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The idea of the Forbes 400 comes from the famous list of elites conceived by theMrs. Astor (Mrs. William Backhouse Astor) in the 19th century. In 1982 Malcolm Forbes, publisher of the family-founded Forbesmagazine, started an annual ranking of the 400 richest Americans. Drawing on extensive interviews with those who have graced this listing in the past as well as using new firsthand accounts, this book provides fascinating insights into "how the Forbes 400 make and spend their fortunes." The text is enhanced by 102 interesting and often humorous sidebars and an alphabetically organized appendix that lists all Forbes 400 members past and present, including each member's number of years on the list, year of highest net worth, and peak net worth. The 2006 Forbes 400 contains only billionaires, with Bill Gates at the top. The common characteristic among these individuals is an undying focus on succeeding. Their determination is inspiring as well as contagious, and public library audiences, business historians, and fellow Forbes 400 members will delight in reading about the various methods these people employed to achieve wealth.