Who Is the Wealthiest Woman in Each State?

beyoncesingleladiesLast week, real estate blog Movoto released a series of charts identifying the wealthiest woman in each U.S. state, as well as the wealthiest women in various U.S. regions.

Who are these women? Well, some of the names are immediately recognizable: Laurene Powell Jobs, Elizabeth Koch, and anyone with a “Walton” attached.

But I haven’t ever heard of a lot of these women, and I’m curious if that’s a lack of information on my part or whether you all aren’t familiar with them either.

Movoto answers the unspoken question about whether these ladies earned their cash by putting an asterisk next to each name to denote that funds represent “marital or familial wealth.” The asterisk is interesting because it is another way of erasing women’s contributions to families; clearly your money only counts if you earned it, not if you managed a household or took on a caretaking role. [EDIT: Commenter skstegner notes that I probably misunderstood the “estimated marital or familial wealth” asterisk. It doesn’t identify family wealth; it identifies estimated wealth. Big difference.]

I want a version of this chart where you hover over each woman’s name and it tells you a bit more about who she is, since I’m starting to become very curious. I researched (by which I mean “Google searched”) a few samples:

Anne Gittinger (Washington State, $1.6 billion): Granddaughter of John D. Nordstrom, oversees Nordstrom’s charitable contributions

Molly Stine (Iowa, $3 billion): Wife of Harry Stine, who founded the Stine Seed Company

Wendy Hughes (Kentucky, $2 billion): Wife of B. Wayne Hughes, who founded Public Storage

Wait, is everyone going to be a “wife of” or “granddaughter of” some man? Why don’t I see people like Oprah on this chart, or Pleasant Rowland, or Beyoncé?

Illinois’ wealthiest woman (which, okay, I just googled “where does Oprah live” and got Chicago) is listed as Penny Pritzker, $2.5 billion, founder of both PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group. But Google says Oprah’s net worth is $2.9 billion, so why isn’t she the wealthiest woman in Illinois?

Queen Bey has a net worth of $450 million, which, unfortunately, doesn’t put her anywhere close to the billionaires on this chart. (Even if you combine Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s money you only get 1 billion, which is still not enough.)

And Pleasant Rowland, the woman who invented the American Girl dolls, was on Forbes’ list of richest people in America back in 1998, when she sold Pleasant Company to Mattel for $700 million. She and her husband appear to live in Wisconsin, where the current richest woman in town is Diane Hendricks, co-founder of ABC Supply with her late husband Ken Hendricks, at $4.8 billion.

So now you know what it takes to be one of the richest women in the country.




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