Bill Gates held onto his top spot on Forbes’ latest ranking of the richest individuals in America.
The 55-year old billionaire is worth $59 billion according to Forbes, above his closest competitor Warren Buffett who is worth $39 billion. Both billionaires donate to the Gates Foundation fund to improve the standard of living for those less fortunate around the world. Forbes’ latest list of 400 rich Americans includes a new entry from Sean Parker (ranked 200) who was responsible for the Napster music service and helped build Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook co-founder, has soared into the top 20 at the number 14 spot with a net worth of $17.5 billion.
As the original Microsoft Founder and Chairman, Gates transitioned from full-time work at Microsoft to focus on his philanthropy in June, 2008. Bill Gates founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 1994 with an initial stock gift of $94 million. Now nearly 17 years later, the software genius is working full time as a philanthropist. Gates refused to return full-time to Microsoft earlier this year, claiming that his full-time work for the rest of his life is with his foundation. “I’m part-time involved. But this is my job now,” said Gates during an interview in June.