Forbes released its list of the 400 richest people in America last week, and with the financial successes of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman bubbling up as hot-button topics during this election season, we were curious as to which politicians — current, former, or aspiring — made the cut this year. So just who are the nine richest politicians? Hint: the aforementioned campaigners didn't even come close!
- Meg Whitman. Worth a reported $1.7 billion, the former CEO of eBay spent $144 million of her own money on her bid for the California gubernatorial seat in 2010. Though she lost the election to Jerry Brown, she won the top spot at Hewlett-Packard just a year later.
- Glen Taylor. After a nine-year stint as a Minnesota state senator in the '80s, Republican Glen Taylor plunked down a chunk of his fortune made from his days in the printing industry to buy the majority ownership of the Minnesota Timberwolves professional basketball team. He is reportedly worth $1.7 billion today.
- Jeff Greene. Real estate helped this mogul earn his billionaire status, and in 2010 he put his money where his mouth is by running as a Democrat for US Senate. Ultimately, he lost the primary election to Kendrick Meek, but his present-day $2.2 billion valuation isn't too shabby.
I bet you've already checked your Facebook today. I know I have. We use the social networking site practically every day, but how much do we really know about Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire who is rumored to have picked money over friends? Why don't you take the quiz to find out how well you know the Forbes 400 billionaire!Take the Quiz
The magazine cover of the special Forbes 400 list issue will feature a very strange pairing — Jay-Z and Warren Buffett. What does the hip-hop mogul have in common with the second richest man in the world? I watched a video of their hour-long chat, which revealed that they're actually two unlikely peas in a pod.
- Legendary kings: Both have had long-lasting careers in their field. As Forbes editor-in-chief Steve Forbes puts it, being 40 in the hip-hop industry is almost like an equivalent to being 80 in the investing world. The two are kings of their industries and have outlived their successors.
- Love for the game: Buffett and Jay-Z didn't do it for the money. Their love of doing what they do came first, and the monetary success came later. Buffett started young, reading investment books that were lying around the house at the age of seven, and says he pratically "tap dances" to work every day because he enjoys it so much. Jay-Z records music without business in mind and it works in his favor because "at some point it has to be real when [the listeners] touch it, when they listen . . . something has to resonate with them that's real."
To see what else these two have in common, read on.
I've already shared the go-to questions used by self-made billionaires when a job candidate first walks into their offices, and here's a list of the final questions they use when wrapping up interviews. Leaving on a strong note is always important — finish with a punch and prepare for your interviews by considering answers to some of these questions.
- John Catsimiditis — What do you hate to do?
- Leon Charney — How did you feel when you walked out?
- John Paul DeJoria — Is there anything else you would like to ask me?
- Tom Golisano — When are you available?
- Michael Heisley — Are there any questions that you have?
- R.J. Kirk: Highly variable.
- Ted Lerner: Questions to elicit and evaluate integrity and character.
- Rob Maguire — Do you have the passion necessary to succeed here or are you just looking for a job?
See eight more billionaires' interview questions when you read more
It's obvious Forbes had a good time playing 20 questions with 17 self-made members of the Forbes 400 — you know, the list of the 400 richest Americans. One question all of the billionaires were asked was "What are the first and last questions you ask in any job interview?" The answers range from practical to paranoid, and I've shared part one of the 16 answers with you here (Ron Perelman had no answer for this question). Listed below are the questions they typically ask at the beginning of an interview: Which of these questions would you have the most fun answering, and which would be most challenging for you?
- John Catsimiditis — What do you like to do?
- Leon Charney — How did you feel when you walked in?
- John Paul DeJoria — Welcome, would you please sit down?
- Tom Golisano — What can you do for the company?
- Michael Heisley — Why are you seeking this position?
- R.J. Kirk — Why are you here?
- Ted Lerner — Questions to elicit and evaluate integrity and character.
- Rob Maguire — Why are you here?
See eight more billionaires' first interview questions when you read more
The Forbes 400 can cause mixed feelings: On the one hand, it makes generating massive wealth seem out of reach because the person sitting at number 400 on the list is worth $1.3 billion. On the other hand, the various businesses that have made these people rich make it clear that success can be found in the most unassuming places.
The 400 richest people in the US have varied and interesting business backgrounds — can you guess what made them rich? Take the quiz!Take the Quiz