Meet the Female Forbes Billionaires Who Made It On Their Own

Meg Whitman

The Forbes magazine annual list of the world's billionaires has always been scant of women, but 35 more women did join this year's record-length list of 1,426 global über-rich. They now number 138, or 9.7 percent of the total. Last year, they represented 8.5 percent of the list of 1,226 billionaires.

The world's richest women continue to be heiresses or inheritors of wealth, but every year there appear women who acquired their fortunes largely on their own.

The women in the top 40 are regulars to the list. They include Liliane Bettencourt of the L'Oreal clan, two Waltons -- relatives of Walmart Stores, Inc. (WMT) founder Sam Walton -- the widow Iris Fontbona of the Chilean copper mining giant Antofagasta, Australian mining magnate Georgina Rinehart and Jacqueline Mars of the candy giant Mars, Inc.; the latter two inherited their fortunes and responsibilities when their fathers passed away.

But three women joined the club this year without the help of a family empire or a massive inheritance. These three entrepreneurs join a small sub-set inside Forbes annual list of self-made women.

Take a look at the Forbes list of self-made women billionaires:

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

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Wait, what....but,but, you didn't build that!!

March 06 2013 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just saw a 20/20 show on tv about Zhang Xin and it stated she was in her late 40's; not 69 as you state above.

March 06 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply