Here are the richest people in Mass., according to Forbes

Here's a clue: Moderna made a few people rich this year

Abigail Johnson arrives ahead of the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on July 9, 2019. Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

In a year with surging unemployment and housing instability brought on by the pandemic, the nation’s richest got even richer.

On Wednesday, Forbes released its annual “Forbes 400” list of the richest people in America. Collectively, those Americans increased their fortune by 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion, and almost all are richer than they were a year ago. This year, the list required a minimum net worth of $2.9 billion, up from $2.1 billion last year.

Unsurprisingly, Jeff Bezos was once again named the wealthiest person in America, with Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg at number two and three. There were no women in the top 10, with Walmart heiress Alice Walton the highest-ranking woman at number 12.


One thing to note: according to Forbes, the philanthropy of the top 400 did not increase, though their wealth did.

“What hasn’t increased? Their generosity,” Forbes reported. “The number of Forbes 400 members who gave away more than 20% of their net worth since last year’s list dropped from ten to eight, while those who gave away less than 1% of their wealth rose from 127 to 156.”

Forbes ranked philanthropic giving on a one to five scale, with five being the highest and signifying that those people gave away a fifth of their income. Only one local achieved a five: cable TV pioneer Amos Hostetter.

There are 44 new additions to the list, and 5 of them are from Massachusetts. The Bay State had 16 locals in total, many having made their fortunes from Fidelity, Moderna, and Wayfair. The four people on the list who amassed their fortune through Fidelity saw their wealth jump significantly from 2020 to 2021: Abigail Johnson’s worth jumped from $15 billion to $25.2 billion.

As far as the richest people in New England, no residents of Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire made the Forbes 400. Five Connecticut billionaires made the list, with hedge fund managers Ray Dalio ($20 billion) and Steve Cohen ($16 billion) coming in at 36 and 48 respectively.

Here are Massachusetts’s 16 wealthiest people

No. 27Abigail Johnson, 59, $25.2 billion


Main source: Fidelity Investments – Johnson is CEO and took over from her father, Edward Johnson III. 

No. 60Edward Johnson, III, 91, $11.5 billion

Main source: Fidelity Investments – Johnson led Fidelity for 37 years as CEO after taking over from his father, who founded the company in 1946.

No. 102Robert Kraft, 80, $8.3 billion

Main source: New England Patriots – Kraft bought the team, now valued at $5 billion, in 1994.

No. 124Edward Johnson, IV, 56, $7.2 billion

Main source: Fidelity Investments, Pembroke Real Estate – Johnson is Abigail Johnson’s brother, and serves as president of Pembroke Real Estate, which is owned by Fidelity’s parent company.

No. 134Jim Davis and family, 78, $6.9 billion

Main source: New Balance – Davis is the chairman, and his wife is the vice chairman, of athletic brand New Balance.

No. 168Elizabeth Johnson, 58, $6.1 billion

Main source: Fidelity Investments – she is the sister of Abigail Johnson and owns stake in Fidelity’s parent company. She also founded a Florida-based stable of show-jumping horses. 

No. 176Timothy Springer, 73, $5.9 billion (new)

Main source: Moderna – Springer was a founding investor in Cambridge-based Moderna.

No. 188Alan Trefler, 65, $5.7 billion

Main source: Pegasystems – Trefler’s software company Pegasystems now brings in more than $1 billion annually.


No. 212Noubar Afeyan, 59, $5 billion (new)

Main source: Moderna, Flagship Pioneering – Afeyan co-founded and chairs Moderna, and is the founder and CEO of science innovation firm Flagship Pioneering.

No. 222Robert Langer, 73, $4.9 billion (new)

Main source: Moderna – Langer co-founded Moderna and owns a 3% stake in the company.

No. 289Amos Hostetter, Jr., 84, $3.9 billion

Main source: Continental Cablevision – Hostetter sold the cable company for $11 billion in 1996.

No. 318John Henry, 72, $3.6 billion

Main source: Fenway Sports Group – Henry acquired a fortune in the 80s from his trading firm, and went on to purchase the Red Sox in 2002. He also owns The Boston Globe and, which he bought for $70 million in 2013.

No. 340Steve Conine, 49, $3.4 billion

Main source: Wayfair – Conine is the co-chair and co-founder of online retailer Wayfair. 

No. 340Frank Laukien, 61, $3.4 billion (new)

Main source: Bruker Corporation – Laukien is the CEO and chair of the scientific instruments manufacturer. 

No. 340Niraj Shah, 47, $3.4 billion

Main source: Wayfair – Shah co-founded the company with Conine.

No. 363Robert Hale, Jr., 55, $3.2 billion (new)

Main source: Granite Telecommunications – Hale is the CEO and co-founder of the wholesale telecommunications provider.

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