The Los Angeles Business Journal has dropped its annual report naming the 50 wealthiest folks in L.A. Taking a look at the top 10 spots for 2019, we’re seeing a mix of well-known names–and a couple surprises that snuck in higher than we would have thought. Here’s the breakdown of the upper echelon of ultra elites.
Elon Musk, $22.6 Billion: Inventor, entrepreneur, and obvious cartoon super-villain Elon Musk tops the list yet again. Tesla didn’t have the hottest year, but Musky Boy’s bottom line soared in large part due to his SpaceX side project.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, $19.1 Billion: Patrick Soon-Shiong held on tight to the number two spot, in spite of being one of the rare billionaires to lose wealth in 2019. The biotech innovator-turned-L.A. Times owner shed 12 percent of his net worth. Nobody said newspapers were a way to get rich.
Sean Parker, $13.2 Billion: The Napster bro depicted by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network is still in the tech-investing game, though these days he also focuses on a number of philanthropy projects, including sitting on the board at MOCA.
David Geffen, $9.2 Billion: The sole representative of the entertainment industry on the top-10 list, the paper calls out music mogul David Geffen’s savvy money management and investments as a major source of his continued wealth accumulation. It must be working: he recently bought a new Beverly Hills estate for a cool $30 mil.
John Tu, $8.8 Billion: John Tu is a classic American story. He worked in his uncle’s restaurant in Germany, eventually arrived here in 1972, and went on to co-found of a company that grew to be the world’s largest independant manufacturer of computer memory and one of the leading backers of professional esports. His family foundation has given out millions in grants, much of it to L.A.-based charities.
Eli Broad, $7.4 Billion: One of L.A.’s most visible–and controversial–civic figures, the 86-year-old Broad keeps increasing his wealth in spite of being largely retired. He’s pledged to give the vast majority of his money away during his lifetime; we can see the “Win Eli’s Money” reality show pilot already.
Stewart & Lynda Resnick, $6.8 Billion: Husband-and-wife duo Stewart and Lynda Resnick share the seventh spot, which they’ve earned by owning a few companies you might have heard of, like POM Wonderful, Fiji Water, and Teleflora. In 2019, the company bought “exclusive rights” to a type of lemon that grows in California, which seems faintly dystopian, but we’re not billionaires, so what do we know?
Tamara Hughes Gustavson, $6.6 Billion: The only woman to appear in the top 10 as a solo act, Tamara Hughes Gustavson is heir to the Public Storage fortune–and it’s been a boom year. Her share of the company ballooned in value by nearly 40 percent year-over-year. Well, at least we know she’ll have a place to stash all the cool stuff she buys with the money.
Steven Udvar-Házy, $6 Billion: Fly guy Steven Udvar-Házy makes his money leasing airplanes. The blowback to two Boeing 737 Max crashes hurt his company briefly, but it didn’t end up hurting his pockets too badly. If you’re house hunting, Udvar-Házy’s Beverly Park mega-mansion “Villa Firenze” appears to still be on the market for a modest asking price of $165 million.
Rick Caruso, $5.7 Billion: Only in Southern California can a person become a celebrity shopping mall developer. The man behind the Grove and the Americana at Brand opened two new properties in the last year, and spent a bit of time entertaining guests aboard his private yacht.