Black History Month: Meet these African American entrepreneurs that are a part of the billionaire entrepreneurs club.
ROBERT F. SMITH – $5 BILLION DOLLARS
“If you can’t solve easy problems now, you will not be able to solve difficult problems later.” – Robert F. Smith
- 57 years old
- Businessman, Investment Banker, Philanthropist, Chemical Engineer
- Founder, Chairman, and CEO of private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners
- First African-American to serve as the Board Chairman at Carnegie Hall
- Chairman of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
- Trustee of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco
2015 was the year Mr. Smith, the founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, hit the Forbe’s list of billionaires. Perhaps he is best known for announcing he would pay off student loans of the entire graduating class at Morehouse College last year.
DAVID STEWARD – $3.9 BILLION DOLLARS
“When all is said and done, there is more done than said.” – David Stewart
- 68 years old
- Businessman, Author
- Chairman and Founder of World Wide Technology
- Served on many community committees and boards
Not a household name, but Steward made Forbe’s list of billionaires in 2018. He’s the founder and chairman of IT provider, World Wide Technology. Which is one of the largest black-owned businesses in America.
OPRAH WINFREY – $2.7 BILLION DOLLARS
“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take yo higher.” – Oprah Winfrey
- 66 years old
- Talk Show Host, Actress, Author
- CEO and Chairwoman of Harpo Productions
- Chairwoman, CEO and COO of Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
- Executive Producer
- Launched “O That’s Good” Food Line with Kraft Heinz
- Partnered with Weight Watchers
Ms. Winfrey burst on the national scene when her talk show started airing across the nation. Though she is the only female in this club, she is perhaps the most well known of the bunch. Now heading her own business empire, she’s been a billionaire since 2003.
MICHAEL JORDAN – $1.9 BILLION
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
- 56 years old
- NBA superstar, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards
- Owner of Charlotte Hornets
- Owner of Restaurants, Car Dealership, etc.
- Co-owner of Tequila Company
- Endorser of Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, etc.
Often called the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan has carved his image in sports history. First making the Forbes list of billionaires back in 2015, he is the highest paid athlete, in part due to his Nike shoe deal and his stake in the Charlotte Hornets.
SHAWN “JAY Z: CARTER – $1 BILLION DOLLARS
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” – Jay Z
- 50 years old
- Rapper, Songwriter, Record Executive and Producer
- Investor, Philanthropist
- Owner of entertainment label, Roc Nation and Sports Agency Roc Nation Sports
- Owner of TIDAL music streaming service
- Stake in Uber, business in clothing line, beverages, real estate
- ACE liquor company owner
- Restaurant owner
Joining the black billionaire’s club in 2019, Jay Z has been on the scene since starting out in rap music some 25 years ago. Along with the music industry, he has amassed his fortune by expanding into art, real estate and liquor, as reported by Forbes.
Married to superstar Beyonce, together the power couple are worth an estimated $1.5 billion dollars.
Much Respect to the 5 Black Billionaire Club Members
As we celebrate Black History Month, may this be a light of inspiration to people of color, and beyond.
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