The only Greek who is among the 400 richest Americans on the Forbes list is John Katsimatidis, born in Nisyros, a businessman, billionaire and host of his own radio show.
Forbes, which recently published a list of the 400 richest Americans for 2021, posted the following message:
“It has been a difficult year for many, but the good times have not ended for the richest people in our country. The wealth of the 400 richest Americans has grown 40% over the past year to $ 4.5 trillion. Almost all of them are richer than a year ago. “
On the prestigious list is the Greek John Katsimatidis, who from birth was named Yannis Katsimatidis – a 73-year-old businessman, whose fortune is estimated at $ 3.7 billion, occupies the 310th position. His assets include real estate companies, gas stations and the huge Gristedes supermarket chain in New York.
Katsimatidis was born in September 1948, and already in 1949 the family moved from the Greek Nisyros to New York. He spent his childhood in a small apartment located in Harlem. After graduating from high school, he entered New York University, combining his studies with a job as a clerk in a grocery store. Soon, Katsimatidis was given the opportunity to redeem part of it, and the young man parted with the university without regret – he was attracted by business.
In 1969, at the age of 21, he opened his own grocery store, and after 4 years owned ten Red Apple stores. Many years ago he said:
“I grew up in poverty, but I always dreamed of becoming Aristotle Onassis.”
And his business developed successfully and rapidly: Red Apple Group, a real estate company, owned shares worth about $ 2 billion in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. He soon founded the United Refining Company, a subsidiary of the Red Apple Group, and now has 400 gas stations in New York State alone. As well as a host of restaurants, the Hellenic Times, the Greek diaspora newspaper, and C&S Acquisition and Capital Air Express, which rent luxury jets.
In 2013, he tried to become mayor of New York, however, along with his beloved Republicans, he could not win the election. However, the 73-year-old businessman still leads an active life, communicates with local residents and airs his own radio show every Sunday. Not so long ago, he remarked, half-jokingly, half-seriously:
“I have a feeling that soon, in a few years, the New York City Hall, according to the custom popular among the Greeks, will break dishes.”
The Greeks will easily understand this statement – the next mayor may be of Greek origin. But back to the Forbes list. In its article, the publication pointedly notes the inertia of the richest people in the United States:
“Although the well-being of these 400 people has increased, unfortunately, their generosity has not increased accordingly.”
Dry numbers reveal the details:
the number of 400 Forbes members who donated more than 1/5 of their fortune fell from ten to eight last year; the number of those who donated less than 1% of their fortune increased from 127 to 156; the threshold for getting on the Forbes list, compared to last year, increased by $ 800 million and amounted to 2.9 billion.
44 newcomers have appeared on the Forbes list, including 29-year-old cryptocurrency businessman Sam Bankman-Fried, whose fortune is estimated at $ 22.5 billion. He also became the youngest among the listed moneybags.
In May, in the 35th revised list of the richest people on the planet for 2021 there were three Greeks:
Aristotle Mistakidis, position 1362, net worth $ 2.3 billion. Ivan Savvidis, position 1833, $ 1.7 billion. Bardis Vardinogiannis of Motor Oil, position 2141, with a net worth of $ 1.4 billion.
On the Forbes list, of course, is Filippos Niarchos, with a fortune of $ 2.8 billion, but he is among the billionaires in France, not Greece. The same is with Aristotle Mistakidis (Switzerland), who is at position 1262 with a fortune of $ 2.3 billion.
The total wealth of the richest people on Earth (with assets of over $ 1 billion) is $ 13.1 trillion. dollars, having increased by 5.1 trillion in just a year.