Microsoft's Gates Still Tops Forbes' List of World's Richest Internet Creates More Billionaires

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- A booming stock market and newly created Internet wealth have expanded the world's billionaires club and pushed the collective net worth of the richest 200 working people beyond $1 trillion, Forbes magazine says in its latest ranking of billionaires.

With $90 billion to his name, Microsoft Corp. co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates tops the list of 465 billionaires counted in the magazine's July 5 issue, the 13th annual World's Billionaires list.

Gates remains by far the world's richest man. His net worth nearly doubled from $51 billion last year, briefly touching $100 billion in April before the stock market retrenched.

Microsoft boosted two others into top five ranking. Co-founder Paul Allen was in the No. 3 spot, with a $30 billion net worth, behind investor Warren Buffett's $36 billion. Microsoft President Steven Ballmer was fourth, with $19.5 billion.

In fifth place were the Oeri, Hoffman and Sacher families of Switzerland with $17 billion from the Roche pharmaceuticals conglomerate.

Tied for sixth place with a net worth of $16.5 billion were oil, rail and telecommunications magnate Philip Anschutz and Dell Computer Corp. Chairman Michael Dell, who at 34 was the youngest among the top 10.

The top 10 list is actually a top 11, because the next four spots, eight through 11, are held by members of the Walton family, heirs of the late Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton. Forbes estimated their wealth at $16 billion each.

Dot-com billionaires from around the globe were catapulted onto this year's list. Jay Walker, founder of Priceline.com, and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, went from nowhere into the Top 50. Walker was No. 25 with a net worth of $10.2 billion, while Omidyar was 36th with $10.1 billion.

In another list, Forbes ranked the estimated net worths of what it called the world's "Kings, Queens and Dictators. …