42. Maine : Bill Alfond
Bill Alfond’s father traded Warren Buffett his Dexter Shoe Company in exchange for a chunk of Berkshire Hathaway stock in 1993, and the Alfonds have made a fortune from the rising value of those shares. Papa Alfond was a onetime factory worker who never went to college, Alfond bought an old shoe factory, started the Norrwock Shoe Company, and sold it for $1 million in 1944. Fourteen years later, he snatched up an old mill in Dexter, Maine and turned it into the Dexter Shoe Company.
Dexter eventually sold millions of boots and casual shoes a year, drawing Buffett’s interest. Alfond sold Dexter to Berkshire Hathaway in 1993 and focused on philanthropy in his later years, donating millions to universities and hospitals across the state of Maine before he died in 2007. Son Bill is one of four siblings who share the fortune.