Black billionaires is a term used to describe African Americans and others of Black African ancestry with a net worth of at least US$1 billion. According to Forbes 2018 ranking of the world’s billionaires, Nigerian business magnate Aliko Dangotewith a net worth of $13.8 billion is the world’s richest black person.[1] Others on the list are Nigeria’s Mike Adenuga with $4.6 billion,[2] American media mogul Oprah Winfrey with a net worth of $2.8 billion (2018),South African gold magnate Patrice Motsepe, with $2.9 billion, South African Diamonds mining magnate Byaruhanga Kimberly Junior, with $2.8 billion, Nigeria’s Folorunsho Alakija with $2.5 billion and Mo Ibrahim, a British billionaire of Sudanese Nubian ancestry,[3] who has been on the Forbes Billionaire list since 2008 and in 2012 had a net worth of $1.1 billion.[4]

In the years since, American investor Robert Smith, with a net worth of $4.4 billion, and American sports executive Michael Jordan, with $1.65 billion, have risen to the list.

From 2001 to 2003, Forbes listed American television network executive Bob Johnson as a billionaire,[5] but dropped him after his fortune was split in his divorce.[when?][6] He returned to Forbes Billionaire list in 2007 with a net worth of $1.1 billion. In 2008 Johnson’s wealth dropped again, this time to approximately $1.0 billion [7] and by 2009 he fell off the list again. Nigerian petroleum executive Femi Otedola briefly emerged as a billionaire in 2009, but did not remain one in subsequent years. He returned to the list in the company of a fellow Nigerian, sugar tycoon Abdul Samad Rabiu, in 2016, but both were dropped from the rankings the following year.[8]

Multiracial billionaires with significant black ancestry have also been identified over the years. Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, of Hadhrami Yemeni and Ethiopian descent, has been on the Forbes billionaire list since 2002 and in 2012 had a net worth of $12.5 billion.[9] Michael Lee-Chin of Canada, who is Jamaican of Chinese and Black ancestry was on the list from 2001 to 2010, but dropped off in 2011.[10] In 2013 Isabel Dos Santos who is of both Angolan and Middle Eastern ancestry made the list with a $2 billion net worth.

Of all the above-mentioned billionaires identified by Forbes, only Oprah Winfrey qualified for Forbes 2009’s list of the world’s 20 most powerful billionaires, a list which considered not only wealth, but also market sway and political clout. Winfrey was considered especially powerful because of her influence on American consumer choices and her pivotal role in getting Barack Obama elected.[11]

Members[edit]

Wealth valuations by Forbes magazine

YearBlack billionairesBi/Multiracial billionaires with Black ancestryAll billionaires
199600423, Richest: Bill Gates $18.5 billion 
199700224, Richest: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah $38 billion 
199800209, Richest: Bill Gates $51 billion 
199900298, Richest: Bill Gates $55 billion 
200000322, Richest: Bill Gates $60 billion 
20011: Bob Johnson $1.6 billion 1: Michael Lee-Chin $1 billion[12]538, Richest: Bill Gates $58.7 billion 
20021: Bob Johnson $1 billion 2:Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.5 billion Michael Lee-Chin $1.1 billion[13]497, Richest: Bill Gates $52.8 billion
20032:Bob Johnson $1.2 billion Oprah Winfrey $1 billion[14]2: Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.5 billionMichael Lee-Chin $1.4 billion[15]476, Richest: Bill Gates $40.7 billion 
20041: Oprah Winfrey $1.1 billion 2:Michael Lee-Chin $2.4 billion Mohammad Al Amoudi $1.4 billion [16]587, Richest: Bill Gates $46.6 billion 
20051: Oprah Winfrey $1.3 billion 2:Michael Lee-Chin $2.5 billion Mohammad Al Amoud $2.5 billion 691, Richest: Bill Gates $46.5 billion
20061: Oprah Winfrey $1.4 billion2:Mohammad Al Amoudi $6.9 billion Michael Lee-Chin $2.1 billion[17]793, Richest: Bill Gates $50 billion
20072:Oprah Winfrey $1.5 billion Bob Johnson $1.1 billion[18]2:Mohammad Al Amoudi $8 billionMichael Lee-Chin $1.6 billion[19]946, Richest: Bill Gates $56 billion
20085:Aliko Dangote $3.3 billion Oprah Winfrey $2.5 billion [20]Patrice Motsepe $2.4 billion [21]Mo Ibrahim $2.5 billion [22]Bob Johnson $1 billion  [7]2: Mohammad Al Amoudi $9 billionMichael Lee-Chin $1.8 billion[23]1,125, Richest: Warren Buffett $62 billion
20095:Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion Aliko Dangote $2.5 billion Mo Ibrahim $2 billion Femi Otedola $1.6 billion Patrice Motsepe $1.3 billion 2: Mohammad Al Amoudi $9 billionMichael Lee-Chin $1 billion[24]793, Richest: Bill Gates $40 billion
20104:Oprah Winfrey $2.4 billion Patrice Motsepe $2.3 billion Aliko Dangote $2.1 billionMo Ibrahim $2 billion 2: Mohammad Al Amoudi $10 billionMichael Lee-Chin $1 billion[25]1,011, Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $53.5 billion[26] 
20115:Aliko Dangote $13.8 billion [2]Patrice Motsepe $3.3 billion Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billion Mo Ibrahim $1.8 billion  [4]Mike Adenuga $2 billion[2]1: Mohammad Al Amoudi $12.3 billion1,210, Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $74 billion
2012 [1]5:Aliko Dangote $11.2 billion [2]Mike Adenuga $4.3 billion [2]Patrice Motsepe $2.7 billion Oprah Winfrey $2.7 billionMo Ibrahim $1.1 billion  [4]1: Mohammad Al Amoudi $12.3 billion1,210, Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $74 billion
20135:Aliko Dangote $16.1 billion [2]Mike Adenuga $4.7 billion Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion Oprah Winfrey $2.8 billionMo Ibrahim $1.1 billion [4]2:Mohammad Al Amoudi $13.5 billionIsabel Kukanova dos Santos $2 billion 1,426, Richest: Carlos Slim Helu & family $73 billion
20148:Aliko Dangote $25 billion Mike Adenuga $4.6 billion Oprah Winfrey $2.9 billion Patrice Motsepe $2.9 billion Florunsho Alakija $2.5 billion Abdulsmad Rabiu $1.2 billion Mo Ibrahim $1.1 billion  [4]2:Mohammad Al Amoudi $15.3 billion Isabel Dos Santos $3.7 billion1,645, Richest: Bill Gates $76 billion
201612:Aliko Dangote $14.4 billion Mike Adenuga, $9.9 billion Robert Smith, $4.4 billion Oprah Winfrey $3.1 billion Byaruhanga Kimberly Junior$2.1 billion Femi Otedola, $1.85 billion Strive Masiyiwa, $1.8 billion  ZimbabweFolorunsho Alakija, $1.55 billion Patrice Motsepe $1.15 billion Michael Jordan, $1.14 billion Abdul Samad Rabiu $1.1 billion Mo Ibrahim $1.07 billion  [27]2:Mohammed Al-Amoudi, $8.4 billion Isabel Dos Santos, $3.1 billion 1,810 Richest: Bill Gates $75 billion [28]