5 Self-Made Female Billionaires

AAA

Many female billionaires that pop up on Forbes list inherited their fortunes, but despite the wage gap that still persists between men and women, a few hard-driving ladies still managed to earn their own billions. Here's a look at some self-made female billionaires and what characteristics led them to the top.

Oprah Winfrey

After graduating from Tennessee State University, Winfrey started her broadcasting career in Nashville, then relocated to Baltimore and eventually settled in Chicago where Harpo Studios is located today. Her successful television show, magazine and TV network has earned her billions, with a net worth that's growing daily. She hit No. 400 on Forbes' 2010 World Billionaires list with a $2.4 billion net worth.

Doris Fisher

Doris Fisher planted the roots for her fortune in 1969, when she opened the first Gap store in San Francisco. It took a lifetime of determination, but Doris Fisher is now one of the wealthiest women in America. She ranked No.374 on Forbes' 2010 World Billionaires list with $2.5 billion.

Zhang Xin

Zhang Xin is proving there's money to be made in property - billions in fact - even in China. She earned her degree at Cambridge University before starting Soho China to develop property in China, along with her husband Pan Shiyi. In 2005, Zhang Xin's husband transferred his shares in Soho China to her, bringing this 44 year-old's net worth to a cool $2 billion, and landing her at No.488 on the 2010 Forbes' World Billionaire list.

Margaret Whitman

Margaret Whitman worked for Disney, StrideRite and FTD before reluctantly taking on a job heading up marketing for a small start-up auction website. That small start-up became the auction giant known as eBay and earned Whitman her $1.3 billion fortune.

J.K. Rowling

"Find a day job," J.K. Rowling's publisher told her when her Harry Potter series finally made it to print. Writing children's books just wasn't enough to make a living was the consensus at the time - a preconception Rowling would soon blow out of the water. J.K. Rowling, once an unemployed single mother, now sits on a $1 billion fortune.

The Bottom Line

With a positive attitude, these women made their fortunes on their own terms - by working really hard for it. Like Oprah Winfrey says of her success, "I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity."
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey: Net Worth

    Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of roughly $3 billion, as of March 2016. Her fortune lands her at number 603 for global billionaires and at number 215 for billionaires in the United States. Forbes ...
  2. Markets

    How Zhang Xin Built a Real Estate Empire

    An overview of how Zhang Xin built a multi-billion dollar real estate empire from the ground up.
  3. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey: Success Story

    When Oprah Winfrey graduated from Tennessee State University in 1973, she began her career in television. At Nashville's WLAC-TV, she was both the youngest and the first black female news ...
  4. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey: Introduction

    Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media magnate, talk show host, and television and film producer, with a net worth of roughly $3 billion. Even with her own magazine and TV network in her portfolio, ...
  5. Financial Advisor

    Oprah Winfrey Biography

    Oprah Gail Winfrey is an American media magnate, television and film producer, and talk show host with a net worth of roughly $3 billion.
  6. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey: Famous or Infamous

    Beyond the fortune she made, Oprah Winfrey is probably best known for her impact on American culture as one of the country’s foremost tastemakers in the arts, culture, religion and politics. ...
  7. Insights

    Oprah Winfrey: Early Life and Education

    Oprah Winfrey was born on Jan. 29, 1954 in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother, who named her daughter "Orpah," after a character in the Biblical Book of Ruth. But most people ...
  8. Financial Advisor

    The World’s Wealthiest People Under Age 35

    The fortunes of the wealthiest individuals under age 35 were, in large proportion, amassed by founding technology-related firms. Here is the list.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Wealth Management: How the Billionaires Do It

    A new report on the world's billionaires gives insight into how they work, save and plan on distributing their wealth.
  10. Investing

    The 10 Highest-paid Women in 2015

    The 10 highest paid women of 2015 earned a combined $546.1 million dollars. Here is a look at the women that made the list.
Hot Definitions
  1. European Union - EU

    A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official ...
  2. Sell-Off

    The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. The increase in supply leads to a decline in the ...
  3. Brazil, Russia, India And China - BRIC

    An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. It has been speculated that by 2050 these four ...
  4. Brexit

    The Brexit, an abbreviation of "British exit" that mirrors the term Grexit, refers to the possibility of Britain's withdrawal ...
  5. Underweight

    1. A situation where a portfolio does not hold a sufficient amount of a particular security when compared to the security's ...
  6. Russell 3000 Index

    A market capitalization weighted equity index maintained by the Russell Investment Group that seeks to be a benchmark of ...
Trading Center