Top 18 Forbes’s Richest People In Georgia
Top 18 Forbes’s Richest People In Georgia
Table of Content

Georgia is home to a growing number of billionaires, according to Forbes.

A new list shows 18 Georgians made Forbes' ranking of more than 2,000 billionaires worldwide.

Who's the richest Georgian?

Forbes' billionaires list says it's The Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, worth $8.7 billion.

He may be Forbes richest Georgian, but Marcus is tied for 241st in the United States.

Other billionaires rounding out the state's top 10 include familiar names, such as Marcus's former partner, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank. You may also recognize filmmaker Tyler Perry and Chick-fil-A his Dan and Bubba Cathy, Trudy Cathy White and media mogul Ted Turner rounded out the top 10.

18 Richest People - Billionaires in Georgia, USA
Through the years Actor Tyler Perry discuss his new book "Higher Is Waiting" during a SiriusXM 'Town Hall' event hosted by Joel & Victoria Osteen on November 13, 2017 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for SiriusXM) (Paras Griffin)

• Bernard Marcus, Home Depot, $8.6 billion

• Jim Kennedy, Cox Enterprises, $7.9 billion

• Arthur Blank, Home Depot/Atlanta Falcons/Atlanta United, $7 billion

• John Brown, medical equipment, $5.8 billion

• Gary Rollins, pest control, $5.7 billion

• Ben Chestnut, email marketing, $5 billion

• Dan Kurzius, email marketing, $5 billion

• Bubba and Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A, net worth: $4.8 billion

• Cathy White, Chick-fil-A, $4.8 billion

• Ted Turner, cable television, $2.3 billion

• Joe Rogers Jr., Waffle House, $2 billion

• David Zalik, financial technology, $1.9 billion

• Tope Awatona, scheduling software company Calendly, $1.4 billion

• Ronald Clarke, payments technology, $1.1 billion

• Tyler Perry, movies, television, $1 billion

• Jeff Sprecher, global stock exchange operator ICE, $1 billion.

The financial media company's ranking methodology comprises stock prices and exchange rates from March 11 to determine the net worth of the wealthiest individuals.

Bernard Marcus- The Richest Person in Georgia

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Bernard "Bernie" Marcus (born May 12, 1929) is an American billionaire businessman. He co-founded The Home Depot and was the company's first CEO, and chairman until retiring in 2002.

Bernard Marcus was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in Newark, New Jersey. He grew up in a tenement and graduated from South Side High School in 1947. Marcus wanted to become a doctor but could not afford the tuition, so he worked for his father as a cabinet maker. He studied at Rutgers University for a pharmacy degree. While there he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

Marcus worked at a drugstore as a pharmacist but became more interested in the retailing side of the business. He worked at a cosmetics company and various other retail jobs, eventually reaching a position as CEO of Handy Dan Improvement Centers, a Los Angeles-based chain of home improvement stores. In 1978, both he and future Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank were fired during a corporate power struggle at Handy Dan.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

In 1979, they co-founded the home-improvement retailer The Home Depot, with the help of merchandising expert Pat Farrah and New York investment banker Ken Langone who assembled a group of investors.

The store revolutionized the home improvement business with its warehouse concept. Blank, Marcus, and Langone became billionaires. Marcus served as the company's first CEO for 19 years and also served as chairman of the board until his retirement in 2002. Marcus was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2006.

Marcus is one of several business tycoons who opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, a controversial proposal they claim gives unfair advantage to labor unions. The EFCA would outlaw conducting employee union votes with secret ballots while allowing fines and injunctions when employees claim they are being punished for union activity on the job.

In January 2014, Marcus founded the Job Creators Network, a conservative advocacy group, with $500,000 in seed funding.

In 2015, Marcus donated $1.5 million to Super PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. On June 1, 2016, Marcus publicly announced his support for Republican presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. He was one of Trump's largest donors, giving $7 million to his campaign. When Marcus announced in 2019 that he would financially support the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign, it triggered calls for a boycott of Home Depot even though Marcus was by then no longer with the company.

In a June 2019 interview, Marcus said most of his wealth is in Home Depot stock.

Photo: Fox Business
Photo: Fox Business

Marcus co-founded the Israel Democracy Institute in 1991, contributing $5 million for the construction of the institute's building in Jerusalem's Talbiya neighborhood and investing hundreds of millions of shekels in its ongoing operation over the years. He heavily contributed to the launch of the Georgia Aquarium, which opened in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in 2005. Based mostly on the US$250M million donation for the Aquarium, Marcus and his wife, Billi, were listed among the top charitable donors in the country by The Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2005. Marcus also funded and founded The Marcus Institute, a center for the provision of services for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. In May 2005, Marcus was awarded the Others Award by the Salvation Army, its highest honor. Marcus donated $25 million to Autism Speaks to spearhead its efforts to raise money for research on the causes and cure for autism. He is an active member of the board of directors. Bernie and Billi Marcus are signatories of The Giving Pledge, a commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Marcus is chairman of the Marcus Foundation, whose focuses include children, medical research, free enterprise, military veterans, Israeli causes and the community. Marcus is on the Board of Directors and an active volunteer for the Shepherd Center. His main focus is in providing care for war veterans with traumatic brain injuries. He was named a Georgia Trustee in 2009. The award is given by the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with the Governor of Georgia, to individuals whose accomplishments and community service reflect the ideals of the founding body of Trustees, which governed the Georgia colony from 1732 to 1752. In 2012, Marcus was awarded the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.

In 2016, Marcus and his wife Billi donated $25 million to the construction of the $133 million MDA Marcus National Blood Services Centre in Israel.

Marcus has been married twice. He has two children with his first wife, Ruth: Frederick Marcus and Susanne Marcus Collins. With his second wife, Billi, he has a stepson, Michael Morris.

Where do billionaires live in Georgia?

In Georgia, Atlanta is the only city home to any billionaires. A total of 12 billionaires live in Atlanta with a combined net worth of $55.1 billion.

In Georgia, Atlanta is the only city home to any billionaires. A total of 12 billionaires live in Atlanta with a combined net worth of $55.1 billion. Of Atlanta residents with a minimum 10-figure net worth, Jim Kennedy is the wealthiest, worth an estimated $8.2 billion.

City in Georgia With the Most Billionaires

City with the most billionaires:

Georgia: Atlanta

Number of billionaires:


Total billionaire net worth:

$55.1 billion

Top billionaire:

Jim Kennedy

How Many Billionaires Are in Georgia?

Rank by Number of Billionaires (9/15/20)

State or Federal District

Billionaires/ State’s 10M pop. (7/19 Census) (9/15/20)













Where is the rich part of Georgia?

Sandy Springs is yet another city on our list that tops Georgia as one of the wealthiest with just over a quarter of households having incomes of 150K or above. Alpharetta is a nice, quiet and diverse neighborhood in North Georgia.

Do any billionaires live in Atlanta?

Georgia is home to Atlanta Billionaire Jim Kennedy, who inherited the Cox Enterprises empire.

What town in Georgia is the wealthiest?

The richest town in Georgia is Berkeley Lake. Berkeley Lake is 20 miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The cost of living in Berkeley Lake is 31.3% higher than the national average.

Do you make enough to be considered ‘rich’ in Georgia?

Photo: Forbes
Photo: Forbes

Being “rich” can mean different things to different people, but most people associate the term with wealth. For many, being rich means having more money than most other people.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about half of all U.S. households earn $65,700 or more per year. Only those households earning at least $131,350 per year are among the richest 20%, however. “But just as median income varies considerably by state, so does the amount needed to be in the richest 20% of households in each state,” financial website 24/7 Wall St. wrote.

The website analyzed the minimum income needed to be among the top 20% in each state. Data on household income came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. In some parts of the country, an annual household income of $94,750 is enough. In others, a minimum household income of over $170,000 is required to rank among the highest earners, it found.

New Jersey residents need to make $171,760 per household to be in the top 20%, which is the highest in the nation. To be in that state’s top 5%, a household would need to bring in $250,000 or more, which was tied for the highest.

But we don’t live in New Jersey.

In Georgia, your household income would need to be at least $122,832, which is the 21st highest in the nation. Want to be in the 5%? You’ll need to get a raise to at least $233,979, which is 19th highest in the country.

The analysis of Georgia also found:

• Income controlled by highest 20% of earners: 51.4% (seventh highest)

• Median household income: $61,980 (22nd lowest)

• Value of a dollar: $1.08 (24th highest)

• Cost of living: 7% less expensive than U.S. average

• Georgia has the 24th lowest overall cost of living, the website found.

Of the state’s 14 metropolitan areas, the most expensive in the state is the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area, where the cost of goods and services is 2.7% lower than the national average and 4.3% higher than the statewide average.

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