Gov. Bill Haslam’s net worth is shown as declining by about $500 million in Forbes latest report on the world’s wealthiest people, but he is still deemed America’s richest holder of an elected office.
The Forbes 2016 review pegs the governor’s net worth as $1.6 billion, down from $2.1 billion in 2015. That puts him at 1,159 on the world’s richest list and 387 on the United States list, down from 1,006 worldwide and 327 nationally last year.
While the magazine says Haslam is still the nation’s wealthiest officeholder, he could lose that status if Donald Trump, currently frontrunner for the Republican nomination, is elected president. Trump is listed as having a net worth of $4.5 billion, No. 324 worldwide and 113th in the United States.
Trump has in the past disputed Forbes’ reporting, contending his net worth is higher. Haslam has consistently refused to discuss his financial status, based on part ownership of the Pilot Flying J chain of gas stations and truck stops.
The governor’s brother, James “Jimmy” Haslam III, CEO of Pilot Flying J, has a net worth of $2.3 billion in the 2016 rankings.
Ten Tennesseans made the current Forbes list, including the Haslam brothers.
Top Tennessean for wealth is Nashville’s Thomas Frist Jr., son of the founder of Hospital Corporation of America and largest shareholder in HCA Holdings Inc., with a net worth of $7.3 billion, according to Forbes.
Other Tennesseans listed are Martha Ingram of Nashville ($3.9 billion), Federal Express CEO Fredrick Smith of Memphis ($3.1 billion); Brad Kelly of Franklin ($2.2 billion); Jeffrey Lorberbaum of Chattanooga ($1.97 billion), Forrest Preston of Cleveland ($1.84 billion), Jon Yarbrough of Franklin ($1.64 billion), and Summerfield Johnston, Jr. of Chattanooga ($1.11 billion).
Note: The full Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people is HERE. A list of the ten Tennesseans is HERE. (click on the ‘continue’ option when you get there.) In both cases, there’s a brief description of the individual, his or her place in the rankings and such.
Here’s the paragraph on Bill Haslam:
Tennessee governor Bill Haslam is America’s richest elected official. Haslam, an heir to truck stop chain Pilot Flying J along with brother Jimmy, stepped down as the company’s president in 1999 and then ran Saks’ e-commerce business. It was on a bike ride with pal Bob Corker (then Chattanooga mayor, now U.S. senator) that Haslam first got the idea to run for office. He was elected Knoxville mayor in 2003, then earned a key to the governor’s mansion in 2010 and won reelection in a landslide. Over the years Haslam has fended off inquiries about his personal finances, especially after his first executive order as governor eliminated the state requirement that he and his top officials disclose their annual incomes.