Inside The Richest Room In History

Twelve people worth $126 billion, all in the same room at the same time: Forbes, for the 30th anniversary of its 400-Richest-People list, invited a dozen billionaires and near-billionaires to meet in the Trustees Room of the New York Public Library.

"Even the most jaded among them," writes Forbes editor Randall Lane, "couldn't help but look around the Trustees Room and go 'wow.'"

The meeting was part of a larger Summit on Philanthropy, where 161 of the richest people in America met in June, at Forbes' invitation, to swap ideas on how they might best benefit humanity. The larger room where the 161 met was worth $250 billion, Lewis Dvorkin of Forbes says in an online editorial.

"The richest room ever assembled," he calls it.

A new generation of entrepreneurs has emerged, says Dvorkin, that wants to make "more than money." They want to make a difference.

The 400 list's top-10 richest this year include: Bill Gates at #1; Warren Buffett, #2; and Larry Ellison, #3; and the Koch brothers, Charles and David, at #4 and #5, respectively.

The net worth of the richest Americans rose 13 per cent in the past year to $1.7 trillion, Forbes said.

Oprah Winfrey kicked off the summit with a talk about her personal philanthropies. Warren Buffett then talked about his. After Buffett spoke, the group fanned out for breakout sessions on education, poverty, religion, medicine and the environment.

What the hat-check crew made in tips that day, we do not know.

Here's the top 10 richest people on the 30th anniversary Forbes 400 list:

1. Bill Gates, $66 billion 2. Warren Buffett, $46 billion 3. Larry Ellison, $41 billion 4. Charles Koch, $31 billion 5. David Koch, $31 billion 6. Christy Walton & family, $27.9 billion 7. Jim Walton, $26.8 billion 8. Alice Walton, $26.3 billion 9. S. Robson Walton, $26.1 billion 10. Michael Bloomberg, $25 billion

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