The 10 richest self-made female billionaires in America
Most of America's top 10 richest self-made female billionaires are now over 70 years old with a fortune from starting a business with her husband.
1. Diane Hendricks
Assets: 15 billion USD
Source of wealth: building materials
Diane Hendricks is President of ABC Supply, one of the largest wholesalers of roofing, siding and windows in the United States. Hendricks co-founded the company with her late husband Ken in Beloit (Wisconsin) in 1982. She has run the company since his death in 2007.
She led ABC in two of the biggest acquisitions in the company's history, including the 2010 acquisition of rival Bradco and the merger of building materials distributor L&W Supply in 2016. ABC Supply has more than 900 branch and achieved $18.5 billion in revenue last year.
2. Judy Love and family
Photo: The Oklahoman
Net worth: 10.2 billion USD
Source of wealth: gas station
Judy Love and her husband Tom (died 2023) founded a chain of convenience stores and truck stops Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores in 1964. They rented their first gas station in Watonga (Oklahoma) with a $5,000 loan from their parents. Tom.
Today, she and her four children jointly own the company. Her two sons, Greg and Frank, have been co-CEOs since 2014. Ms. Judy kept the books and ran the company until 1975. Love's has more than 610 stores in 41 states and an estimated 26.5 percent in annual sales. billion USD.
3. Judy Faulkner
Net worth: 7.4 billion USD
Asset source: medical software
Originally a programmer, Judy Faulkner founded medical record software provider Epic Systems in a Wisconsin basement in 1979. She is currently CEO and owns 47% of the company.
Epic supports the medical records of more than 250 million patients and is used by leading medical centers like Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic with $4.6 billion in revenue in 2022. The company has never raised capital. venture capital or make an acquisition. They develop all their own software. Faulkner signed the Giving Pledge in 2015 and agreed to give 99% of his wealth to a private charity.
4. Lynda Resnick
Net worth: $5.3 billion
Source of wealth: agriculture
From almonds and oranges in California's Central Valley to grapefruit in South Texas, Lynda Resnick and her husband Stewart have made billions of dollars growing the fruits and nuts. They co-founded and continue to co-own Wonderful, one of the largest agricultural companies in America. As husband and wife, they share an estimated fortune of $10.6 billion.
Lynda dropped out of college at 19 to start an advertising agency and first met Stewart as a client in the 1960s. The two are divorced and Lynda now focuses on philanthropy, committing to more spending. 2 billion USD for research activities on climate change.
5. Thai Lee
Photo: Siraj Iqbal
Net worth: 4.8 billion USD
Source of wealth: information technology
Thai Lee is CEO of information technology provider SHI International, which has 15,000 customers including Boeing and AT&T, with $14 billion in IT revenue. Born in Bangkok, Lee grew up in South Korea and moved to the US to attend high school.
She received an MBA from Harvard and worked at Procter & Gamble, American Express before SHI. She and her ex-husband paid less than a million dollars to buy a software reseller in 1989, the forerunner of SHI.
6. Johnelle Hunt
Photo: Arkansas Business
Net worth: $4.4 billion
Source of wealth: transportation
Johnelle Hunt and her husband Johnnie (died 2006) founded the trucking company JB Hunt Transport Services in 1969. Based in Arkansas, the company IPOd in 1983 and is now one of the largest transportation companies in the United States. with $14.8 billion in revenue. She remains the company's largest individual shareholder, with a nearly 18 percent stake.
7. Gail Miller
Net worth: 4.2 billion USD
Source of wealth: car sales
She and her husband Larry (died 2009) turned a Toyota dealership into the eighth largest auto dealership group in the US - Larry H. Miller Group - before selling to Asbury Automotive in 2021 for $3.2 billion.
The couple bought the Utah Jazz NBA basketball team in 1986 for $22 million. In 2020, they agreed to sell it to billionaire Ryan Smith for $1.66 billion and still own a small stake. In 2018, she published the book "Courage To Be You: Inspiring Lessons From An Unexpected Journey".
8. Marian Ilitch
Assets: 4 billion USD
Source of wealth: pizza chain
Marian Ilitch and her husband Mike (died 2017) co-founded Little Caesars Pizza in 1959. The pizzeria generates more than $4.5 billion in annual revenue. She also owns the Detroit Red Wings NHL ice hockey team and the MotorCity Casino hotel.
The Detroit Tigers MLB baseball team is also owned by her family. Ilitch is building a $1.4 billion entertainment and sports complex in Detroit, including a new headquarters with pizza-shaped windows.
9. Elizabeth Uihlein
Photo: Jake Hill
Net worth: 3.7 billion USD
Source of wealth: industrial supplies
Elizabeth Uihlein is President of Uline, North America's largest distributor of shipping, packaging and industrial supplies, with 8,500 employees. Headquartered in Pleasant Prairie (Wisconsin), Uline has an estimated $6.1 billion in revenue from selling more than 40,000 products to businesses nationwide.
Elizabeth and her husband Richard founded Uline in the basement in 1980. They are the fourth largest donors to political campaigns in the US, having raised more than $190 million. Of that, they spent more than $40 million in the 2022 midterm elections to support Republican candidates, including Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Adam Laxalt of Nevada and Herschel Walker of Georgia.
10. Peggy Cherng
Assets: $3.1 billion
Source of wealth: fast food
Peggy Cherng is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Panda Express, a Chinese fast food chain with $5.4 billion in revenue, with more than 2,300 branches. Panda also owns stakes in fast food chains such as Urbane Cafe, Just Salad, Uncle Tetsu, Pieology and Ippudo.
In 1982, she left her engineering career to help her husband, Andrew Cherng, open the first Panda Express location in the second largest mall in Los Angeles.
She built operational systems and tracked customer feedback. In 2018, the Cherngs invested in the conglomerate that owns the Mandarin Oriental hotel, now the Waldorf Astoria, in Las Vegas for $214 million.
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