No one can understand the value of freedom as the African Americans do. They were led into slavery by whites and kept as petty slaves by land owners deprived of any rights. It took some time for the black to fathom their true potential as human beings deserving of equal respect, rights and social standing in the society. Gradually the idea grew stronger in their minds giving them a new purpose in life that propelled them in the direction of success. Some African Americans became great discoverers and scientists others found ways to expand their financial resources throughout the world and eventually gained success. It might have been surprising to find billionaire African Americans in the last century. However, the twenty-first century is teeming with the richest African Americans.
Topping the list of richest black in the world is a woman, Oprah Winfrey. She is one of the seven African American billionaires, known for her extensive work in electronic media. Being a television host, producer and actress, Winfrey receives a great praise for her work on television. She came to success with her hit talk show People are Talking, which ran for almost a decade in 1970s. After that she produced her own famous talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which turned out to be a global phenomenon. Furthermore, she uses her celebrity for philanthropic work around the world. Forbes magazine, the trademark magazine that exclusively features rich public figures includes Winfrey among the world’s most powerful women quite often. Her net worth stands at 2.9 billion dollars.
Next in line of the richest African American is the America’s beloved basketball player Michael Jordan. He is considered the greatest basketball player of all time, winning a number of titles representing Chicago Bulls in National Basketball Association (NBA). His popularity graph spiked with his outstanding performance which in turn rendered NBA’s popularity to grow throughout the globe. Most of what he makes came from multifarious endorsements such as brands and companies like Five Star Fragrances, Hanes, Nike, and 2K Sports. His net worth is one billion dollars, holds 80% stake in the team named Charlotte Bobcats along with earning royalties from brand Jordan that is a subdivision of Nike.
Sean Combs also known by his stage name Diddy is one of the richest African Americans in United States. Combs came from musical background and invested his musical talent in record production and rapping. In his youth he dropped out of Howard University and went to work for R&B and hip-hop record label. He found a lucky break when he released his debut track Can’t nobody Hold Me Down. Since then he has been successfully producing music. According to Forbes’ estimation Combs is turning in fifty-million dollar annually and stands the net worth of over half a billion dollars.
Robert L. Johnson
A couple of decades ago the idea of any African American being featured in Forbes was outright outlandish. However, it all changed when the black billionaire Robert L. Johnson, made it to the list of richest persons alive for the first time. The Black Entertainment Television was one of his company that he sold to Viacom in 2001 for three billion dollars. Following this business deal, Johnson ventured into a new lucrative market of investing in a chain of hotels, banks, recording studios and real estate. Moreover, he holds controlling stake in several NBA teams that he purchased.
Another African American athlete that joined the millionaire’s club is Tiger Woods. As surveyed by Forbes in 2013, the child prodigy golf player is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He is a top ranked golf player who earned over sixty millions in endorsements and a seven figure salary. However, his luck ran out when his infidelity scandal became public knowledge in 2009. He became a target of public shaming and as a result his rank took a dive and several sponsors pulled out their contract with him.
The American music industry is teeming with African American millionaires. One such musician is Shawn Carter also known by his stage name Jay-Z. The music artist is a world renowned rapper and record producer selling over fifty million albums worldwide. He received numerous accolades for his musical work including seventeen Grammy awards. Apart from music, Jay-Z has invested in several other business ventures including the New Jersey Nets.
Best known for his career in professional basketball, Earvin Johnson also widely known as Magic Johnson, is one of the richest African Americans. Currently he is expanding his wealth by investing in several lucrative business deals with companies like Starbucks, AMC Theatres and T.G.I. Fridays. He founded Magic Johnson Enterprises that is estimated to be worth of seven hundred million dollars of which he donated to several charities.
From the entertainment industry, Bill Cosby’s name is hard to dismiss as a black millionaire. He was casted as a lead in a sixties NBC’s series I Spy when black actors were denied major roles. He received three Emmy Awards for his performance. Later he launched The Cosby Show that was a milestone in his acting career. The success of the show earned him millions of dollars. Next he published a book Fatherhood heftily profiting from selling millions of copies. Cosby also kept up the charity work, donating 20 million to Spelman College.
Aforementioned millionaire Robert L. Johnson’s former wife, Sheila Johnson also made it to the black rich club with the net worth of four-hundred million. After splitting the couple divided their share. Sheila assumed the team president position at WNBA’s Washington Mystics and holds stakes in NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals after making a major investment in Lincoln Holdings.
The jack-of-all-trades personality, Tyler Perry is a popular media celebrity who earned his millionaire status from writing, directing, acting and producing movies. In 2008, he opened up his own studios and owns sitcoms such as Meet the Browns and House of Payne, which have a huge black audience. He currently stands at the net worth of $350 million.