34. Kentucky : B. Wayne Hughes
B. Wayne Hughes built a fortune storing other people’s excess stuff. He founded Public Storage in 1972 and turned it into the largest self-storage chain in the world, with 2,200 locations in the U.S. and Europe. He now serves as chairman emeritus. His billionaire daughter, Tamara Gustavson, is a board member and the company’s single largest shareholder. After the market collapse in 2009, real estate values fell while demand for rentals increased. To take advantage of the dislocation in the market, in 2011 Hughes joined with the Alaska Pension Fund and formed a publicly traded REIT called American Homes 4 Rent, to acquire, renovate and rent single-family homes.
He also founded ACE, a real estate management company with 62 mixed-use commercial properties across California and Hawaii, managed by his billionaire son Bradley Wayne Hughes, Jr. A lover of thoroughbred horse racing, he owns a farm in Livingston, Kentucky, with a stable of stallions that have sired championship horses.