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Forbes magazine releases its 2012 ranking of the richest people in America

posted 19 Sept 2012, 13:23 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 19 Sept 2012, 13:23 ]

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey grace the cover of Forbes magazine's 400 issue, which lists the richest people in America.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES  (FORBES) - Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates stand proudly on the 30th annual Forbes 400 issue, which lists the richest people in America.

The magazine's cover unfolds into a three-page spread and was photographed at the Trustees Room at the New York Public Library. Forbes is calling it the $126 billion (USD) cover which pictures 12 philanthropists from its list.

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp, topped the list for the 19th year in a row with $66 billion, up $7 billion from a year earlier.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, stood second with $46 billion, followed by Larry Ellison, head of software maker Oracle Corp, with $41 billion; and the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who run the energy and chemicals conglomerate that bears their name, Koch Industries, were tied for fourth with $31 billion, Forbes said.

Oprah Winfrey graced the cover, but is ranked at 151, with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

There are 45 women on the list, up from 42 a year ago.

According to the magazine, the 400 richest people in America are all billionaires, mostly self-made and mostly male.

The average net worth of a Forbes 400 member is $4.2 billion, up from $3.8 billion in 2011, while the combined net worth of the 400 club was $1.7 trillion.