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Forbes: Tampa Bay home to seven billionaires

This year was another milestone for billionaires.

Forbes' list of the world's richest people broke 2,000 for the first time since the list began, totaling 2,043 billionaires for the 2017 count. Bill Gates kept his seat in the No. 1 position for the fourth year running, clocking in with a net worth of $86 billion. Investor extraordinaire Warren Buffett kept his No. 2 spot with a net worth of $75.6 billion. Leaping to third place, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pulled in an extra $27.6 billion to bolster his worth to $72.8 billion.

Locally, Tampa Bay is home to seven of the list's billionaires, up from four last year:

• Leading the all-male group is Tampa-based Edward DeBartolo Jr. with a net worth of $2.9 billion. The founder and CEO of DeBartolo Holdings previously owned the San Francisco 49ers. He places 693rd on the international list.

• Clearwater's Robert Duggan has the second highest net worth in the area at $2.6 billion. Most of his fortune comes from the biotech industry. AbbVie bought his firm Pharmacyclics in 2015 for $21 billion, and owns just over a 15 percent stake in Pulse Biosciences. He is No. 782 overall.

• Kenneth Feld ranks just below Duggan locally with a net worth of $2.5 billion. As the CEO of Feld Entertainment, Feld oversees an enterprise that includes Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He places 814th on the list.

• New to the list this year is Clearwater's Todd Christopher with a net worth of $2.1 billion. He sold his hair product company, Vogue International, to Johnson & Johnson in 2016 for $3.3 billion. He ranks at No. 973.

• St. Petersburg's Ronald Wanek, the owner of Ashley Furniture, returns to the list this year with a net worth of $2 billion. Wanek is No. 1,030.

• Also in St. Petersburg is Thomas James, Raymond James Financial's chairman emeritus and a major local civic activist. His net worth is $1.1 billion, placing him 1,795th on the list.

• Rounding out the local rankings, Howard Jenkins, Publix Super Markets former chairman and son of Publix's founder George Jenkins, has a net worth of $1 billion. He is No. 1,940 on the international list.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com. Follow @malenacarollo.

Forbes: Tampa Bay home to seven billionaires 03/20/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 12:39am]
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