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Penn ranks No. 2 in Forbes’ 2021 list with most billionaire alumni

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Penn’s total billionaire alumni net worth is $284.8 billion, which counts for around $3 billion less than Princeton University’s 11 billionaire alumni net worth.
At least half of Penn’s billionaire alumni attended the prestigious Wharton School as undergraduates. The Philadelphia institution served as a springboard for two:

  • Elon Musk, whose investments in Tesla and SpaceX propelled him to the number 2 spot on the World’s Billionaires list, and
  • Former President Donald Trump

On the other hand, the list welcomed two new names on the list.

  • Lance Gokongwei, CEO of Filipino conglomerate JG Summit, and
  • Venture investor Gary Lauder, whose fortune originates from his grandmother’s cosmetics firm Estée Lauder.

Elon Musk accounts for half of Penn’s total billionaire alumni

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and a Wharton alumnus, is single-handedly worth $156 billion, accounting for more than half of Penn’s total billionaire alumni net worth. Musk has been the world’s second-richest person in 2021, in close competition with Princeton graduate Jeff Bezos. Musk has entered the top ten of the world’s wealthiest persons for the first time in 2021, with his net worth increasing by more than $126 billion since the start of 2020, as shares of Tesla stock rose throughout the pandemic. He briefly became the world’s richest person in January 2021, slightly under $190 billion net worth.
Whereas Donald Trump, the former President of the United States and a 1968 Wharton graduate, was one of the Penn billionaires, with a net worth of $2.4 billion. Trump’s net worth has dropped about $700 million during his presidency, as the January 6 Capitol insurgency and COVID-19 pandemic reduced the value of his corporate ventures.

Two new featured names on the list

This year, 493 people have become billionaires, including two Penn graduates: Lance Gokongwei, the CEO of Filipino conglomerate JG Summit Holdings with a net worth of $1.2 billion, and Gary Lauder, a 1984 College and Wharton alumnus with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Estée Lauder is the source of most of Lauder’s wealth, who hails from the Lauder family, after whom The Lauder Institute and Lauder College House are named.

Philanthropist Jobs ranks down this year.

Laurene Powell Jobs, a 1985 College and Wharton graduate, is the 2021 graduation speaker at Penn and has a net fortune of $19 billion via investments in Apple and Disney. According to real-time Forbes billionaire data from 2019, Jobs once topped Penn’s list of billionaire alumni before Musk’s enterprises rocketed in value.

The list, which has been published annually since 1987, includes individuals from all around the world whose fortune is either inherited or self-made, excluding royalty and government officials.


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