6 Top-Earning Influential Black Americans, Ranked 2021
There are just shy of 330 million people that live in the United States of America. With a population so vast, it’s easy to understand that the income level of each citizen varies greatly. While there is certainly a divide between the upper and middle class, there are a few citizens that are considered as being among the wealthy elite, and according to the Detroit News, roughly 607 of them are billionaires. Shockingly, less than 10 of them are Black Americans. In a country so racially and culturally diverse, it’s surprising to see so few Black Americans that make it to the list of billionaires, so it’s time we take a moment to recognize their great achievements, and give them the credit they so richly deserve. It’s no easy feat to make it to this income bracket, and respect levels run very high for these incredibly influential, wildly successful role models…
6 Michael Jordan
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Michael Jordan’s name is synonymous with success in all areas. Starting off as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Jordan’s name is now even more widely popularized by his name brand clothing and shoes which people of all generations are proudly wearing. He has been credited as being the highest paid athlete of all time, but that wasn’t singularly due to his involvement with the Chicago Bulls.
Michael Jordan is a living legend, and a true inspiration to kids and adults across the globe, that continue to strive towards his level of success. His current net worth is $2.2 billion. He was the mastermind of his own career, and diversified his earning potential by being actively involved in a series of big-brand endorsements. In fact, according to The Detroit News, he brings home “more than $100 million a year from his endorsement deal with Nike, alone. Today the Nike-owned Jordan brand accounts for about 50% of the basketball sneaker market and makes an average of $3 billion in revenue for Nike annually” That’s not all. His major stake in the Charlotte Hornets factors in as being one of his greatest investments, and now assets. “He owns about 90% of the franchise, which was most recently valued at a minimum of $1.15 billion. Jordan’s stake in the Hornets is worth more than $1 billion alone.”
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5 Oprah Winfrey
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There isn’t a person in the world that is unaware of the immense impact that Oprah Winfrey has had on today’s society. She’s a true powerhouse that has defied all odds to become one of the most outspoken, influential Black women in American Media, worth a whopping $3.3 billion.
When Oprah Winfrey speaks on a topic, the entire world tunes in.
Her notoriety and influence far surpass the American market, and her impact is felt on a global scale. Winfrey has spun her role of talk show host to quickly embrace that of being a producer, philanthropist, and large-scale influencer. In fact, Visual Capitalist reports that “at one time, she was the world’s only African American billionaire.”
It has been reported that Oprah makes anywhere from $75 million to $300 million each year, which has given her an amazing net worth of $3.5 billion.
4 David Steward
David Steward is worth a whopping $3.9 billion, most of which was secured during his reign as the founder of World Wide Technology. His incredibly successful corporation specializes in securing cloud capabilities, and puts focus on security, mobility and of course major networking technologies. The success of World Wide Technology lies in their ability to provide advanced technology solutions to prominent commercial, government and communications based organizations.
Forbes reports that as the majority owner of his corporation, Steward’s customers include Citi, Verizon, and the federal government. He’s currently generating roughly $12 million a year through his organization, and now has offices scattered in 20 different areas of the world.
3 Robert F. Smith
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With an astronomical net worth of $6.5 billion, Robert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners LLC. His organization now fully controls more than $57 billion in assets and continues to grow in valuation with the passing of each week.
Prior to launching Vista, Robert F. Smith obtained critical skills knowledge while working at Goldman Sachs in the Mergers & Acquisitions division. Truly dedicated to his philanthropical work, Smith went on to use his wealth to the benefit of those in need. He generously paid off roughly $34 million in student loans belonging to complete strangers, then went on to provide financial assistance to their parents, as well.
2 Kanye West
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Kanye West truly believes his net worth is considerably higher than it is currently tallied to be. He insists that he is a $6.6 billion man, but in reality, his current net worth, without adding the speculative totals that he perceives he will earn, is set at $1.8 billion by some sources, and $3.3 billion by others, depending on what their estimations and tallies embrace.
That’s certainly nothing to frown upon, and he can thank his wildly popular Yeezy brand for much of his fortune. His clothing and sneaker collaboration with Adidas brings him far more wealth than his musical career did, but that’s certainly not to negate the success he has attained with his talented musical contributions. While his claims of being the richest Black man in America have been refuted, he certainly makes the short list as being among the wealthiest Black Americans of today.
1 Tyler Perry
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Tyler Perry isn’t a spotlight hog. In fact, he quietly earns millions of dollars without bringing much notice to him at all. He started off as a playwright with big dreams, and he eventually saw those dreams through, taking him to a net worth of $1 billion. When he created the film Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, he catapulted to mainstream success, and was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor to the fullest. The movie grossed well over $50 million, and Perry knew he had made it to a new level of fame and fortune.
With bigger dreams ahead, Perry went on to create a huge entertainment empire. The key to his success was his unique perspective on ownership. Firmly believing in owning everything on set, he revealed just how he was able to monopolize his earnings. He has full ownership of all of his 22 films, all his stage plays and each and every one of his 1,200 television episodes. He told Purewow; “I own the lights. I own the sets. So that’s where the difference is. Because I own everything, my returns are higher. Ownership is everything.”
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Sources: Visual Capitalist, Pure Wow, Detroit News, Forbes
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