Since its early days, California has always attracted people from all over the world seeking fame and fortune. Of the 614 billionaires in the United States in 2020, 154 of them called the Golden State home. This equates to approximately 25% of the U.S.'s wealthiest individuals, with several living in Los Angeles. From doctors to innovative entrepreneurs, the billionaires at the top of the list are nearly as diverse as the city itself.
- The top four billionaires living in Los Angeles are Evan Spiegel, the four Mars sisters (tied for second place), Eli Broad, and Patrick Soon-Shiong.
- Evan Spiegel is the CEO and co-founder of the camera company Snap Inc. He created Snapchat alongside fellow co-founder Bobby Murphy while attending Stanford University in 2011.
- Pamela Mars-Wright is the ambassador of Mars Incorporated's pet care division. Valerie and Marijke currently serve on the company's board of directors. Victoria was formerly the chair of the board prior to stepping down in 2017.
- Eli Broad founded KB Homes in 1957. Broad bought Sun Life Insurance in 1971 and sold it to AIG for $18 billion in 1998.
- Patrick Soon-Shiong is a trained surgeon who founded and sold drug companies including APP Pharmaceuticals and Abraxis BioScience.
1. Evan Spiegel
The youngest person on this list, Evan Spiegel first became a billionaire when he was 25 years old. His current net worth is now estimated at $10.7 billion. Having created Snapchat alongside fellow co-founder Bobby Murphy while attending Stanford University in 2011, Spiegel is the CEO and co-founder of the camera company Snap Inc. The company would later acquire Bitstrips in 2016, in addition to launching its Spectacles brand the following year.
Spiegel created the Spiegel Family Fund in 2017, which is committed to supporting philanthropic organizations contributing to the arts, education, housing, and human rights both in and outside of California. He and Murphy also created the Snap Foundation to help underrepresented youth in L.A. enter the creative economy, to which they have pledged to donate 13 million shares of Snap Inc. Spiegel has himself donated nearly $154 million in Snap stock during his lifetime.
2. Pamela, Victoria, Valerie, and Marijke Mars
Pamela, Victoria, Valerie, and Marijke Mars compose the fourth generation of the Mars family. They are the heirs to candy and pet food company Mars Incorporated, which was founded by their great-grandfather in 1911. When their father passed away in 2016, all four of his daughters received an 8% stake in the company. As a result, each sister has an estimated net worth of $7.2 billion.
Pamela has played several roles at Mars over the years, including the chair of the board of directors, and she is currently serving as the family's ambassador to its pet care division. Additionally, Pamela serves on the board of directors for Johns Hopkins International Medicine as well as the supervisory board of Heineken. Both Valerie and Marijke currently serve on Mars Incorporated's board of directors, with Valerie also serving on Fiat Chrysler's board of directors. Victoria was formerly the chair of the board until she stepped down in 2017.
3. Eli Broad
With an estimated net worth of $6.9 billion, Eli Broad is among the nation's most generous philanthropists, supporting education, science, and the arts. He is responsible for building two Fortune 500 companies in different industries. He founded KB Homes in 1957 and turned it into one of the nation's largest homebuilders, with a focus on affordable housing. He later bought Sun Life Insurance in 1971 and sold it to AIG for $18 billion in 1998.
Having turned his attention to the arts, Broad is a major art collector and spent $140 million to build his own art museum. The Broad, which opened in 2015, displays his personal collection. The museum in downtown Los Angeles features thousands of works and offers free admission.
4. Patrick Soon-Shiong
Patrick Soon-Shiong is a trained surgeon who made his fortune founding and selling drug companies. He sold APP Pharmaceuticals for $4.6 billion in 2008 and Abraxis BioScience for $3.8 billion in 2010. Soon-Shiong now runs NantWorks, which is composed of healthcare, technology, and communications companies focusing on natural killer cells to better treat cancer. He bought the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Tribune for $500 million in June 2018.
Soon-Shiong is chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine. He heads Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, a coalition of support for his goal of creating vaccine-based immunotherapy for cancer by 2020. According to Forbes, Soon-Shiong's estimated net worth is $6.6 billion.