Despite the unprecedented circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s billionaires not only increased in number but added a collective $5.1 trillion to their wealth in 2020.
In the preface to Forbes’ annual billionaires list, released on Tuesday, the business publication noted that the number of billionaires “exploded” over the past year from 2,095 to 2,755.
Topping the list is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, worth $177 billion (up from $113 billion in 2020), while Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk moved into second place with $151 billion (thanks to a $126.4 billion one-year wealth increase). Harvard dropouts Bill Gates ($124 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg ($97 billion) rank fourth and fifth, respectively.
More locally, 21 Massachusetts-based billionaires increased their wealth 84.1 percent ($43.3 billion) between March 18, 2020 and March 18, 2021, according to Forbes data analyzed by Americans for Tax Fairness and Institute for Policy Studies.
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, who bought the team in 1994 for $172 million, ranks 380th on the list with a net worth of $6.9 billion. The Patriots are now worth $4.4 billion, and are the NFL’s second most valuable franchise.
Fenway Sports Group founder John Henry (who also owns and operates Boston Globe Media Partners, the parent company of Boston.com) ranks 1,111th at $2.8 billion. Bruins chairman and governor Charlie Jacobs came in at 1,249 on the list, worth $2.5 billion.
The full list of Massachusetts billionaires is topped by Fidelity Investments CEO Abigail Johnson, who has a net worth of $20.9 billion.
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