Of the roughly 7 billion people on the planet, 1,645 have earned dollar amounts topping the one billion mark. Of those, just over a thousand are “self-made,” meaning they did not inherit the majority of their wealth. And of that small percentage, only 13 are under 40 years old.
Don't worry – you won’t find the Justin Biebers, Paris Hiltons and other rich celebrities who make you question your work ethic and life accomplishments on this list. These young millionaires didn't inherit their fortunes or catch a lucky break, and have yet to reach the coveted and elite status of Billionaire. The billionaires on this list are the result of hard work, relentless ambition, street smarts and, likely, a lot of luck, too.
Notably missing from this year’s youngest billionaires lists are two of the most recognizable names in the tech business: Sergei Brin and Larry Page, who both turn 40 this year. However, not surprisingly, the majority of this list also made their fortunes in the tech industry, founding small startups that turned out to be gold mines. If you’ve seen The Social Network you can likely guess the names of at least 4 of these young billionaires, but you’ll find a fair mix of industries and nationalities in the list below:View article on one page
- Age: 39
As founder and CEO of Relativity Media, Ryan Kavanaugh has made a name for himself as the “Billion Dollar Producer.” After getting his start in Hollywood by funneling money from Wall St. to Universal and Sony before founding his own studio, Relativity. Throughout his career, he’s financed more than 200 films that earned a combined total of more than $17 billion. His “Moneyball” model of film finance involves producing a number of independent films that cost relatively nothing to produce (as far as Hollywood budgets go) – but that clean up at the box office. Recent hits that follow his unique financing model include Limitless, The Fighter, Mirror Mirror and Safe Haven.
Today, Kavanaugh enjoys the company of major movie stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper (who both helped throw his bachelor party) and a net worth of $1 billion.
- Age: 38
After coming from humble beginnings in Kiev, Jan Koum made headlines in 2014 when fellow tech entrepreneur (and self-made billionaire) Mark Zuckerberg bought his company, WhatsApp, for a record $19 billion. Today, Koum’s brainchild is the largest mobile messaging service on the planet and has more collective users than Skype and Snapchat combined. Koum himself has a net worth of $7.3 billion.
- Age: 37
In 2004, this self-made billionaire released his first video camera, a 35-mm waterproof film camera. That initial product made its way into surf shops all over the West Coast and even onto the home shopping network. But you're probably more familiar with his latest inventions – the GoPro camera series.
Woodman's beginnings were humble – his first prototypes were built in his bedroom with a drill and his mom’s old sewing machine, and he raised his first few dollars for the company by selling bead and shell belts out of the back of his VW van. Today, the company – and its CEO Nick Woodman – is valued at $3 billion.
- Age: 37
Of all the tech entrepreneurs on this list, Jack Dorsey may be the most talented – or the luckiest. In 2006, he founded his first billion-dollar startup, Twitter. Then, four years later he struck gold again with another billion-dollar idea – Square, the mobile payments company. Additionally, he continues to invest in up-and-coming startups, sits on the Board of Directors at The Walt Disney Company and is a certified masseur. His net worth is estimated at nearly $2 billion.