Meet the World’s Richest Moms

Only 70 mothers in the world have billion-dollar fortunes, and just eight of these built their own.

There are actually 70 billionaire moms in all, but most of them inherited their fortune from their fathers or husbands. Photo: Flickr

There are 555 self-made billionaires that are fathers and only 8 mothers. There are actually 70 billionaire moms in all, but most of them inherited their fortune from their fathers or husbands.

Some of them—think Mars and Heineken—are old names. Others, are relative newcomers.

But none of those self-starters are among the world’s 10 richest moms, a group that is dominated by widows and daughters of the very rich. Here are some of the standouts:

Christy Walton. Photo: Forbes

Christy Walton ($22.5 billion,  U.S., 55, Widowed, 1 child): “Became a billionaire in 2005 when her late husband John, second son of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton, died when his ultralight aircraft crashed.

She is the richest of the Waltons thanks to John’s early bet on alternative energy firm First Solar.”

Liliane Bettencourt. Photo: Forbes

Liliane Bettencourt ($20 billion, France, 87, Widowed, 1 child): “Makeup heiress inherited fortune from her father, the founder of cosmetic giant L’Oreal. Europe’s richest mom is not on speaking terms with her only daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyer.

Daughter claims Francoise-Marie Banier, 61, a well-known photographer, writer and painter Liliane befriended, took advantage of her mother, who became a widow in 2007.

Last year Bettencourt-Meyers petitioned courts to investigate reported $1.4 billion worth of cash and gifts that her mother allegedly gave Banier. Liliane denies all; has been ordered to undergo psychological testing before a July trial.”

Birgit Rausing. Photo: Forbes

Birgit Rausing ($13 billion, Sweden, 86, Widowed, 3 children): “She and her three children inherited packaging giant Tetra Laval after her husband Gad Rausing died in 2000.

The firm revolutionized the storing of liquids, such as juices and milk, by developing lightweight packaging that preserves the nutritional value and taste of products.

Birgit is retired in Switzerland. Leaves family business to her children, all three of whom sit on board; Jorn, the youngest, also heads company’s mergers and acquisitions division.”

Savitri Jindal. Photo: Forbes

Savitri Jindal ($12.2 billion, India, 60, Widowed, 9 children): “Nonexecutive chair of the O.P. Jindal Group, a steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, Om Prakash Jindal, in 1952.

Took over as group head after he died in a helicopter crash in 2005. In his lifetime the patriarch had handed down operations to their 4 sons, Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen, who today run independent units. Savitri was re-elected in the assembly elections in Haryana, her home state.”

Abigail Johnson. Photo: Forbes

Abigail Johnson (Courtesy of Fidelity Investments, $11.5 billion, U.S., 48. Married, 2 children): “With her father she controls Fidelity Investments, America’s largest mutual fund company, founded by her grandfather.

She earned an MBA at Harvard and joined the family business in 1988. Abby got to run her first diversified fund at age 28. Now she runs personal and workplace investing division; believed by some to be father’s chosen successor.” [via Forbes]

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