Until last year, Whitney MacMillan ranked as the richest person in Minnesota. The heir to the Cargill-MacMillan fortune and former CEO of Cargill was responsible for turning Cargil into the largest private company in America, spearheading changes that drove its annual revenue from $10 billion to $33 billion over the course of his first ten years at the top. By the time he died on March 11, 2020, he was worth $5.1 billion. As to who’s claimed his title of Minnesota’s wealthiest person, find out now as we rank the 10 richest people in Minnesota.
10. Marilyn Carlson Nelson – Net Worth: $1.1 billion
Together with her sister, Barbara Carlson Gage, Marilyn Carlson Nelson owns the travel and hospitality company, Carlson Inc. The business was founded by Nelson’s father, Curt Carlson, in 1938. Following his death in 1999, she took over as CEO and chairman. Her daughter, Diana Nelson, succeeded her in 2013. Outside of her activities with Carlon, Nelson is noted for her humanitarian work: in addition to receiving the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons from the White House, she was also named as an honoree of the Oslo Business for Peace Award for her work combating child trafficking. Her current net worth is $1.1 billion.
9. Barbara Carlson Gage – Net Worth: $1.1 billion
Along with her sister, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Barbara Carlson Gage owns Carlson Inc, a travel firm that operates over 1,340 hotels (including those within the Radisson, Country Inns & Suites portfolio) and the travel agency Carlson Wagonlit. Like her sister, Gage is known for her humanitarian work. She serves as co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation alongside Queen Silvia of Sweden, which was launched in 1999 to provide support to children and women at risk of sexual abuse and trafficking. As of 2021, she’s worth $1.1 billion.
8. Martha MacMillan – Net Worth: $1.1 billion
Martha MacMillian is one of the heirs to Cargill. The company, which was established by MacMillan’s great-great-grandfather, W.W. Cargill, in 1865, has grown from a single grain warehouse to the world’s largest agricultural business. Last year, the company generated $114.6 billion in sales across its food, agriculture, financial and industrial divisions. The MacMillan family owns around 90% of the business, earning 18% of its net profits in dividends. Her net worth is $1.1 billion.
7. Mark Davis Family – Net Worth: $1.7 billion
In 1943, Staley Davis founded what would go on to become Davisco foods. In 1972, his son Mark joined the company. After switching the company’s focus away from butter and on to cheese, Mark turned Davisco into one of the largest dairy companies in the country. Mark continued to manage the company until 2012, at which point he was succeeded by his son, Jon. Mark’s other children are also involved in the business. Together, they share a $1.7 billion fortune.
6. Stanley Hubbard – Net Worth: $1.9 Billion
Stanley Hubbard is the head of Hubbard Broadcasting, a television and radio broadcasting corporation based in St. Paul, Minnesota that operates 13 TV stations and 45 radio stations across the county. Hubbard joined the business (which was founded in 1925 by his father) at 17, starting as a prop person before being promoted to management. According to Wikipedia, Hubbard is a prolific Republican and Libertarian donor, and is believed to have contributed more than half a million dollars to Republican causes. His net worth is $1.9 billion.
5. William Austin – Net Worth: $2.2 billion
In 1970, William ‘Bill’ Austin handed over $13000 for a hearing aids parts shop. Over the following decades, he expanded the business into the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the U.S. According to his company bio, Austin has personally assisted five American Presidents, two Popes, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela with Starkey hearing aids. A noted philanthropist, he and his wife travel extensively with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a charity that runs dozens of hearing missions around the world each year. His net worth is $2.2 billion.
4. Glen Taylor – Net Worth: $2.9 billion
Glan Taylor is a true rags to riches success story. Born in 1941, he grew up as a poor farm boy in Springfield, Minnesota. To pay his way through college, he worked at Carlson Wedding Service, a print shop that made formal invitations. He continued working at the company after graduation. When company owner Bill Carson decided to retire in 1975, Taylor offered to buy out the company for $2 million, with the payments to be spread over 10 years. He then used the company as the launchpad for Taylor Corporation, a multinational printing and electronics company that today employs more than 15,000 employees across the US, India, Philippines, China, the UK, France, Mexico, and Canada. Taylor also owns stakes in the Timberwolves of the NBA, the Lynk of the WNBA, and the United FC soccer team. His net worth is estimated to be $2.9 billion.
3. Pohlad Family – Net Worth: $3.8 billion
The Pohlad family consists of brothers Bill, Bob and Jim Pohlad. As Forbes notes, together, they own and manage over 30 diverse Minneapolis-based businesses inherited from their father, Carl Pohlad. They also own the Minnesota Twins. Jim serves as the CEO of the Minnesota Twins and heads up the family’s real estate development and investment interests. Bob served as chairman and CEO of the family’s PepsiAmericas Inc. until it was acquired by PepsiCo. in 2010. He now manages the family’s automotive and real estate services companies. Bill heads up the entertainment businesses and the Pohlad Family Foundation. Their combined net worth is $3.8 billion.
2. Richard Schulze – Net Worth: $4.7 billion
In 1966, Richard Schulze opened a stereo equipment shop, Sound of Music. In 1983, he rebranded it as Best Buy, moved the emphasis to consumer electronics, and started expanding rapidly across the US. The chain now generates around $42.88 billion in revenue per year. Schulze stepped down as CEO in 2002 and as chairman in 2012, but continues to serve as its largest individual shareholder with an 11 percent stake.
1. Pauline MacMillan Keinath – Net Worth: $6 billion
With an estimated 13 percent stake, Pauline MacMillan Keinath is believed to be the largest shareholder of Cargill. The company, which was founded in 1865 by William Cargill, now ranks as the largest privately held company in the US. Following William’s death, the company went through a period of decline. John MacMillan, William’s son-in-law, took over the reins and launched a successful recovery. The Cargill/MacMillan family is now among the richest families in the world, owning an estimated 90 percent of the company’s shares. Although the exact wealth of the family is unknown (as the owners of a private company, they aren’t required to report their personal income), estimates put Keinath’s net worth at around $6 billion.