Who Are Some of the Richest People in America As of 2015?

Bill Gates, worth an estimated $79.5 billion, and Warren Buffett at $63.7 billion, are two of the richest people in the United States, as of 2015, notes Forbes. Bill Gates is a philanthropist and cofounder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while Warren Buffett is the chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway.

Bill Gates cofounded Microsoft with Paul Allen and dropped out of Harvard to devote himself to the business, states About.com. The company focused on writing software for personal computers, and in 1980 it struck a deal with IBM to write the operating system MS-DOS. Microsoft was able to license the program to other companies, and in 1985 the company introduced the Windows operating system. By the next year the company had gone public and Bill Gates was a billionaire. Gates and his wife Melinda formed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 to help reduce poverty, improve health and increase technological awareness.

Warren Buffett was born in 1930, and by 1956 he had saved $140,000 through various small business ventures and jobs, according to About.com. He created Buffett Associates with family members and friends, and by the next year was operating five investment partnerships from home. By 1962, the Buffett Partnership was worth $7.2 million and made investments in companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, American Express and Walt Disney. Buffett left the partnership but maintained control of Berkshire Hathaway, and by 1989 he was worth $3.8 billion.