Meet The 20 Black Billionaires of the World… (Yeah, ONLY 20 In The Whole World!)

Black Billionaires
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According To Forbes, there are 2,640 billionaires in the world as of March 10, 2023, including 735 in America alone. Not surprisingly, only a very small percentage of them are Black. Meet the 20 Black billionaires of the world.

Forbes editors Rob LaFranco and Chase Peterson-Withorn reports “the planet’s billionaires are now worth $12.2 trillion, a drop of $500 billion from $12.7 trillion in March 2022. Nearly half the list is poorer than a year ago, including Elon Musk, who fell from No. 1 to No. 2 after his pricey acquisition of Twitter helped sink Tesla shares.” Despite the $500 billion drop, these Black billionaires have found success in a variety of ways, from investments to entertainment.

*It’s important to note that with that much money, most of it is usually based on how much a stock or company is worth.  That value is constantly changing because of a stock price or bad investment, etc.  So while this is the order today, it may very well look different in a couple of months. Here’s the list:

Meet the 20 Black Billionaires of the World

01. Aliko Dangote

The Nigerian born, cement producer is the most wealthy man in all of Africa.  While he is the wealthiest Black man, he falls to 125 overall with his estimated net worth sitting at $14.8 billion.  He is 66 years old and resides in Lagos, Nigeria.

02.  Robert F. Smith

Smith is the first Black billionaire from the United States on the list.  His software investment company, Vista Equities launched in 2000 and it has amassed him a fortune of $9.2 billion.  That’s good enough to make him 245 on the overall list.  He famously announced that he would pay the tuition debt for the entire graduating class of Morehouse University back in 2019, during his commencement speech.

03.  David Steward

The 72 year-old Steward is the founder of World Wide Technology, an IT provider.  The Missouri native is worth $7.6 billion.  Good enough for 3rd among Black billionaires and 323 overall.

04. Mike Adenuga

Of Nigerian decent, Adenuga owns the third largest mobile phone network in Nigeria.  His subscriber base of 55 million+ and growing has helped him grow his fortune, along with his investments in oil.  He attended Pace University in New York City, where he earned his MBA, while working as a taxi driver!  He made his first million at just 26 years old, working in sales of lace, and… soft drinks!

He’s worth $6.2 billion.  #4 among Black billionaires, but currently 444 overall.

05. Abdulsamad Rabiu

With a net worth of $5.3 billion, Rabiu who was 385 overall just a couple years ago, had dropped to 553 overall.  A majority of his wealth comes from cement production.  He also is in sugar production and real estate.  Probably doesn’t come as a surprise this early on the list, that he is also from Nigeria.

06.  Michael Jordan

The Jordan brand has provided Jordan, 60 with a large majority of his wealth. He only made $90 million in his playing career, which seems small compared to current NBA contracts.  He’s was the owner of the Charlotte Hornets as well, until he sold the team in 2023.

Jordan’s net worth is $3 billion, good enough for 1041 on the overall list.

07.  Oprah Winfrey

You’re familiar with Ms. Winfrey and her story as a television personality turned media maven. Oprah owns OWN network and O magazine, among other properties. She is worth $2.6 billion and ranks 1122 overall.  She’s 70 years old.

08. Patrice Motsepe 

Patrice Motsepe was reportedly the first African Black billionaire, back in 2008.  His fortune came from mining, after founding African Rainbow Minerals.  He is currently 1228 overall on the billionaire list, with $2.6 billion.  His fortune has decreased by 6 million in just the last 2 years.

09.  Shawn Carter aka Jay-z

Hov makes this list after years and years of investments have helped him rack up a net worth of $2.5 billion. He sold his stake in Barclays Arena, Tidal and Armand de Brignac champagne, among other brands.

He still has his Roc Nation and Roc Nation Sports brands pulling in money along with D’Ussé cognac.  In just 2 years, the 54 year-old  has jumped from 2225 overall on the billionaires list to 1250. He’s also one of the youngest on this list.

10.  Alexander Karp

Alex Karp is worth $2.4 billion, ranking 14th among Black Billionaires.  He is the son of a Jewish father and an African-American mother, born in New York City.  Karp is the cofounder and CEO of data mining firm Palantir Technologies.  Palantir is a software company that collects and synthesizes data for big clients. The company went public in 2020.

11. Strive Masiyiwa

Masiyiwa launched his mobile network in Zimbabwe in 1998.  He is also the majority owner of a fiber optics and satellite services company.  The 61 year old lives in London now, sitting at number 6 on the list of Black billionaires, but 1597 overall with $1.9 billion.

12.  Rihanna Fenty

At 2082 overall, Rihanna is worth $1.4 billion.  Rihanna is just 35 years old, making her the youngest on this list.  Her high net worth is based on her Fenty beauty brand, which she co-owns with LVMH.   She has another 30% ownership in the Savage Fenty lingerie line.

13.  Michael Lee-Chin

Michael Lee Chin is the 12th most wealthy black billionaire.  He was born in Jamaica to biracial parents, who were both African and Chinese-Jamaican.  His wealth has been achieved from a National Bank in Jamaica and an investment company in Canada.  His net worth sits at $1.4 billion.  He is 73 years old.

14. Tope Awotona

Tope Awotona is the CEO and founder of the popular scheduling software company Calendly. He was born in Nigeria and then came to the U.S. as a teenager. According to Forbes, “he bootstrapped Calendly for years before taking on a $350 million investment in 2021 that valued the firm at $3 billion. Before founding Calendly, he had started a few other businesses, including one that sold projectors and another that sold garden tools, that flopped.” Awotona’s net worth is $1.2B as of November 14, 2023.

15. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson, 64, has found success as an entrepreneur following a lengthy NBA career.  He has dabbled in a bit of everything, including a television production company, and a record label, which signed R&B singer Avant as his first artist.

He has Magic Johnson Theaters, and founded Aspire, a television network to compete with BET.  He was an early investor in Starbucks and had ownership of over a hundred locations in urban communities.

He was a former minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks, but years later, in 2023, he joined the team that took over the Washington Commanders NFL team.

All things considered, it is no wonder Magic is sitting on a fortune of $1.2 billion.  He is 2303 overall.

16.  Mohammed Ibrahim

Mohammed “Mo” Ibrahim, 77 founded Celtel International in 1998, one of the first mobile phone companies serving Africa and the Middle East.  He sold the company for $3.4 billion, which kicked off his fortune.

These days, he resides in the United Kingdom and sits on a fortune of $1.2 billion.  Good enough for 2323 overall.

17.  Femi Otedola

Hailing from Nigeria, Otedola, 61 is also the founder of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. He has a net worth of $1.1 billion and sits at 2349 on the overall list.

Over the years he has launched several businesses and is an active investor in several companies in the oil industry.

18. Tiger Woods

Despite reportedly turning down a “high nine digits” offer to join the Saudi-run LIV Golf series, Tiger Woods, 48 joins the NBA legends, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan as the only athletes to reach billionaire status. Tiger Woods has earned roughly $1.8 billion during his pro golf career, including a PGA Tour-record $121 million in prize money, according to Forbes. In 2022, Forbes certified him as a billionaire, making him only the second active athlete ever with that distinction, after LeBron James.

With $1.1 billion he sits in the 2451 position.

19. LeBron James

According to Forbes, LeBron James’ net worth is a little over $1 billion making him the first active NBA billionaire ever to reach the milestone. He is also the very first player in a team sport in the United States to reach the three-comma club. James has been competing in NBA competitions for over 20 years. In 2021, the Lakers players’ earnings surpassed $121.2 million. He lived up to the hype, becoming a generation-defining player with four NBA titles and four MVPs to his name. James has maximized his business with over $1.2 billion in pretax earnings.

20.  Tyler Perry

Mr. Perry just makes the list, sitting at 2526 overall, with a net worth of $1 billion.  His Madea franchise alone sits at $660 million grossed.  Then there’s Tyler Perry Studios and his deal with Paramount.  At 54, he looks to climb up this list in the years to come because he owns 100% of the content that he has created!  Boss.


(pictured l to r: Michael Lee-Chin, Aliko Dangote, Rihanna, Tyler Perry, Robert F. Smith)

Up next:
Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy (52) is worth $885 million.  It’s to be seen how his settlement with Cassie, and his payout to sever ties with Diageo and separate from Ciroc will impact his fortune.

Andre Young aka Dr. Dre (57) was a billionaire a couple years ago, but his recent divorce cut into his net worth.  He is worth $820 million currently.

Kanye West dropped all the way to $400 million after losing $1.5 billion when he lost his deal with Adidas.  It’s been an upward climb ever since.

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