Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Forbes' List of Richest Self-Made US Women

Elizabeth Holmes is the richest woman in the U.S. this year. The self-made businesswoman was ranked No. 1 by Forbes, which reported that, at age 31, she is worth $4.5 billion after starting her company Theranos, which sells Holmes' somewhat controversial blood-testing product, over a decade ago when she was a sophomore at Stanford University.

In this inaugural list of highest earning self-made women in the U.S., Holmes beat out Oprah Winfrey, who came in at No. 5, right after Diane Hendricks, who made her $3.7 billion in roofing; Doris Fisher, founder of Gap and worth $3.1 billion; and Jin Sook Chang, who, as founding partner of Forever 21, is worth $3.1 billion. Winfrey, by comparison, is valued at a mere (and even) $3 billion.

Former eBay CEO and onetime candidate for California governor Meg Whitman is No. 10 on the list and worth $2.1 billion. Sheryl Sandberg is No. 16 and worth $1.1 billion. Mom hero Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx, is worth an even $1 billion and right behind her, at No. 17, is fashion designer Tory Burch.

Shake your black rubber bangled arms in the air: Madonna, at 56 years old, is No. 28 on the list and is valued by Forbes at $520 million.

A number of women in tech and aerospace made the list, as well as a roster of names in fashion and entertainment.

Kit Crawford, 56, and creator of Clif Bar & Co. is valued at $360 million, no surprise considering what those chocolate-covered high-protein cardboard bricks cost per bar.

American royalty, Beyoncé Knowles, 33, is No. 49 on the list at $250 million. She'll no doubt rank higher in years to come.

To come up with the list and rankings, Forbes set a minimum of $250 million in net worth to make the cut. To determine net worth, the magazine took into account each woman's assets, including their stock holdings in public companies and the value of those stocks on May 15. Forbes attempted to vet the value of private companies with outside experts. They also compared them to public competitors to determine value.

Even more important, to qualify as a self-made women, the ranked rich women had to have made most of their own fortunes themselves, and be U.S. citizens or permanent residents whose wealth is mainly within the U.S. Women who made their fortunes alongside their spouses were assigned half the value of their businesses.

Jessica Alba, whose stake in The Honest Company is valued at around $200 million, is a young riser on the list and expected to make it into subsequent rankings.

More from news