Home » The 10 richest Black Americans in December 2022

The 10 richest Black Americans in December 2022

by Omokolade Ajayi
Tyler Perry

Despite the disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine, monetary policy tightening, and valuation challenges facing publicly traded firms, which saw 360 UHNWIs lose their billionaire status in 2022, African-American billionaires saw a significant increase in their wealth.

Data tracked by Billionaires.Africa revealed that the net worth of the 10 richest African-American billionaires increased by $910 million in 2022, from $24 billion to $24.91 billion, as some of their businesses outperformed the previous year.

America’s richest Black man Robert Smith, who derives the majority of his wealth from his stake in Vista Equity Partners, experienced the biggest increase in his net worth during the year under review.

Meanwhile, the only African-American billionaire who experienced a wealth loss of more than $300 million during the year was cosmetics tycoon Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, whose net worth dropped from $1.7 billion at the start of the year to $1.3 billion.

At the same time, Kanye West, now known as “Ye,” lost his billionaire status during the year after German sportswear company Adidas severed ties with the African-American multi-industry creative following a series of offensive and antisemitic comments he made in October.

1. Robert F. Smith

Source: Private Equity

Net worth: $8 billion

Robert F. Smith is America’s wealthiest Black man. He is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on software investments that Smith founded in 2000 and has grown to more than $50 billion in assets with annual returns of 22 percent since its inception.

Almost all of Smith’s $8-billion fortune stems from his stake in the Texas-based private equity firm, which Forbes ranks 252nd in the world.

2. David Steward

Source: IT

Net worth: $6 billion

David Steward, America’s second-richest Black person, is the founder and chairman of Worldwide Technology, one of the largest African-American-owned businesses.

His company has evolved from a technology equipment reseller in 1990 to a leading provider of technology solutions. In 2020, the company’s revenue was $13.4 billion.

According to Forbes, Steward’s net worth has increased from $5.8 billion to $6 billion since the start of the year.

3. Oprah Winfrey

Source: Media

Net worth: $2.51 billion

According to Forbes, “The Queen of Talk,” Oprah Gail Winfrey, is the wealthiest Black woman in America, with a net worth of $2.51 billion. Oprah has turned her 25-year-long hit talk show into a media and business empire.

To preserve and grow her fortune, the leading media mogul has reinvested profits from her show, as well as profits from films such as “The Color Purple,” “Beloved,” and “Selma,” into key assets and entities in the media industry.

4. Michael Jordan

Source: Charlotte Hornets, Endorsements

Net worth: $1.7 billion

Michael Jordan earned $90 million in salary during his career, but according to Forbes, he has pocketed $1.8 billion (pre-tax) from corporate partners such as Nike, Hanes, and Gatorade.

Jordan is the chairman and principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA team based in North Carolina. In 2019, Jordan agreed to sell a minority stake in the NBA team for $1.5 billion. He also owns a NASCAR team and a stake in DraftKings, a sports betting company.

5. Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty

Source: Cosmetics, Music

Net worth: $1.3 billion

Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, the world’s youngest Black billionaire and renowned musician, is the second-richest Black woman in the United States.

Her net worth has dropped from $1.7 billion at the start of the year to $1.3 billion at the time of writing this report.

The majority of her fortune is derived from her ownership of Fenty Beauty, a rapidly expanding cosmetics company that sells her makeup and skincare products on Sephora shelves in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, and the Middle East, as well as online to more than 150 countries.

6. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter

Source: Liquor, Music Streaming

Net worth: $1.3 billion

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, an African-American businessman worth $1.3 billion at the time of writing, has seen his net worth increase by $300 million since 2021, when Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) acquired a 50-percent stake in his Champagne brand, Armand de Brignac.

He made $297 million last year when he sold a majority stake in Tidal, his high-fidelity music streaming platform, to Jack Dorsey’s Square.

The rapper turned businessman and investor’s net worth has increased from $1 billion to $1.3 billion since February 2021, when LVMH signed a partnership deal with his Champagne brand.

7. Tyler Perry

Source: Films

Net worth: $1 billion

Tyler Perry is an African-American writer, producer, director, and actor who has amassed a fortune through his work. Perry owns 100 percent of his creative output, which includes more than 1,200 TV episodes, 22 feature films, and at least two dozen stage plays, as well as a 330-acre studio on the outskirts of Atlanta.

His “Madea” franchise, which has grossed over $660 million, accounts for a sizable portion of his $1-billion fortune.

He recently signed a four-film deal with Amazon Studios, a television and film producer and distributor based in the United States and one of Amazon’s subsidiaries.

8. Tiger Woods

Source: Golf, endorsements, real estate

Net worth: $1 billion

Tiger Woods, the world’s greatest golfer, has won more prize money than any other professional golfer in history, totaling $121 million. The majority of his fortune is derived from endorsements with companies such as Nike, Gatorade, Rolex, and Monster Energy.

Woods also has a golf course design company as well as a live production company. He is also a shareholder in Nexus Luxury Collection, a global hospitality real estate development and asset management firm. He also has a stake in a luxury mini-golf experience with multiple Florida locations, as well as a hospital software startup.

9. LeBron James

Source: Basketball, Endorsements, Investments

Net worth: $1 billion

LeBron James is the first active NBA player to reach the billion-dollar mark. His pretax earnings with the Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, total more than $385 million. Off the court, he has amassed well over $900 million (pretax) in earnings from commercial initiatives and endorsement deals with companies such as PepsiCo, Walmart, and his long-time sponsor, Nike. He also has a stake in Beats by Dre and the Blaze Pizza fan base.

10. Sean “Diddy” Combs

Source: Ciroc Vodka, Music, Investments

Net worth: $1 billion

The majority of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ wealth stems from his partnership with Diageo to create Ciroc Vodka, a move that saw him take the helm of Ciroc in 2007, guiding the brand from obscurity to multibillion-dollar status.

The African-American businessman became a billionaire on the same day that Kanye West, now officially known as “Ye,” lost his billionaire status due to the termination of his lucrative contract with Adidas. Since 2019, Combs’ net worth has risen from $740 million to $1 billion.

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