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Forbes list of 400 richest people includes 5 with WNY connections

Five people with ties to Western New York appear on the latest list of the 400 richest people in the nation.

Although Bill Gates tops the Forbes' list for the 18th year in a row with a fortune of $59 billion, he is followed by his friend Warren Buffett, with $39 billion. Buffett is chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns The Buffalo News, and he is the newspaper's chairman.

Others on the list with Western New York connections include Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres. Pegula, 60, of Boca Raton, Fla., a natural gas tycoon, is No. 114 on the list with a fortune listed at $3.1 billion.

Robert E. Rich Jr., 70, is at No. 200, with a fortune of $2.1 billion. The Islamorada, Fla., resident is chairman of Rich Products Corp. in Buffalo.

Jeremy Jacobs, 71, chairman of Buffalo-based Delaware North Cos. and owner of the Boston Bruins, is at No. 227 with a fortune of $1.9 billion.

Tom Golisano, 69, former owner of the Sabres, is at No. 312 with a fortune of $1.4 billion. The Naples, Fla., resident is chairman of Paychex.

Forbes said the combined wealth of the 400 people on this year's list is $1.5 trillion, with an average net worth of $3.8 billion. That amounts to a 12 percent increase from last year.

The magazine said 262 people on the list saw their fortunes grow, while 72 saw a decline.

This year, entrepreneurs dominate the list at an all-time high of 70 percent, Forbes said.

There were 42 women on the list, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey at No. 139, with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

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