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24. North Carolina : James Goodnight

James-Goodnight

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The business analytics software of SAS, the creation of James Goodnight and fellow billionaire John Sall, is used by more than 70,000 companies, governments and universities across the globe. The company is a result of a project to analyze agricultural research at North Carolina State University, where Goodnight earned a Ph.D. in statistics. In 1976, the pair created SAS across the street from the university.

SAS is known for its worker-friendly programs, including a 35-hour workweek and onsite day care. Goodnight, who owns two-thirds of the company, has made education the focus of SAS’ philanthropy. Goodnight and Sall also own Prestonwood Country Club and the Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC. They founded private school Cary Academy.

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