In every state, there are some people who are significantly wealthier than the average earners in that location. In Virginia, the median annual household income is just under $65,000, which is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the incomes and net worth of some of the state’s wealthiest residents, as there are many multimillionaires and even billionaires who call Virginia their home. Here is a look at the 10 richest people in Virginia and how they accrued their wealth.
10. George Pedersen, $1 Billion
George Pederson co-founded ManTech International Corporation in 1968. He was a director of the company from when it was founded until 1979 when he then became the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He retained this position until 2020. From 1968 to 2018, Pedersen was the CEO of the company and was then the Executive Chairman from 2018 to 2020. He is also the Chairman Emeritus of the Company’s Board of Directors. In addition to his work at ManTech, Pedersen is on the board of directs for various public and private companies and also for several industry associations.
9. Steve Case, $1.5 Billion
Steve Case co-founded AOL in 1991, and he was the chairman and CEO of the company until 2003. He then started his own venture capital firm called Revolution, LLC. His company is based in McLean, Virginia. Case also controls large plots of land in Hawaii, which is his home state. As his fortune is under $1.55 billion, Steve Case did not make it onto the 2021 Forbes Top 400 list. However, his $1.5 billion is still impressive by any standards.
8. Michael Saylor, $2.3 Billion
Saylor studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on an Air Force ROTC scholarship, where he met Sanju K. Bansai. After graduating with a double major in aeronautics and astronautics, Saylor got a job with a consulting firm, as he was unable to become a pilot due to a medical condition. While he was with the consulting firm, he focused on computer simulation modeling for a software integration company. Saylor then moved to a different company, where he developed models to help companies anticipate changes in the market. In the early 1990s, he co-founded MicroStrategy with Bansai, and the company went public in 1998.
7. Gottwald Family, $3.1 Billion
Forbes lists the Gottwald family as the seventh-richest people in Virginia, as their accumulative net worth is $3.1 billion. Floyd Gottwald was the founder of Albermarle Paper Manufacturing. In 1962, he bought out Ethyl Gasoline Corporation for $190 million, which at that time was the largest buyout in history. Although Gottwald died in 1982, he left his family very rich people. His family still holds stakes in NewMarket Corporation, formerly Ethyl, and its two spin-off companies, Albermarle and Tredegar Industries.
6. William Conway Jr., $3.4 Billion
William Conway Jr. is one of the founding partners of The Carlyle Group, along with Daniel D’Anellio, also on this list of wealthy Virginians. The pair share the position of CEO of the company. Conway studied for his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth University and then earned his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago. He lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife. The couple has one son, William Elias Conway III, who ran in the 2020 Democratic primary election, and his father donated $10.5 million of his personal fortune to the unsuccessful campaign.
5. Winifred Johnson-Marquart, $3.6 Billion
Winifred Johnson-Marquart inherited her fortune as she is the greater-great granddaughter of the founder of S.C. Johnson Corp. However, she has also made a name for herself by becoming the President of the Johnson Family Foundation, which provides grants to spread social equality and to improve communities and education. Johnson-Marquart’s brother currently runs S.C. Johnson. Winifred Johnson-Marquart lives with her family in Virginia Beach.
4. Daniel D’Aniello, $3.8 Billion
Daniel D’Aneelio is the billionaire businessman who co-founded The Carlyle Group, of which he is the chairman. Now, D’Aniello’s net worth is a whopping $3.8 billion. However, life has not always been so good for the businessman. His mother raised him single-handedly, and he bagged groceries to help pay the bills. He then attended Syracuse on a scholarship before earning his M.B.A. at Harvard. His hard work and determination paid off and have put him in the financial situation he is in today.
3. Matthew Calkins, $4.1 Billion
Matthew Calkins founded his Virginia-based cloud computing and software development company, Appian, when he was 26. He is now the CEO of the company, which went public on Nasdaq in May 2017. Appian has 350 customers, and almost one-third of these are on the Forbes Global list of the largest companies in the world. An unusual fact about Matthew Calkins is that he plays and designs board games in his free time, and he has won the World Boardgaming Championships.
2. Pamela Mars-Wright, $11,5 Billion
Pamela Mars-Wright is the daughter of Forrest Mars Jr. and the niece of Jacqueline Mars. Previously, she was the chairman of the board of Mars Inc. However, she is now a supervisory board member of Heineken International, the Dutch brewing company, while also working as an ambassador to the Mars pet care division. When Mars-Wright’s father died in 2016, she inherited an eight percent stake in Mars, Inc. Mars-Wright is married to plant manager Lonnie Wright, and they have three children together.
1. Jacqueline Mars, $31.3 Billion
According to Patch, the richest person in Virginia is Jacqueline Mars, who has a net worth of $31.3 billion. Jacqueline Mars is the heiress to the Mars candy company fortune, along with her two brothers, John and Forest Jr. Although her two brothers also have the same wealth, Jacqueline Mars is the only one of the siblings living in Virginia, meaning she is the only one of the three on this list. She has been married twice and has three children.