The Lifestyles of the Super Rich and Forbes Famous

Richard RichMy dad had a habit of checking the Forbes list of Richest People for Jewish names. He also liked to make a note of how many Jews in the New York Times Weddings & Celebration married other Jews (good) vs. how many shamed their families by aligning their fates, in civil, Unitarian Universalist or, worst, Episcopalian, ceremonies with Trevors and Mackensies (bad). What can I say? My old-school dad and David Duke alike kept track of these things.

I’m more broad-minded: I read the Vows section and the Forbes list to feel something. Schadenfreude! Hilarity! Whatever. I just want to be surprised and diverted. And somehow these pipelines never disappoint. Witness Forbes‘s list of America’s Richest Families, arriving in your mailbox July 21. The picture displays a tall, thin, stylist blonde mama, an even taller, distinguished, bespoke papa, a tiny dog yapping almost out of the frame, and two porcelain-white tots: OLYMPIA, 1, and FORCE, 3. A billionaire named one kid after a mountain where dead gods once lived, and another after a noun that completes the phrase “Excessive Use Of ______.” Now that’s entertainment.

Unlike our flagship Forbes 400 list of America’s richest and our World Billionaires ranks, which focus on individual or nuclear-family wealth, America’s Richest Families includes multigenerational families of all sizes, ranging from just 2 brothers to the 3,500 members of the Du Pont clan. Families needed a combined net worth of $1 billion to make the cut.

My favorite is the Mars family, #3, because their summary says “Source of Wealth: candy.” Also the Duncan family, #10, because their summary says “Source of Wealth: energy,” and the scion is pictured surrounded by lions. Like, yeah! I’ll bet he needs serious energy to mind-control those lions. Anyway, peruse them at your leisure. Without billions to manage, you have nothing but time, after all, right? Whether you look for members of your own ethnic group / sexuality / religion is entirely up to you.

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