The Billionaires Who Died In 2022

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A total of 26 billionaires died in the past year, including tycoons who made their fortunes in everything from real estate and hedge funds to orange juice and Red Bull.


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mutual fund magnate, an energy drink entrepreneur, and an eyewear mogul were among the 26 billionaires who died in 2022. That’s out of a total of 2,668 billionaires on Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires, published in April 2022.

Among the deceased are Edward “Ned” Johnson III, who led giant mutual fund firm Fidelity as CEO for nearly 40 years, Red Bull energy drink cofounder Dietrich Mateschitz and Julian Robertson, a hedge fund pioneer who founded Tiger Management in 1980.

Several of the billionaires who passed away had earned nicknames that encapsulated their entrepreneurship — including Brazil’s “Orange King” José Luis Cutrale, who founded an orange growing and exporting company, and Egyptian-born U.S. money manager Fayez Sarofim, who was known as “The Sphinx” for his inscrutable demeanor.

Nearly half of the billionaires who died this year were American citizens. Multiple billionaires from India, Austria, and France also passed away. Two of the deceased had net worths that topped $20 billion: Italy’s Leonardo Del Vecchio, whose eyewear empire included retailer Sunglass Hut and brands such as Ray-Bans, and Mateschitz, the founder of Red Bull.

Most of the billionaires were at least 80 years old including Robert Brockman, who was charged with masterminding the largest tax-evasion case in U.S. history but died before the case went to trial. Nine of them lived into their 90s. The youngest was South Korean gaming company founder Kim Jung-ju, who died at age 54 in February. “The deceased had been receiving treatment for depression, and we are sad that it seemed to have worsened recently,” his personal holding company, NXC, told a local news agency.

Here are the billionaires who died in 2022, in alphabetical order.

John Arrillaga

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $2.6 billion

Died: January 2022 at age 84

Arrigalla was a Silicon Valley real estate developer who, with business partner Richard “Dick” Peery, bought farmland in the 1960s and converted it into office parks. Tenants in their firm Peery Arrillaga’s buildings have included tech giants including Google and Intuit.

Arrillaga attended Stanford University on a basketball scholarship and later became a prolific donor. He made a $151 million pledge to the university in 2013, the largest gift from a living donor at the time. His family’s name appears on at least nine Stanford buildings, including the Frances Arrillaga Alumni Center and the Arrillaga Family Sports Center.

Read the full obituary here.

Alberto Bailleres

Citizenship: Mexico

Net worth at death: $8.6 billion

Died: February 2022 at age 90

Bailleres built his fortune by expanding his family’s mining empire, started by his father Raul in the 1930s. He chaired Industrias Penoles, Mexico’s second largest mining company, and also controlled department store chain Palacio de Hierro, insurance company Grupo Nacional Provincial and pension fund manager Grupo Profuturo.

The Mexican senate awarded Bailleres the Belisario Domínguez Medal, the highest distinction bestowed to a citizen, in 2015. At a press conference announcing his death, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said while the two men did not always see eye to eye, they maintained a respectful relationship for more than 20 years.

Bailleres was Mexico’s fourth richest person at the time of his death.

Read the full obituary here.

Rahul Bajaj

Citizenship: India

Net worth at death: $8.2 billion

Died: February 2022 at age 83

The grandson of Bajaj Group founder Jamnalal Bajaj, Rahul took over his family’s business in 1994. Under his leadership, the Bajaj Group grew into a conglomerate of 40 companies in sectors such as two-wheeled scooters, financial services and electrical appliances. He became chairman emeritus one year before his death.

Fellow auto billionaire Pawan Munjal, chairman and CEO of Hero MotorCorp, called Bajaj “one of the pioneer nation builders in modern India.”

Bajaj was a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament, and received the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

Read the full obituary here.

Pierre Bellon

Citizenship: France

Net worth at death: $4.2 billion

Died: January 2022 at age 92

Bellon founded catering company Sodexo in 1966, serving as chairman for 50 years until his daughter, Sophie, took over in 2016. Sodexo expanded internationally in 1971 and as of 2021 served 100 million people in 64 countries daily. Bellon is the author of two books: I’ve Had A Lot Of Fun: The Sodexo Story, published in 2006, and To Serve And To Grow, published in 2019.

Robert Brockman

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $4.7 billion

Died: August 2022 at age 81

Brockman amassed his fortune as a software engineer, serving as the chairman and CEO of Reynolds and Reynolds, which sells software and services to automotive dealerships. In October 2020, Brockman was charged with masterminding the largest tax-evasion case in U.S. history, accused of hiding some $2 billion in income from the IRS over two decades. Brockman denied the allegations. He died before the case went to trial. Brockman was also the seed funder for billionaire Robert F. Smith’s private equity firm Vista Equity Partners in 2000, with a $1 billion commitment.

José Luis Cutrale

Citizenship: Brazil

Net worth at death: $1.9 billion

Died: August 2022 at age 75

Known as Brazil’s “Orange King,” Cutrale founded orange grower and exporter Sucocítrico Cutrale with his father in 1967. The company grew to become an industry leader, serving clients including Minute Maid and Simply Orange. In 2015 Cutrale acquired banana producer Chiquita Brands International with fellow Brazilian billionaire Joseph Safra for $1.3 billion.

Read the full obituary here.

Leonardo Del Vecchio

Citizenship: Italy

Net worth at death: $24.8 billion

Died: June 2022 at age 87

Del Vecchio founded Luxottica, which became the world’s largest producer and retailer of sunglasses and prescription glasses, in 1961 as an eyewear workshop in a small Italian town. He grew up in Milan, one of five children, and was sent to an orphanage at age 7 by his mother, who could no longer afford to raise him. At age 25 he launched his eyewear workshop on a small piece of land offered by the government. Luxottica is now an industry leader, having acquired brands including Ray-Ban, Oakley and Sunglass Hut. Luxottica merged with French visual health giant Essilor to form EssilorLuxottica in 2018.

Read the full obituary here.

Clement Fayat

Citizenship: France

Net worth at death: $1.1 billion

Died: July 2022 at age 90

The son of a bricklayer, Fayat started his own civil engineering firm in 1957 at age 25. His construction firm, Fayat Group, was one of the largest privately held construction firms in France at the time of his death, with nearly $5 billion in annual revenues and more than 21,000 employees in 170 countries.

Fong Yun Wah

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Net worth at death: $2.3 billion

Died: January 2022 at age 97

Fong was the chairman of Hip Shing Hong Group, one of Hong Kong’s largest private real estate investment companies. He previously served as the vice president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and a director of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. He was Hong Kong’s 36th richest person in 2021.

Donald Foss

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $1.7 billion

Died: August 2022 at age 78

Foss launched subprime auto lender Credit Acceptance Corp in 1972 and led the company as CEO for three decades. He stepped down from the board of the company in 2017. Credit Acceptance was one of the first to offer loan programs that help dealers sell cars to customers with poor or no credit. Foss was one of the largest investors in retailer GameStop prior to the unlikely surge in its stock price in January 2021.

Allan Goldman

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $2.8 billion

Died: January 2022 at age 78

Goldman inherited part of an extensive New York City real estate fortune created by his father Sol Goldman, a prominent real estate investors in the 1970s and 1980s. The family’s Solil Management owns at least 400 properties in New York City, including retail and office space. Allan Goldman led the company as co-chair but stepped back several years before his death due to health issues. He and his three siblings each inherited a 25% stake in Solil Management after their father’s death in 1987.

David “Sandy” Gottesman

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $2.9 billion

Died: September 2022 at age 96

The billionaire investor, who went by “Sandy,” cofounded investment firm First Manhattan Co. in 1964. Much of his wealth came from his shares of longtime friend Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock. Buffett and Gottesman met in the early 1960s through mutual friends on Wall Street; they played golf together and had weekly conversations about stocks.

Gottesman’s First Manhattan Co. had more than $20 billion in assets under management at the time of his death.

Read the full obituary here.

Heidi Horten

Citizenship: Austria

Net worth at death: $2.9 billion

Died: June 2022 at age 81

Horten inherited a $1 billion fortune from her husband, Helmut Horten, who founded the German department store Horten AG in 1936. She was known for her notable and valuable art collection and became a sensation in the art world in 1996, when she spent $22 million at a single Sotheby’s auction. Horten died just days after she opened a private museum in Vienna, the Heidi Horten Collection, featuring her collection in what the museum called a “completely unexpected death.”

“I am proud, with my collection and the construction of the museum, to have created something lasting, which future generations will also be able to experience when they visit my museum and take joy in the art that has given me such joy for so long,” Horten said in a statement before her death.

Read the full obituary here.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Citizenship: India

Net worth at death: $5.8 billion

Died: August 2022 at age 62

Known as the Warren Buffett of India, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala started investing when he was in college with just $100. His biggest asset at the time of his death was watch and jewelry maker Titan Company. Jhunjhunwala’s portfolio also included longtime investments in Tata Motors and the ratings firm Crisil.

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted following Jhunjhunwala’s death.

Jhunjhunwala was a founder of and prolific donor to Ashoka University, a liberal arts school in Haryana, India, and also regularly contributed to the Agastya International Foundation, which provides science education to the poor.

Read the full obituary here.

Edward “Ned” Johnson III

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $10.1 billion

Died: March 2022 at age 91

Johnson led mutual fund firm Fidelity as CEO for nearly four decades, overseeing growth in managed assets from $3.9 billion in the early 1970s to $1.7 trillion in 2014, the year he stepped down. A family company, Fidelity was founded by his father, Edward Johnson II, in 1946 and is now led by Johnson’s daughter Abigail, who took over as CEO in 2014.

Johnson appeared on The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans annually starting in 1985; he was the 67th richest person in America when he died. His family’s charitable foundation, the Edward C. Johnson Fund, has given away nearly $1 billion since 2000.

Read the full obituary here.

Kim Jung-ju

Citizenship: South Korea

Net worth at death: $10.9 billion

Died: February 2022 at age 54

Kim, who went by the name Jay, founded South Korean online-gaming company Nexon in 1994 and was chairman of its holding company NXC. He achieved billionaire status in 2011 and rose through the ranks to become South Korea’s third-richest person in 2021.

Nexon developed the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG
RPG
), The Kingdom of the Winds, in 1996. One of the company’s best known games, MapleStory, launched in 2003 and has amassed more than 180 million registered users worldwide.

Read the full obituary here.

Herbert Kohler Jr.

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $8.8 billion

Died: September 2022 at age 83

Kohler Jr. ran his family company, Wisconsin-based plumbing fixture manufacturer Kohler, as CEO for 43 years. After stepping down as CEO in 2015, he served as executive chairman until his death. Kohler’s grandfather founded the company in 1873 to manufacture hitching posts and farm tools. In 2021, the company generated more than $7 billion in revenues, selling furniture, tiles, engines, generators and the toilets and faucets it is best known for.

Rudy Ma

Citizenship: Taiwan

Net worth at death: $3.3 billion

Died: October 2022 at age 82

Ranked Taiwan’s 15th richest person before his death, Ma was the founder of financial services company Yuanta Financial Holdings. Ma helped run his family’s building materials shop and worked with a steel firm and a glass manufacturer before taking over Yuanta’s predecessor company in 1986. He expanded his business through acquisitions to create Yuanta Financial Holdings in 2007. In 2014 Ma was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in a breach of trust case, but he hadn’t been jailed due to a diagnosis of dementia.

Read the full obituary here.

Dietrich Mateschitz

Citizenship: Austria

Net worth at death: $20.2 billion

Died: October 2022 at age 78

Mateschitz cofounded Red Bull in 1987, revolutionizing the energy drink market in the western world. He first discovered energy drinks while on a trip to Asia in 1980 as a marketing executive for a German consumer products firm. He soon partnered with Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya, adding carbonation to the Asian energy drinks Chaleo already made to create Red Bull.

Red Bull spent heavily on advertising campaigns that linked its energy drink with adventure sports and fast living. In 2021, Red Bull had $8 billion in revenue and sold 9.8 billion cans. Mateschitz was the 71st richest person in the world at the time of his death.

“When we first started, we said there is no existing market for Red Bull. But Red Bull will create it,” Mateschitz told Forbes in 2005. “And this is what finally became true.”

Read the full obituary here.

Pallonji Mistry

Citizenship: India

Net worth at death: $15 billion

Died: June 2022 at age 93

Mistry chaired the Shapoorji Pallonji group, an engineering and construction giant that built landmarks including the Reserve Bank of India building in Mumbai and the palace of the Sultan of Oman. He joined his family’s construction company at age 18 in 1947 and took charge of the business after his father’s death in 1975. Under Mistry’s leadership, his company expanded to projects in Africa, including the president’s office in Ghana. Much of Mistry’s fortune came from being the single largest shareholder with an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons, the holding outfit of the Tata group.

Read the full obituary here.

Michael Price

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $1.3 billion

Died: March 2022 at age 70

Price, a well known value investor, ran the hedge fund MFP Investors. He started his career in finance as a research assistant at Heine Securities in 1975 and bought the company after Michael Heine died in 1988. He sold Heine Securities to Franklin Securities for $670 million in 1996 and stayed on as chairman of Franklin Securities until 2001.

Julian Robertson

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $4.8 billion

Died: August 2022 at age 90

A pioneer of the modern day hedge fund industry, Robertson founded Tiger Management in 1980. He closed the firm after a successful 20-year run and seeded notable hedge funds, known as Tiger Cubs, including Chase Coleman’s Tiger Global, Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management and Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital.

Before launching his hedge fund career, Robertson spent two years serving in the Navy and 21 years at investment bank Kidder Peabody. He also dabbled in writing, spending a year in New Zealand in 1978 to author an autobiographical novel he never published. Robertson was a prolific philanthropist and donated more than $1.4 billion to causes including medical research and environmental protection.

Read the full obituary here.

Vito Rodriguez Rodriguez

Citizenship: Peru

Net worth at death: $1.3 billion

Died: June 2022 at age 83

Rodriguez and his brother Jorge founded Jose Rodríguez Banda SA in 1967, a transport company that served mining firms. The brothers owned evaporated milk producer Gloria SA and had stakes in other food companies in countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.

Lily Safra

Citizenship: Monaco

Net worth at death: $1.3 billion

Died: July 2022 at age 87

Safra chaired the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, named for her late husband, which says it donates to organizations supporting education, science and medicine, religion and humanitarian relief in 40 countries. Safra inherited her fortune from Edmond Safra, her banker husband who died in a fire in 1999 in their apartment in Monaco.

Born in Brazil to Jewish immigrants to South America, Safra moved to Uruguay at age 17 before soon returning to Brazil. Edmond and Lily owned homes in Geneva, London, Paris, New York and Monaco.

Read the full obituary here.

Fayez Sarofim

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $1.5 billion

Died: May 2022 at age 93

A native Egyptian nicknamed “The Sphinx” for his calm, inscrutable demeanor, Sarofim immigrated to the U.S. in 1946, studying at UC Berkeley and Harvard before entering finance. He launched money management firm Fayez Sarofim & Co. in 1958 with just $100,000; by 1969, he had more than 400 clients and $1.2 billion under management, and had adopted Houston as his hometown. Sarofim made his first appearance on The Forbes 400 in 1987. Fayez Sarofim & Co.’s assets under management now top $30 billion under the leadership of his son, Christopher Sarofim.

“I’ve always claimed it took someone from abroad to recognize the true potential in this country,” Sarofim told Forbes in 1969.

Read the full obituary here.

Robert Toll

Citizenship: U.S.

Net worth at death: $1.3 billion

Died: October 2022 at age 81

With his brother Bruce, Robert Toll cofounded luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers in 1967. His company was known for building “McMansions,” which reshaped suburbs across the country. Toll led the company as CEO until 2010 and remained executive chairman until 2018. He was the company’s largest individual shareholder.



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