Dolly Parton, Rihanna, Cindy Crawford: Meet the new class of America’s wealthiest self-made women


NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation Now) — What do Dolly Parton, Cindy Crawford and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi all have in common? They’re now some of America’s richest self-made women.

In Forbes’ annual list of the richest self-made women in America, there were several newcomers who shook up the rankings of the wealthy. It was also a strong year for female billionaires, with a record total of 26 having net worth in 10 figures.

Diane Hendricks came in at number one for the fourth year in a row with a fortune of $11 billion. She and her late husband started the building supply company ABC Supply, which helped them build their wealth. Later, they created Hendricks Holding company which owns a variety of companies ranging from industry to film production.

Hendricks also served as an economic advisor to former President Donald Trump and started her own charter school.

The richest self-made American women range in industries from entertainment to tech to retail. Though none of the top 10 came from the entertainment world.

Number two on the list, Judy Faulkner, comes from the health care tech world with her company Epic Systems, which controls health records of over 200 million people. Her fortune is estimated at $6.5 billion.

The remaining women on the top five are former eBay CEO Meg Whitman at $6.3 billion, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores executive secretary Judy Love at $5.2 billion and Little Caesar’s Pizza co-founder Marian Ilitch at $4.4 billion.

They also range geographically, though Forbes notes that 46 of them all live in California.

For the celebrities, several were newly crowned wealthiest women, including Cindy Crawford at $225 million thanks to her successful skin care line and Dolly Parton at $250 million thanks to her music, theme park and beauty products.

Rihanna broke the billion-dollar ceiling thanks to her popular Fenty lines of beauty, skin care and lingerie. Her fortune is now estimated at $1.7 billion. Oprah still reigns supreme among female entertainers, though, with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

Overall, the 100 women on the list of wealthiest are worth a combined $118 billion, up 31% from 2020.

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