Jeremy Jacobs Sr. is the only billionaire who the Buffalo Niagara region can truly call its own.
The Delaware North Cos. concessions magnate had a good year in 2016, with his net worth rising by an estimated $300 million to $4.3 billion. That was good enough to rank 402nd on a new list of the world's billionaires released Monday by Forbes magazine.
Jacobs is in elite company. Only 2,043 people in the entire world made the list of billionaires.
But he's still a relative pauper compared to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who topped the list with a net worth of $86 billion – 20 times more than Jacobs. Investor Warren Buffett, the chairman of The Buffalo News' parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, was second at $75.6 billion.
Frozen foods mogul Robert Rich Jr., who is well-known locally as the chairman of Rich Products Corp. and the owner of the Buffalo Bisons, also made the list, but the Buffalo Niagara region can't officially claim him as its own, since he is a legal resident of lower-tax Florida.
Rich was just a little behind Jacobs in the rankings, at No. 441, with a net worth of $4 billion. That's up $200 million from 2015.
Another Florida resident who is well-known in Buffalo, former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano, was No. 660 on the list, with a net worth of $3 billion, up from $2.9 billion in 2015.
Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres, was No. 427 on the Forbes list, with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion. Like Rich and Golisano, he is a resident of Florida.
M&T Bank CEO Robert G. Wilmers, who made the Bloomberg Billionaire index in January after the bank's stock jumped, did not make the annual estimate of net worth compiled by Forbes. Wilmers has since slipped off the Bloomberg list.
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