The family behind Cargill Inc.’s agribusiness empire includes 14 billionaires, more than any other family in the world, according to Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of billionaires.
The descendants of W.W. Cargill, who founded Cargill 150 years ago, and his son-in-law, John MacMillan Sr., still own just under 90 percent of the Minnetonka-based company, the largest privately held U.S. firm.
Ranked 254th on Forbes’ list was Pauline MacMillan Keinath with a fortune of $5.8 billion, followed by her brother, Whitney MacMillan, at 341st with $4.7 billion. Whitney MacMillan, now in his late 80s, was the last Cargill or MacMillan descendant to run the company.
Forbes said it also “uncovered” eight new billionaire heirs to the Cargill-MacMillan fortune, bringing the total to 14.
Others with Minnesota connections who surfaced on this year’s list include Richard Schulze, the founder of Richfield-based Best Buy Co. Inc., who ranked 628th at $2.9 billion. Glen Taylor, printing magnate and owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Star Tribune, was 782nd with $2.4 billion; and at 949th was St. Paul television mogul Stanley Hubbard with $2 billion.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Barbara Carlson Gage, who have large holdings in the hotel and travel business, were at $1.1 billion each.
At the top of the list was Bill Gates with $79.2 billion, followed by Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu with $77.1 billion and Warren Buffett with $72.7 billion. Basketball great Michael Jordan cracked the list this year with $1 billion, thanks to his investment in the Charlotte Hornets, the Associated Press reported.