America has a long-held fascination for the lives of the uber-wealthy, especially for those who are born into it. Thanks to business magnates whose fortunes were established as early as the 19th century, you would think that their progeny would hardly have to lift a finger to access the millions and billions in their bank accounts.
But surprisingly, many heiresses have become successful in their own right, regardless of whether or not their moneyed upbringings helped them get there. From reality TV stars to fashion moguls, here are some of America’s richest heiresses.
One actress’s father has a billion-dollar company but doesn’t care to inherit a cent of it—not that she would need to!
Paris Hilton — Net Worth: $300 Million
Paris Hilton is an heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune founded by her great-grandfather, Conrad Hilton. Paris somewhat followed those footsteps when she licensed her name to an urban condominium development in Manila, Philippines that is home to the Azure Beach Club Paris Hilton.
As a businesswoman, Paris has proven herself an expert at self-promotion and merchandising. She has 19 product lines including perfumes, handbags, shoes and more, in addition to her work as a DJ, singer, and actress. Her business ventures earn her over $10 million a year and she is paid around $300k to make appearances at clubs and events.
Dylan Lauren — Net Worth: $4 Billion
Dylan Lauren is the daughter of fashion designer Ralph Lauren and despite being an heiress to her father’s fashion fortune, she has founded business ventures of her own. She created Dylan’s Candy Bar in 2001, something she was inspired to do since she was six years old after seeing Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Dylan’s Candy Bar has a number of shops throughout the country and touts itself as the "largest unique candy store in the world," based on Dylan’s desire to merge "fashion, art, and pop candy culture." She is married to hedge fund manager Paul Arrouet.
Another heiress coming up has also strayed from the family business and married another wealthy heir.
Olivia Wilde — Net Worth: $20 Million
Olivia Wilde is the daughter of successful parents: 60 Minutes producer and journalist Leslie Cockburn and journalist Andrew Cockburn. Though Olivia grew up well-to-do as a result of her parents’ careers, she decided not to follow in their footsteps and made her own fortune as an actress.
Olivia has starred in a number of films such as Tron: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens, The Lazarus Effect, and more but she is best known for her role as Remy "Thirteen" Hadley in the TV show House. In 2019, she made her directorial debut with the teen comedy Booksmart.
Scarlett Johansson — Net Worth: $140 Million
You may not think of Scarlett Johansson as an heiress but she actually grew up with some successful and talented parents. Her father Karsten Olaf Johansson was an architect, while her mother Melanie Sloan worked as a producer. Despite this, most of Scarlett’s fortune was likely earned by her own skills as an actress.
The proud owner of a Tony Award and a BAFTA, Johansson is best known for her roles in Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Ghost World. Johansson’s spotlight is still shining pretty bright and in recent years she is well-known for her role as Black Widow in the Avengers franchise.
Kyra Sedgwick — Net Worth: $16 Million
Kyra Sedgwick may be an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress but what many people don’t know is that she was born into wealth. Kyra is the daughter of educational therapist Patricia Rosenwald and venture capitalist Henry Dwight Sedgwick V.
Kyra began making a name for herself as an actress at 16 on Another World but is best known for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer. She has also starred in films such as 1995’s Something to Talk About. Sedgwick is married to actor Kevin Bacon, with whom she shares two children.
Amanda Hearst — Net Worth: $100 million
Amanda Hearst is the great-granddaughter of media mogul William Randolph Hearst. She is the daughter of New York socialite Anne Hearst, whose sister Patty was infamously kidnapped in 1974. Following in the family business, Amanda Hearst is an associate market editor at Marie Claire.
Amanda previously dropped out of college to pursue modeling but was convinced to go back to school and graduated from Fordham University in 2008. She is the founder of Friends of Finn, which focuses on preventing and stopping the inhumane treatment of dogs at puppy mills.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Net Worth: $200 Million
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the daughter of Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, who ran a commodities and shipping conglomerate known as Louis Dreyfus company. Her father’s company is valued in the billions but Julia has gone on record to say that she is not a wealthy heiress who is entitled to any of it. Not that she would need to.
Julia has made a name for herself as an actress, best known for her role as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld and Selina Meyer on Veep. Her ongoing career started in the early ’80s, so of course, within that time she has become successful in her own right.
Nicky Hilton — Net Worth: $20 Million
Nicky Hilton is an heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune, just like her older sister Paris. Hilton has primarily worked in fashion as a model but also as a designer, having launched her own clothing line in 2004. Throughout her career, she has supported causes such as Starlight Children’s Foundation, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Union Rescue Mission, and Race to Erase MS.
In 2015, Nicky married financier James Rothschild, a descendant of the wealthy Jewish Rothschild family of Western Europe. Together, the couple has two daughters, Lily and Theodora.
An heiress coming up on this list has also decided to pursue fashion after trying her hand at political science…
Lydia Hearst-Shaw — Net Worth: $28 Billion
Lydia Hearst is the daughter of Patty Hearst and therefore the great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst. The Hearst heiress became well-known as a model who was first "discovered" by photographer Steven Meisel in the early aughts. As a result, Lydia has been a cover girl for many international fashion magazines. She’s also walked the runway for fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi, Jeremy Scott, and more.
Lydia briefly wrote for Page Six but now runs her own lifestyle and fashion blog. She also became a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile.
Tinsely Mortimer — Net Worth: $28 Million
Tinsley Mortimer is a socialite and daughter of wealthy real-estate investor George Riley Mercer Jr., whose father founded Mercer Rug Cleansing in 1936. When she was just 18 years old, Mortimer eloped with Robert Livingston Mortimer of New York’s prominent Mortimer family.
On her own, Tinsley started out as an assistant at Vogue before going on to have her own line of handbags and clothes. She later became a beauty ambassador for Christian Dior. In recent years, Tinsley has been featured on reality shows such as High Society and The Real Housewives of New York City.
Ariana Rockefeller — Net Worth: $2.8 Billion
Ariana Rockefeller is the great-great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, who founded Standard Oil in the late 19th century. The Rockefeller family is one of the most prominent families in America but the oil heiress has managed to forge her own path.
After graduating from Columbia University with a bachelors degree in political science, Ariana briefly worked at the United Nations before she decided to pursue a career in fashion. In 2011, she launched her own fashion line and added a handbag range in 2015. Ariana previously served on the board of the David Rockefeller Fund and has chaired the New York Botanical Garden’s Winter Ball.
Coming up is an heiress who actually worked her way up in the family business and became chairman.
Carly Simon — Net Worth: $65 Million
Carly Simon is the daughter of Richard L. Simon, who co-founded the publishing company Simon & Schuster. Carly’s father was also a classical pianist who inspired her interest in music. She is well-known as a singer-songwriter who had a string of hits throughout the ’70s including "You’re So Vain," "Nobody Does It Better," and "Mockingbird."
Her self-titled debut album from 1971 earned her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, which included her first top-ten single, "That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be." Outside of music, Carly has written a number of children’s books and memoirs.
Teresa Heinz Kerry — Net Worth: $750 Million
Teresa Heinz Kerry is the widow of former U.S. Senator John Heinz, an heir to the H.J. Heinz Company. When John passed away in a plane crash in 1991, his wealth and duties with the Heinz Endowments were bequeathed to his widow. Teresa is now the Chair of Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Philanthropies.
In 1995, Teresa married former U.S. Senator John Kerry, who she knew for several years. Heinz is now known for her philanthropic work towards environmental programs and advocacy for women’s economic security.
Victoria Mars — Net Worth: $6.6 Billion
Victoria Mars is an heiress to Mars Inc., the candy and pet food conglomerate that was initially founded as a candy company by her great-grandfather Frank Mars in 1911. Mars Inc. is best known for candy such as Milky Way, M&Ms, and Skittles and is worth $35 billion. Victoria inherited her 8% stake in the company when her father Forrest Mars Jr. passed away in 2016.
Victoria has worked her way up in Mars, Inc. since 1978 and was eventually became the chairman. Forbes estimates that Victoria’s shares are valued at $5.9 billion as of 2018.
Coming up is someone who didn’t so much inherit money as she did her parents’ talent, but was prevented from following their footsteps until she finished school.
Patty Hearst — Net Worth: $28 Billion
Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of media magnate William Randolph Hearst. She made international headlines when she was kidnapped by an American terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, in 1974. Within the time she was taken, she became a wanted fugitive for the crimes she committed with the group but admitted she was assaulted and threatened with death while held captive.
Following her release from prison, Hearst released a memoir, Every Secret Thing, and was featured in a number of films and TV shows. She also has award-winning dogs that’ve competed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Kate Hudson — Net Worth: $80 Million
Kate Hudson didn’t need to inherit the wealth of her famous mother Goldie Hawn, since she has become successful in her own right. Like her mother, Kate became an actress and was most notable in films throughout the early aughts including Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Raising Helen, and The Skeleton Key.
Outside of acting, however, Kate has become a businesswoman, having co-founded Fabletics, a fitness brand and membership program. She has also released two books: Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body and Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition.
Dakota Johnson — Net Worth: $14 Million
Dakota Johnson is an heiress of Hollywood fortune as the daughter of two major actors: Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. As such, it’s not surprising that Dakota decided to become an actress herself. She made her film debut at age 10 in Crazy in Alabama, in which her mother starred, but was discouraged from pursuing acting until she finished high school.
After finishing school, Dakota started out in minor roles in The Social Network, 21 Jump Street, and The Five-Year Engagement, but didn’t get her big break until 2015 when she was cast as the lead in the Fifty Shades film franchise.
Similar to Dakota, another Hollywood heiress on this list pursued a career just like her mother’s and they were even in the same film franchise!
Brooke Shields — Net Worth: $25 Million
Brooke Shields is the daughter of businessman Frank Shields and model-actress Teri Shields. While her parents were likely wealthy in their heydey, what Shields mostly inherited from her mother was talent. Early on, Teri decided she wanted to cultivate Brooke’s career having her model as early as 11 months old.
She first gained acclaim at the age of 12 for her role in 1978’s Pretty Baby. Throughout her life, Brooke has been more known for her acting roles, particularly during the ’80s in films like The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love.
Billie Lourd — Net Worth: $25 Million
Billie Lourd is a Hollywood heiress, the daughter of Carrie Fisher and granddaughter of Debbie Reynolds. Her father is also talent agent Bryan Lourd. While Billie is likely the inheritor of her mother’s assets, she has begun working on her own self-earned fortune by following her mother’s footsteps and becoming an actress.
Billie’s acting career closely mirrors that of her mother Carrie, who was best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. Billie plays Lieutenant Connix in recent Star Wars films. Billie is also known for her roles in Scream Queens and American Horror Story.
Clare Bronfman — Net Worth: $500 Million
Clare Bronfman is the daughter of businessman and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman Sr., who was the former chairman of Seagram liquor. While her inheritance comes from the liquor industry, Clare has made a name for herself as a prominent equestrian.
Her equestrian career began at the age of 17 and she began competing at an elite level within three years. She has won two Grand Prix competitions during her career. In 2019, Clare pleaded guilty to conspiracy for her involvement in NXIVM, which came under government scrutiny for sex trafficking.
Aerin Lauder — Net Worth: $3 Billion
Folks who adore cosmetics might have heard of Aerin Lauder. She is the granddaughter of Joseph and Estee Lauder, co-founders of cosmetics brand, Estee Lauder. Aerin is a billionaire heiress, but also a businesswoman in her own right.
Aerin began working for the company while she was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. Years later, she’s now the director of style and image. On the side, she runs a luxury lifestyle brand called AERIN Beauty.
Tiffany Trump — Net Worth: $10 Million
Well before his presidency, Donald Trump was a wealthy businessman who earned a net worth of around $3.1 billion. Over the years, he had his fourth child, Tiffany Trump. Unlike her father, Tiffany didn’t choose to become a businesswoman. Instead, she first started out releasing music at the age of 17.
Her first single was "Like a Bird" in 2011. She put her music career on halt and started studying law at Georgetown University in D.C.
Nicole Richie — Net Worth: $10 Million
The last name Richie should ring so many bells, or at least lead you towards hitting a high note in the car during your commute to work. Nicole Richie is the adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie, so her money is long.
Nicole burst into the collective consciousness after starring alongside fellow heiress Paris Hilton in the reality series The Simple Life (2003). Ever since she’s become a Hollywood socialite, fashion designer, and author. She’ll keep those millions coming in.
Ally Hilfiger — Net Worth: $400 Million
Tommy Hilfiger, have you heard of it (him)? You know, the brand with the red, white, and blue colors and fresh designs; if not, maybe you should consider leaving that rock you’ve been living under. Tommy Hilfiger is a wildly popular brand and Ally Hilfiger is the daughter of the designer behind it all.
Ally starred in the MTV reality TV series Rich Girls in 2003. After one season, she left and started pursuing television production and writing.
Dorothy Wang — Net Worth: $3.7 Billion
Dorothy Wang is another reality star who’s father has enough money to end poverty in two states. Roger Wang is a real estate mogul that moved to America in the ’70s to pursue an MBA.
Not only did Dorothy star in the reality series, she also owns a jewelry line. Along the way she’s also become a philanthropist working very closely with UNICEF and Children’s Hospital. She’s doing positive things with the money she’s inherited.
Anne Hearst — Net Worth: $28 Billion
Add together socialite, philanthropist, and publishing and who do you get? You get heiress Anne Hearst, one of five daughters of Randolph Apperson Hearst. Anne is the contributing editor at Town & Country magazine.
She received her education at the Crystal Springs Uplands School and Regis College in Denver, Colorado. Her husband is Jay McInerney and they’ve been married since 2006. As of 2019, she has two children, including Amanda Hearst. This whole family has tons of cash…
Blue Ivy Carter — Net Worth: Undisclosed
Blue Ivy Carter came into this world having two of the most popular and successful musicians ever to do it. You’ve probably heard of Jay-Z or Beyonce. Their first child together was Blue Ivy and she’s already on her way to stardom.
Her mother says she’s born to entertain, and if you’ve caught her rare appearances on TV, you would agree. Blue Ivy’s parents have a combined net worth of over a billion, so we are sure she’s a wealthy heir in the making.
MacKenzie Bezos — Net Worth: $36.6 Billion
MacKenzie Bezos is the latest heir to make it on this list. After the divorce with the richest man in the world, she inherited a large sum of billions. That’s a ton of money to have fall in your lap.
Luckily, Bezos has a plan for at least half of it. In May 2019, she signed the Giving Pledge, which is her commitment to donating the minimum of half of that insane amount of fortune.
Laurene Powell Jobs — Net Worth: $20.9 Billion
After the great Steve Jobs passed away, the Motley Fool estimated his net worth at $11 billion. Now, we’re sure some of that went to his lovely wife Laurene Powell Jobs, the well-accomplished businesswoman.
Laurene is the founder and president of the Emerson Collective. Their main duty is to create solutions for issues in immigration and education reform. Wow, Jobs and her working together would have probably made the world a better place a faster rate then Laurene working without him now.
Elaine Marshall — Net Worth: $15.3 Billion
Elaine Marshall is the director at Koch Industries. After her husband passed away, she inherited a 15% stake in the company. Being a director of such a huge company that has a lot of properties must be tough.
Koch Industries handles a broad range of things like ethanol and oil production, chemical technology, and investing. That alone lets you know that they’re dealing with an insane amount of money because those avenues aren’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination.
Willow Smith — Net Worth: $4 Million
Willow Smith made a huge splash in the music realm when she released her single "Whip My Hair" in 2010. She had everyone throwing their head in every direction as it dominated the charts. These days, she still makes music, but also figures into the TV personality world along with her mother.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have a combined net worth of over $300 million, so one of these days, young Willow is going to come into a ton of money.
Ivanka Trump — Net Worth: $300 million
Another Trump daughter makes the list and this time, it’s Ivanka. Born in Manhattan, New York, she’s more than just the daughter of the president. Ivanka is also a fashion designer, author and the current advisor to the president.
In 2017 alone, Trump cashed in at least $12 million for her stake in Trump International Hotel, her fashion brand, and severance pay for leaving the Trump organization. Safe to say she’ll have access to large amounts of money for a pretty long time.
Nancy Walton Laurie — Net Worth: $6.0 Billion
Growing up in Versailles, Missouri, Nancy Walton Laurie met her future husband Bill Laurie. He has nothing to do with how she got her billions, but it’s nice to know she has time for love. Nancy is the daughter of Bud Walton, the business partner of Walmart founder Sam Walton.
If you aren’t aware, Walmart’s worth is threw the roof. She and her husband partake in a ton of philanthropy such as donating $25 million to the University of Missouri.
Ann Walton Kroenke — Net Worth: $7.0 Billion
Up next, another heir to the Walmart fortune. Seriously, between the whole family, they can buy an island and start their own country. They’re all loaded with an insane amount of money, its almost impossible to believe.
Not only does Ann Walton Kroenke have an overage of funds, her husband Stan Kroenke is the majority owner of the Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Rapids, Arsenal, and the Colorado Mammoth. We’re just waiting on them to start their own country.
Cindy McCain — Net Worth: $300 Million
Perhaps, her last name rings a bell. Cindy McCain is the businesswoman, humanitarian, philanthropist, and widow to the late Republican John McCain. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona to the wealthy beer distributor Jim Hensley.
After she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from USC, she went on to become a special education teacher. She married John in 1980, and he went on to get elected to the U.S. Congress two years after they wed.
Bella Hadid — Net Worth: $25 Million
Bella Hadid is an American supermodel and the daughter of Yolanda Hadid. Yolanda is a former model herself, but now acts as a television personality. Her net worth is at $45 million. Bella does pretty well on her own too with this whole modeling thing.
She reportedly earned $11k per hour at Australian Fashion Week in 2016. That’s some pretty nice compensation to have folks stare at you in high-end clothing. Modeling life is pretty lucrative.
Gigi Hadid — Net Worth: $29 Million
Barely beating her sister in net worth, Gigi Hadid enjoys the same career as a model. She’s currently a brand ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger, which is making both the brand and Hadid richer.
She started modeling when she was only two-years-old for Baby Guess. She’s always been in the spotlight not only because of modeling but thanks to her mother as well. You can count on Hadid to get featured in the highest-profile fashion shows.
North West — Net Worth: Undisclosed
North West is the first child from Hollywood super couple, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Kanye generated his wealth in fashion and music while Kim became a mogul in her own right. Together, their last reported combined net worth was $510 million. That was before reports revealed Kanye could be a billionaire pretty soon thanks to his Yeezy brand.
All that means is that North is going to be one of the wealthiest people on this planet soon enough.
Lynsi Snyder — Net Worth: $3.0 Billion
Californians might appreciate this woman a little more than others. Lynsi Snyder is a billionaire businesswoman. She’s the owner and heiress of the In-N-Out food chain. If people continue to sacrifice their precious time to wait in the long lines, we can see her being rich forever.
In 2012, she was the youngest female billionaire in America. On her 35th birthday, Snyder received control of the company’s stock, making her the sole owner of the beloved burger spot.
Susan Alice Buffett — Net Worth: At Least $300 Million
Any child of Warren Buffett doesn’t need to work for the rest of their life. Its that simple. Susan Alice Buffett does her fair share of charitable work and focuses largely on the Sherwood Foundation.
That foundation provides grants in public education, social justice, and human services with the intent of promoting welfare of at-risk children. You can also see her on the board of the Buffett Foundation and Girls, Inc. She has her hands full.