(WGHP) — Out of every billionaire who made it onto the Forbes World’s Billionaires List of the richest people in 2023, four of them were from North Carolina.
James Goodnight (305) — $7.4 billion
James Goodnight is the co-founder of SAS, which is an analytics software firm. In 1976, Goodnight and John Sall (who you’ll see on this list soon) founded SAS. The two met at NC State University when Goodnight was a Ph.D. student.
He is now 80 and has been at the head of the company since it began as a software company to analyze agricultural data.
Goodnight lives in Cary. He and Sall founded Cary Academy together.
Tim Sweeney (580) — $4.7 billion
Tim Sweeney is the co-founder of Cary-based Epic Games and currently works as the CEO.
Epic Games is most well known for creating the hit game Fortnite, which has over 400 million players worldwide.
Sweeney, 50, initially founded the company as Potomac Computer Systems back in 1991 before releasing his first video game ZZT and transforming the company into Epic MegaGames Inc. the following year, according to Polygon.
While the company was founded in Maryland, Epic moved to Cary in 1999 at about the time when the name was simplified to Epic Games.
Some of Epic’s most popular titles include the aforementioned Fortnite and Gears of War.
John Sall (766) $3.7 billion
At this point of the story, you’ve already met the third richest man in North Carolina, Goodnight’s business partner and SAS co-founder John Sall.
Sall, 73, met Goodnight while studying graduate-level statistics at NC State University.
SAS has over 83,000 customers, including government agencies and banks.
Roy Carroll (1,027) — $2.9 billion
Roy Carroll, the richest person living in Greensboro, has been dubbed the “Guru of Greensboro” by Forbes magazine.
He is the founder and CEO of the Carroll Companies, which employs around 300 people.
The company buys land for cheap prices and develops the property into apartment complexes in the southeast.
The company is currently working on what Carroll described as the “largest development in Downtown Greensboro’s history.”
Billionaires less wealthy than before
Overall, the world’s richest people saw a downturn over the last year, according to Forbes.
Elon Musk, previously the richest person in the world, lost the number one spot to Bernard Arnault, who oversees the LVMH fashion empire that owns Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
Arnault is worth $211 billion, and Musk is worth $180 billion due to his costly acquisition of Twitter which caused Tesla’s stock to drop.
Rising interest rates along with falling stock prices saw the wealth of the world’s billionaires drop from $12.7 trillion in March 2022 to $12.2 trillion in March 2023.
Forbes counted 2,668 billionaires last year and 2,640 this year.