America's Heirs and Heiresses Who Inherited Impressive Fortunes
The term "heir" feels like it belongs in the Gilded Age, along with surnames like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt. Nonetheless, quite a few Americans still reap the benefits of a lofty inheritance.
While money doesn’t grow on trees, folks like Olivia Wilde and Anderson Cooper certainly know that it can make change—especially when it’s passed down. Read on to get our two cents on 31 of America’s wealthiest heirs.
Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe Gates | 10 million
Bill and Melinda Gates have three children and are often ranked second in lists of the wealthiest families in the world. Their kids—Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe—can expect to see some inheritance from their parents one day. However, it may not be as much as you were expecting.
Scarlett Johansson | 140 million
In the case of heiress Scarlett Johansson, the apple — or wealth — doesn’t fall far from the tree. Though the world’s highest-paid actress made a name for herself in Hollywood, she certainly had a leg up in her youth, financially speaking.
Olivia Wilde | 20 million
Though Olivia Wilde has made a name for herself in shows like The O.C. and House and in films like Tron: Legacy (2010), she’s also an heir. Her mother, Leslie Cockburn, produces and writes for 60 Minutes, and her father, Andrew, is also a journalist.
Billie Lourd | 25 million
Billie Lourd is not only actor and writer Carrie Fisher’s daughter, but the granddaughter of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds as well. From Singing in the Rain (1952) to Star Wars (1977), Lourd’s family is entrenched in the business of making movies.
Tinsley Mortimer | 28 million
Socialite, model, reality TV star, and heir—this High Society personality proved that you really can have it all. And that "everything" includes marrying an oil magnate and having your own signature shade of Dior lipstick.
Paris Hilton | 69 million
Despite being a successful hotelier for some time, Paris Hilton’s great-grandfather, Conrad, founded the Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1946. After his death, his son Barron (Paris’s grandfather) contested Conrad’s will since the bulk of the estate was promised to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Edward Norton | 80 million
This three-time Oscar-nominated actor is the grandson of James Wilson Rouse. That name doesn’t mean anything to you? That’s fair. Rouse founded both The Rouse Company, which deals in urban planning, and real estate entity Enterprise Community Partners.
Kate Hudson | 80 million
Kate Hudson has many Hollywood connections, some of which account for her inheritance. Her mother is legendary film star Goldie Hawn and her biological father is actor Bill Hudson. Even her stepfather is an icon: Kurt Russell.
Anderson Cooper | 110 million
Ah, nothing says "old money" like "the Vanderbilts." (Except maybe "the Rockefellers.") Anderson Cooper’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, connects him to this Gilded Age success story. Back in the day, the Vanderbilts were known for their triumphs in shipping and railroading.
Abigail Disney | 120 million
Abigail Disney is the granddaughter of Roy Disney, Walt’s brother and business partner. Like other Disney heirs, she’s stayed out of the limelight since the family’s direct ties to The Walt Disney Company dwindled.
Kylie Jenner | 130 million
Expecting Kylie Jenner to rank higher on our list? Well, you wouldn’t be too far off. Thanks to her successful company, Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner is a wealthy entrepreneur in her own right. But she’s also set to inherit some money—though the sum is much smaller than her current paycheck.
Balthazar Getty | 200 million
Balthazar Getty, whose given name is "Paul," is heir to the Getty Oil fortune. His uncle, Mark Getty, certainly used this leg up to do impressive things, including founding Getty Images. And Balthazar has a successful track record of his own.
Jaden and Willow Smith | 240 million
Jaden and Willow Smith are the children of rapper-turned-actor Will Smith and actor, singer and businesswoman Jada Pinkett-Smith. Jada has a net worth of over $20 million, while Will clocks in at 220 million. But Jaden and Willow are millionaires already.
Megan Ellison | 360 million
Megan Ellison’s father Larry Ellison is the co-founder and CTO of Oracle. This means that he’s worth a lofty $71.6 billion, but, like many other tech giants on this list, he won’t be passing billions on to his kids. Larry has pledged to give away 95% of his fortune through the Giving Pledge.
Ally Hilfiger | 400 million
Daughter of designer Tommy Hilfiger, Ally Hilfiger is best known for starring in MTV’s Rich Girls. The show was a reality TV first that followed her and then-best friend Jamie Gleicher around as they spent their parents’ money in extravagant and reckless ways.
Prince, Paris, and Michael Jackson | 500 million
At the time of his passing, Michael Jackson’s estate was valued at over half a billion dollars. His three children, Prince, Paris and Michael (whose given name is Blanket), were initially put under the care of their grandmother, Katherine.
Zachary and Elijah Furnish John | 550 million
And you can tell everybody these are your funds... Singing all the way to the bank certainly takes on a new meaning here. Zachary and Elijah Furnish-John, the children of Elton John and David Furnish, will want for nothing, according to their superstar father.
Suri Cruise | 595 million
Suri Cruise is famously the daughter of Dawson’s Creek alum Katie Holmes and star of the Mission: Impossible series Tom Cruise. Holmes has a net worth of $25 million—and Cruise? A cool $570 million. This means Suri could inherit nearly $600 million.
North West | 610 million
North West is the first-born child of reality TV’s most infamous couple, entrepreneur Kim Kardashian and musician Kanye West. Thanks to Keeping Up With the Kardashians and her successful products and mobile games, Kim is worth north of $370 million. Her husband is worth $240 million.
Kate, Robert Maxwell, William, and Amanda Iger | 690 million
Robert "Bob" Iger is Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. He oversaw much of Disney’s expansion, starting with the acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Since then Bob (and Mickey) have gobbled up Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, and 21st Century Fox.
Maxima and August Zuckerberg | 750 million
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder and CEO, and pediatrician and philanthropist Priscilla Chan have two young children. Their first daughter, Maxima, was born in 2015; their second daughter, August, was born two years later.
Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Beckham | 900 million
Even though he’s retired from playing professional soccer, David Beckham has a reported net worth of $450 million. Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham, Spice Girls singer-turned entrepreneur and fashion mogul, matches that with her own $450 million net worth.
Teresa Heinz Kerry | 1 billion
Teresa Heinz Kerry is a business woman in her own right, but also the widow of John Heinz, ketchup heir. (That’s right.) Heinz Kerry is a frequent donor to charities, particularly environmental ones.
Blue Ivy Carter | 1.5 billion
At just seven-years-old, Blue Ivy Carter’s sole net worth is around $10 million already. Her mother, esteemed singer and businesswoman Beyoncé, has a net worth of over a half billion dollars. And, according to Forbes, her father Jay-Z is the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire.
Ariana Rockefeller | 2.8 billion
John D. Rockefeller often tops "wealthiest person" lists, so it’s no wonder one of his descendents would show up here. Ariana Rockefeller is an heiress to the Standard Oil dynasty, but she’s turned to pursuits outside of the family business.
Kate and Rooney Mara | 5.75 billion
Where to begin with the breakdown of the Mara sisters’ money? Well, their parents both have familial ties to successful National Football League (NFL) teams. Rooney Mara has even described football as "the glue that holds our family together."
Paige Laurie | 6 billion
Bud Walton is known as the co-founder of Walmart. His daughter, Nancy Walton Laurie, inherited quite a bit from him when he passed away. Next in line? Paige Laurie. Unfortunately, Paige has run into some bad press.
Victoria Mars | 6.6 billion
Four generations ago, Victoria Mars’s relatives founded Mars Inc., the popular candy manufacturing company. And it was a great investment, netting the company tens of billions of dollars annually. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate?
Dylan Lauren | 6.7 billion
As you may have gathered from her last name, Dylan Lauren is the daughter of fashion designer and business executive Ralph Lauren. With her father’s net worth coming in at a towering $6.7 billion, Dylan could just rest easy. Instead, she’s become an entrepreneur.
Patty Hearst | 28 billion
This granddaughter of businessman and newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst has led a very interesting life. Patty Hearst became an internationally known person after her 1974 kidnapping by a left-wing domestic American terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army.
Preston Bezos and His Siblings | 165.6 billion
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is this decade’s John D. Rockefeller. (Sorry, Ariana.) That is, he’s known to be the richest person in the world. Jeff and his former wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have three biological sons and one adopted daughter. But these heirs have an air of mystery about them.