The first billionaire ever is thought to be Standard Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller back in 1916, or perhaps Henry Ford in 1925. Fast forward some 100 years to 2021: as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage, a record-breaking 660 people became billionaires globally, growing the previous year’s number by 30%. While the U.S. is home to the most billionaires out of any other country, Americans are somewhat split in their feelings on the billionaire class. According to Pew Research Center data, people in the U.S. became somewhat more critical of billionaires between 2020 and 2021. Although support for individual billionaires like Elon Musk or Bill Gates is relatively strong, many Americans view the ultra-rich—as a group rather than as individuals—negatively. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is projected to become the world’s first trillionaire by 2026.

The U.S.’s wealthiest billionaires are mostly concentrated within just a couple of industries: finance and investments, and technology. Other wealthy sectors include food and drink, fashion and retail, and media and entertainment. In order to determine who the most affluent Americans are, as well as how they reached their billionaire status, Stacker compiled a list of the richest billionaires that are residents of Illinois, using data from Forbes. Billionaires are ranked by net worth as of March 31. Forbes lists 24 billionaires in Illinois.

#20. Justin Ishbia
– Net worth: $1.6 billion (#1,877 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: private equity

#19. Carl Thoma
– Net worth: $1.6 billion (#1,824 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: investments

#18. Byron Trott
– Net worth: $1.7 billion (#1,718 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Winnetka, Illinois
– Source of wealth: investments

#17. Matthew Roszak
– Net worth: $1.8 billion (#1,682 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: cryptocurrency

#16. Jerry Reinsdorf
– Net worth: $1.8 billion (#1,656 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: sports teams

#15. Jennifer Pritzker
– Net worth: $2.0 billion (#1,503 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: hotels, investments

#14. Steven Sarowitz
– Net worth: $3.0 billion (#1,049 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Highland Park, Illinois
– Source of wealth: payroll software

#13. Sheldon Lavin
– Net worth: $3.0 billion (#1,041 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Highland Park, Illinois
– Source of wealth: meat processing

#12. Joseph Grendys
– Net worth: $3.2 billion (#961 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: poultry processing

#11. Penny Pritzker
– Net worth: $3.2 billion (#953 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: hotels, investments

#10. J.B. Pritzker
– Net worth: $3.6 billion (#851 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Springfield, Illinois
– Source of wealth: hotels, investments

#9. Eric Lefkofsky
– Net worth: $4.1 billion (#743 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Glencoe, Illinois
– Source of wealth: Groupon

#8. Mark Walter
– Net worth: $4.5 billion (#672 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: finance

#7. Ty Warner
– Net worth: $4.7 billion (#624 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Oak Brook, Illinois
– Source of wealth: plush toys, real estate

#6. Thomas Pritzker
– Net worth: $5.1 billion (#554 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: hotels, investments

#5. Neil Bluhm
– Net worth: $5.5 billion (#505 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: real estate

#4. Sam Zell
– Net worth: $5.9 billion (#457 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: real estate, private equity

#3. Joe Mansueto
– Net worth: $6.0 billion (#449 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: investment research

#2. Patrick Ryan
– Net worth: $8.1 billion (#294 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Winnetka, Illinois
– Source of wealth: insurance

#1. Ken Griffin
– Net worth: $28.4 billion (#52 wealthiest in the world)
– Residence: Chicago, Illinois
– Source of wealth: hedge funds

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