Rob, Alice and Jim Walton at a Walmart annual meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

There are 45 American families with fortunes exceeding $10 billion, Forbes found.Walmart founder Sam Walton’s heirs are richer than Elon Musk with a combined $267 billion fortune.The Mars, Marriott, Hearst, Koch, Lauder, Pritzker, and Rockefeller are all on the rich list.

There are 45 American families worth at least $10 billion, and the richest one is wealthier than Elon Musk.

Walmart founder Sam Walton’s heirs still own about 45% of the retail giant, giving them a combined net worth of $267 billion as of January 16, a new Forbes ranking of decabillionaire families shows. That figure dwarfs the Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s net worth of about $202 billion.

The 45 super-rich families are collectively worth about $1.3 trillion, or roughly 10 times Warren Buffett’s personal fortune, as estimated by Forbes.

The Mars family is a distant second to the Waltons, with a $117 billion fortune spread across the confectionery clan. There are plenty of other well-known families on the list, with names such as Koch, Lauder, Hearst, and Marriott.

Other household names have dropped out of the rankings, for reasons ranging from stock-price performance and costly legal disputes to taxes on stock sales and charitable giving. Those include Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Getty.

The descendants of John D. Rockefeller — the nation’s richest man in his prime — barely made Forbes’ list with a $10.3 billion fortune.

Several of America’s wealthiest families made their money by building the country’s largest private companies. For example, the Cargill-Macmillan family is worth more than $60 billion thanks to their ownership of about 88% of Cargill, the ingredients giant.

Others still command stakes in public companies they helped build. The Dorrance family owns nearly 40% of Campbell Soup, the Brown family owns about half of Jack Daniels’ owner Brown-Forman, and the Pritzkers are the largest shareholders of Hyatt Hotels.

A few have cashed out like the Busch family, which sold its stake in Anheuser-Busch to InBev in 2008.

Moreover, the Haslam family sold its entire stake in a truck-stop chain called Pilot Travel Centers for about $13 billion to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway over the course of a few years.

The list of uber-rich families suggests the best way to build vast, generational wealth is to establish a massive, lasting business. It doesn’t seem to matter much whether it’s kept in the family, taken private, or sold.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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