Who are the richest people in Tennessee?

After losing a collective $500 billion last year, the nation's 400 wealthiest people have gained it all back, according to Forbes magazine.

In its annual list of the 400 richest Americans released last week, Forbes reported the 400 wealthiest individuals are collectively worth $4.5 trillion, tying a record set in 2021. To be on the Forbes list this year requires a net worth of at least $2.9 billion.

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX and the owner of X (formerly Twitter), was ranked as the richest American, with a net worth of $251 billlion. Most of the other richest Americans were also technology entrepreneurs, including Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg.

The new Forbes 400 list includes six Tennesseans.

Richest in Tennessee

1. Thomas Frist and family, Hospital Corp. of America, $22.6 billion.

2. Jimmy Haslam, Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, $8.7 billion.

3. Bill Haslam, former Tennessee governor, $5.7 billion.

3. Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, $5.7 billion.

5. Martha Ingram and family, book distribution and transportation businesses, $4.2 billion.

6. John Yarbrough, founder of Video Gaming Technologies,$3.6 billion.

Source: Forbes 400 list for 2023

Forbes estimated last year that three Chattanooga-area residents were among America's billionaires, but none of those had enough resources to make the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans. Life Care Centers of America founder Forrest Preston of Cleveland, Tennessee, was estimated to be worth $1.2 billion last year by Forbes, while Mohawk Industries CEO Jeffrey Lorberbaum was worth $1.1 billion and Coca-Cola bottling magnate Summerfield Johnston Jr. was worth $1 billion.

(READ MORE: Mohawk CEO make Forbes 400 list in 2015)

Gary Rollins, a 79-year-old graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga who now presides over the pest control company Orkin in Georgia, ranked No. 192 on Forbes' new list of the richest Americans with a net worth estimated at $5.6 billion. Rollins ran the company with his brother, Randall Rollins, until Randall's death in 2020. The UTC business school was named the Gary W. Rollins College of Business after Rollins donated $40 million to UTC five years ago.

In Tennessee, Nashville native Thomas Frist Jr. and family, founders of Hospital Corp. of America, remained the richest family in the state, coming in at No. 32 on the Forbes list with a net worth of $22.6 billion. Thomas Frist is the brother of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Thomas Frist also had UTC building named for him after he donated a former HCA medical building to the university in 1985. Frist Hall on the UTC campus was ultimately demolished in 2021.

(READ MORE: UTC's Frist Hall torn down)

Jimmy Haslam, president of the Knoxville-based truck stop chain Pilot Flying J, ranked No. 99 on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $8.7 billion. His brother, former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, tied with FedEx founder Fred Smith at No. 184 — both with a net worth of $5.7 billion. Martha Ingram and family came in at No. 273 with a net worth of 4.2 billion, and Jon Yarbrough came in at No. 314 with a net worth of $3.6 billion.

Net worth was calculated using stock prices from Sept. 8.

Richest in America

In its October issue, Forbes identified the 400 richest people in America, including six from Tennessee. Those with the most wealth on the new Forbes 400 list and their estimated net worth as of Sept. 8 are:

1. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX and owner of X (formerly Twitter), $251 billion.

2. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, $161 billion.

3. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, $158 billion.

4. Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, $121 billion.

5. Larry Page, co-founder of Google, $114 billion.

6. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, $111 billion.

7. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, $110 billion.

8. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, $106 billion.

9. Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, $101 billon.

10. Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, $96.3 billion.

Source: Forbes 400 list for 2023


— Compiled by Dave Flessner

Upcoming Events