America was founded in 1776, but compared to other countries it is relatively young. Although, there has been plenty of time for family dynasties to arise with the help of the industrial revolution and the roaring '20s. This country went through so much change in such a short amount of time, but that innovation is what made people wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.
America was the land of opportunity and some people took their chances and ended up with more cash than they knew what to do with. We have identified some of these prestigious American families that shaped history. Keep reading to learn about the ten richest family dynasties in American History.
10 Lauren Family
You might know the Ralph Lauren clothing brand, but the family dynasty behind the name is even more impressive than their fashion line. Ralph worked for Brooks Brothers for a time, before deciding to create his own name with a line of neckties back in 1967.
The company's logo was created by a professional tennis player and now that is associated with his personal fortune of $5.41 billion. Only one of his children has continued with the company and Ralph Lauren himself has resigned but continues to help the community by funding cancer research programs.
9 Coppola Family
This family immigrated from Italy and became a flautist in the NBC Symphony in New York. They made their name in the film industry when Francis Ford Coppola, his son, directed The Godfather and Peggy Sue Got Married. He is estimated to be worth about $250 million, but that doesn't include the rest of his family's earnings.
Francis had his entire family involved in his career and life when he asked his father to compose music, and for his sister to become an actress in one of his films. Nicholas Cage is a part of this family and for three generations they have won an oscar for their roles in the entertainment industry.
8 Walton Family
This is the richest family in America, as they are the owners of the giant chain store called Wal-Mart. Their story began in 1962 when Sam Walton opened the doors of the first store and it is estimated they bring in a revenue of $500 billion every year.
It has also been estimated that the family is worth $163.2 billion which is more than any other family in the United States. Only one of his children sit on the board, but now the grandchildren have begun to take their place in the empire.
7 Mellon Family
The Mellon family is estimated to have a net worth of $11.5 billion and it all began when Thomas Mellon immigrated from Ireland back in 1818. He later became a judge and made smart investments in banking and real estate.
Andrew Mellon won the biggest pot of wealth with his investments in oil companies, and the family has been accruing companies in their portfolios ever since. This dynasty is still alive under the direction of Matthew Mellon who likes to focus on cryptocurrency startups.
6 Vanderbilt Family
This family gained their wealth through the railroad business which began back in 1810. He managed to accrue a good sum of wealth, but it declined over time until the start of the Gilded Age.
They managed to earn more, but their philanthropy kept their wealth at exactly what they had inherited. Their fortune is now gone as the ancestors squandered the wealth, which took a turn for the worst when Amtracks took the place of railroads in New York City in 1971. They were at one time worth $185 billion under Cornelius Vanderbilt, but times changed and took their wealth away.
5 Ford Family
This family's wealth began under the direction of Henry Ford, the man who founded the Ford Motor Company and built the first auto assembly line. He paved the way for industrialist policies like the minimum wage law and created the Model T in 1908. He was not only an inspiration, but he accrued a wealth that few could compare.
His net worth was estimated to be $199 billion, which is an astounding number even by today's standards. You can visit their only child's house in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to this day and experience the magic of living like a Ford.
4 Kennedy Family
This is a name anyone would recognize and part of it was due to their large family and history as presidential leaders. The family began with Joseph P. Kennedy in 1888 who went on to become an ambassador to Britain.
He amassed a wealth of millions which he passed on to his children, two of whom were John and Robert Kennedy. They have a history of untimely deaths in their family between assassinations, plane crashes, and skiing incidents. Their wealth has stayed strong despite these tragedies and at its highest point as equivalent to $3.29 billion.
3 Lauder Family
This is the only family dynasty that began under the direction of a woman. Estée Lauder started a company with her husband in 1946 that began with only four products. She helped the cosmetics industry reach new heights, and her company is now being run by third-generation family members. Their goal is to help people express their own sense o beauty through their products and it has been very lucrative for them with a $24.3 billion net worth for their entire family.
2 Carnegie Family
You have probably heard the name Andrew Carnegie, and that is because he was one of the wealthiest to come out of the Gilded Age. His wealth began when he took the first step to invest in the Pennsylvania Railroad, and from there, things only went up.
He began the Carnegie Steel Corporation and he made so much from his ventures, he gave much of it back through philanthropic ventures. The company was sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901 and from there Carnegie went on to give back to the community. His wealth was said to be somewhere in the ballpark of $309 billion in today's standards.
1 Rockefeller Family
John D. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870, which was what made him his large fortune. The company was forced to dissolve in 1911 after the supreme court found him guilty of violating anti-trust laws, but not before he made his money.
He monopolized the oil industry and became the focus of many Americans, and he spent his later years giving away his fortune through philanthropy. When he was at his peak, he was estimated to have amassed a wealth of $409 billion, which is unheard of in today's day and age.