Trends

The Wealthiest Americans of All Time

Open any major news site or newspaper these days, and chances are pretty good you’ll be reading about entrepreneurs-turned-celebrities Mark Zuckerberg, Dennis Crowley or Andrew Mason (who recently shocked us all by turning down Google’s $6 billion offer for his company, Groupon). Sure enough, those young folks are truly fascinating: still in their 20s or early 30s, internet revolutionaries, millionaires.

Look at the big picture, though, and you’ll realize that at least when it comes to personal wealth, they still have a long way to go. And probably will. Compared to, for lack of a better word, their “older” super-wealthy counterparts, the young entrepreneurs can’t even make the top 50. (Mark Zuckerberg ranked 212 on Forbes’ 2010 Billionaires list, with a net worth of $4 billion as of March.)

In this infographic, we’ve compiled a list of the richest Americans of all time, along with a look of their net worth at death (if applicable, and in 2010 dollars), how they amassed that wealth and the industries they helped build along the way.