MIAMI ( – One of the richest people in South Florida could be your neighbor. Well, maybe not YOUR neighbor, but the the richest man in Florida does live in Miami-Dade, according to the new Forbes 400 ranking of America’s billionaires released Wednesday.

That man is Mickey Arison, owner of the Miami Heat and boss of Carnival Cruise Line, the largest cruise company in the world. According to Forbes, Bal Harbour resident Arison is worth $4.2 billion, which makes him the richest person in South Florida and tied for the richest person in the state.

His financial equal is Dirk Ziff, also the youngest billionaire in the state at 47. He’s an investor who lives in Palm Beach.

The annual weath-o-rama compiled by Forbes Magazine is headed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, at 55 worth $59 billion and considered the wealthiest man in America. Investment whiz Warren Buffett, who raised a furor when he said he and other rich people don’t pay enough taxes, was a distant second at $39 billion. However, Buffett has given away a lot of his fortune to good causes, inviting other billionaires to join him.

Also in the top 10 are software guru Larry Ellison with $33 billion, hedge fund genius and Democrat money-machine George Soros with $22 billion, and (count them ) three heirs of Walmart founder Sam Walton, with a combined fortune of $67 billion.

That’s a lot of cheap t-shirts.

Is South Florida is filled with rich people?  Not according to Forbes’ ultra-rich list. Arison and Ziff, the richest people in the state, are barely in the top 100 at 75.

By Forbes’ reckoning, Florida has just 29 billionaires, and ten of them live in Dade, Broward or Monroe county.

Some are not exactly household names, like Bharat Desai of Fisher Island. He made his billion by outsourcing software jobs to foreign countries.

But some of the billionaires are very well known. How about H. Wayne Huizenga, the founder of Waste Management, AutoNation, Blockbuster Video, and onetime owner of the the Marlins, The Dolphins, and the Florida Panthers. Forbes said he’s worth $2.3 billion.

Ed Anson, owner of Sunbeam Television and operator of TV stations in Miami and Boston, is worth $1.25 billion.

And the man who helped change the face of Miami-Dade government, auto dealer Norman Braman, is one of South Florida’s billionaires, with a Forbes-estimated worth of $1.6 billion.

Only one billionaire is listed as living in The Keys, where you think anyone with a billion would want to live, but he should be easy to find. Just look for Rich; Robert Rich, who made his $2.1 billion fortune in frozen foods.

There are two final facts about Florida’s 29 billionaires you can use to increase your wealth of knowledge. More than half of them are 70 or older, and they truly form an old boys club; there is only a single billionaire of the feminine gender in the Sunshine state. Ocala’s Charlotte Colket Weber’s $1.2 billion fortune comes from Campbell Soup.

That’s truly mmm, mmm good!

Here’s a list of the Florida billionaires, the wealthiest first:

75 Micky Arison $4.2 B 62 Bal Harbour Carnival Cruises
75 Dirk Ziff $4.2 B 47 North Palm Beach investments
81 William Koch $4 B 71 Palm Beach oil, investments
114 Terrence Pegula $3.1 B 60 Boca Raton natural gas
139 Malcolm Glazer $2.7 B 83 Palm Beach sportss, real estate
150 Igor Olenicoff $2.6 B 69 Lighthouse Point real estate
171 H. Wayne Huizenga $2.3 B 73 Fort Lauderdale investments
171 Christopher Cline $2.3 B 53 North Palm Beach coal
188 Fred DeLuca $2.2 B 63 Fort Lauderdale Subway Restaurants
200 George Lindemann $2.1 B 75 Palm Beach investments
200 Phillip Frost $2.1 B 74 Miami Beach Pharmaceuticals
200 Wilbur Ross $2.1 B 73 Palm Beach investments
200 Robert Rich $2.1 B 70 Islamorada frozen foods
200 Jeff Greene $2.1 B 56 Palm Beach real estate, invest.
212 Ted Turner $2 B 72 Lamont cable television
212 Edward DeBartolo $2 B 64 Tampa shopping centers
242 Alfred James Clark $1.8 B 83 Vero Beach construction
263 Albert Ueltschi $1.7 B 94 Vero Beach FlightSafety
263 S. Daniel Abraham 1.7 B 87 Palm Beach Slim-Fast
263 Isaac Perlmutter $1.7 B 68 Palm Beach Marvel
273 Norman Braman $1.6 B 79 Miami art, car dealerships
293 Michael Heisley $1.5 B 74 Jupiter Island manufacturing
312 Tom Golisano $1.4 B 69 Naples Paychex
329 Bharat Desai $1.35 B 58 Fisher Island outsourcing
331 Robert Stiller $1.3 B 68 Palm Beach coffee
355 Edmund Ansin $1.25 B 75 Miami Beach television
359 Charlotte Weber $1.2 B 68 Ocala Campbell Soup
375 John Henry $1.1 B 62 Boca Raton sports
397 Peter Lewis $1.05 B 77 Coconut Grove Progressive Corp
Comments (64)
  1. jus a lil cynical says:

    Huummmmmm…..29 Florida billionaires and over 10,000,000 w4m gold diggers in Florida’s Craigslist personals….talk about some stiff competition for extremely limited resources.

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