning Corporation, the parent company of KinderCare.
Net Worth: $5.5 Billion
Industry: Health and Wellness
Notable Member(s): Rishi Shah
Claim to Fame: Outcome Health
Rishi Shah most certainly made his family proud when he decided to turn his American dream into an empire that’s worth over $3.5 billion. He first developed the plans for his business in 2006 and began his hunt for investors soon after. In 2017 alone, he raised more than $500 million from huge investors like Goldman Sachs.
Shah, who acts as CEO for his company, Outcome Health, now has a net worth that’s over $2 billion, and he did it all himself. His idea was simple enough: putting touchscreens and tablets that promote products in the waiting rooms of doctor’s and dentist’s offices. Since its fairly recent beginning, Shah’s company has faced some turbulence in the form of lawsuits, like the one where his investors say he breached their contract and failed to give them all of the necessary information. Shah ended up resigning from his position as CEO due to the suit.
Net Worth: $7.2 Billion
Industry: Food and Retail
Notable Member(s): Hank Meijer
Claim to Fame: Meijer’s Supermarkets
Anyone from the Midwest might recognize the name Meijer from the popular chain of supermarkets that are spread across those states. The family has made several of Forbes’ lists, including being one of the 6 families from Michigan “worth 27.3 Billion.” The empire was first started by Hendrik Meijer in 1934, in Grand Rapids.
In fact, Hendrik Meijer has been given credit for being the person who came up with the modern supermarket idea to begin with – meaning that he was the first person who started selling grocery items in bulk at a store that also sold other, general items in bulk. The chain prides itself on each store being built from the ground up – they don’t like to buy out other stores. Today, Meijer has over 200 stores and is one of the fastest growing chains in the United States. Most of their stores are located throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, although they have begun to expand further and further outside of the Midwest. The company is currently run by Doug and Hank Meijer.