38. Louisiana : Tom Benson
Louisiana car salesman Tom Benson built his fortune by funneling his earnings into a steady procession of auto dealerships, local banks and sports teams. Benson’s biggest asset, the New Orleans Saints football club, is worth $1.1 billion; it is one of the NFL’s more profitable teams despite their small market, thanks in part to scoring favorable stadium rental rates in exchange for staying in the Super Dome through 2025.
Attendance for Benson’s NBA team, the New Orleans Pelicans, has been up lately as the club improves on the back of its brilliant young star, Anthony Davis. He also owns a 26-story office building that’s named for him and the city’s Fox affiliate.