The collective wealth of the top earners in the country increased 40 percent over the last year, amounting to $4.5 trillion — and nearly all have more money to their name than they did a year ago, according to the 2021 Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.
Some will be familiar to Bostonians, such as Abigail Johnson, the chief executive of Fidelity Investments, and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots. But others — several hailing from the biotech field in a sign of the times — were new.
For the fourth year in a row, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was named the richest person in America, while Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claimed the second and third spots. The minimum net worth needed to make the list, according to the magazine, was $2.9 billion — a surge from the $2.1 billion cutoff of the prior three years.
“What hasn’t increased? Their generosity,” Forbes reported. Compared to last year, the number of those on the list who gave away more than 20 percent of their net worth “dropped from ten to eight.”
Here is a list of the richest people in Massachusetts:
No. 27 — Abigail Johnson, 59, $25.2 billion
Johnson has served as the chief executive of Boston-based Fidelity Investments since 2014, when she took over for her father, Edward Johnson, III. She has also been chairman since 2016. Johnson owns an estimated 24.5 percent stake of the firm, according to Forbes. Her net worth is more than double that of her father, who is the second Massachusetts billionaire listed in the rankings.
No. 60 — Edward Johnson, III, 91, $11.5 billion
Johnson led Fidelity Investments for 37 years before his daughter, Abigail Johnson, replaced him as chief executive. His father founded the money management firm in 1946.
No. 102 — Robert Kraft, 80, $8.3 billion
Kraft is the owner of the New England Patriots, which he purchased in 1994. The team is now valued at $5 billion and has won the Super Bowl six times — all during the Brady-Belichick era. His sports portfolio today also includes the New England Revolution MLS club.
No. 124 — Edward Johnson, IV, 56, $7.2 billion
Johnson is the grandson of Edward Johnson II, who founded Fidelity Investments in 1946. He is the brother of Abigail Johnson, the current chief executive and chairman of the company. Johnson is the president of Pembroke Real Estate, which is owned by Fidelity’s parent company FMR. He owns a 5.56 percent stake in FMR, according to Forbes.
No. 134 — Jim Davis and family, 78, $6.9 billion
Davis is the chairman of New Balance, which is estimated to rake in about $3.6 billion in annual sales, according to Forbes. His wife, Anne, is the vice chairman. Davis and his family own an estimated 95 percent of the Boston-based athletic wear brand, which is private.
No. 168 — Elizabeth Johnson, 58, $6.1 billion
Johnson is the granddaughter of Edward Johnson II, who founded Fidelity Investments in 1946. She is the sister of Abigail Johnson, the current chief executive and chairman of the company. Johnson owns a 5.56 percent stake in FMR, according to Forbes. She founded Louisburg Farm, a Florida-based stable of show jumping horses, in 2013.
No. 176 — Timothy Springer, 73, $5.9 billion
Springer is an immunologist and professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry at Harvard Medical School. He was a founding investor in the Cambridge-based Moderna in 2010, which became a household name when it produced one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Springer invested about $5 million in the biotechnology company, according to Forbes. Springer now reportedly owns 3.5 percent of the firm’s shares.
No. 188 — Alan Trefler, 65, $5.7 billion
Trefler launched the software company Pegasystems in 1983 when he was 27. He took the Cambridge-based company public in 1996, and it now brings in more than $1 billion in annual sales, according to Forbes, and employs about 5,700 people.
No. 212 — Noubar Afeyan, 59, $5 billion
Afeyan is the founder and chief executive of the Cambridge-based Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences innovation firm. He is also the chairman and cofounder of Moderna, known to few outside the biotechnology world prior to it developing a coronavirus vaccine, which was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in December 2020.
No. 222 — Robert Langer, 73, $4.9 billion
Langer is a scientist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he leads the Langer Lab. He was a cofounder of Moderna, and he owns a 3 percent stake in the company, according to Forbes. Langer has reportedly never sold a share.
No. 289 — Amos Hostetter, Jr., 84, $3.9 billion
Hostetter cofounded Continental Cablevision in 1963, and he served as its chairman and chief executive from 1980 to 1996. He sold the cable television company in 1996 for $11 billion, according to Forbes. Hostetter is also the cofounder and trustee of his family’s Barr Foundation, which donates tens of millions of dollars each year to various causes (including the Globe, which has received a Barr Foundation grant to help support its education coverage). The foundation has reportedly donated more than $1 billion since 1999.
No. 318 — John Henry, 72, $3.6 billion
Henry acquired a fortune in the early 1980s from his trading firm J.W. Henry and Co. From there, he went on to build a sports empire. He purchased the Boston Red Sox in 2002 with his partner Tom Werner. Henry and Werner’s Fenway Sports Group holds the majority stake in NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing and New England Sports Network, according to Forbes. He is also the principal owner of the Premier League soccer team Liverpool. Henry also purchased the Globe in 2013 for $70 million.
No. 340 — Steve Conine, 49, $3.4 billion
Conine is the co-chairman and cofounder of Wayfair, the Boston-based online home goods retailer. He started the business in 2002 with Niraj Shah, a fellow Massachusetts billionaire on the list. The company generated $14 billion in net revenue in 2020, according to Forbes, which is up 55 percent from the previous year.
No. 340 — Frank Laukien, 61, $3.4 billion
Laukien is the chairman and chief executive of Bruker Corporation, a Billerica-based scientific instruments manufacturer. His father, Gunther Laukien, founded the publicly traded company in 1960. Laukien owns a 25.4 percent stake in the company, according to Forbes.
No. 340 — Niraj Shah, 47, $3.4 billion
Shah is the chief executive of Wayfair, the Boston-based retail giant he cofounded with Steve Conine.
No. 363 — Robert Hale, Jr., 55, $3.2 billion
Hale is the co-founder and chief executive of the Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, a wholesale telecommunications provider. Granite generated over $1.5 billion in sales in 2020, according to Forbes.