The brilliant minds behind some of America’s top brands have established a lot more than just a lucrative business. As the fortune gets handed down from generation to generation, wealthy families gain power and prestige that draws parallels to royalty. Just look at Anderson Cooper, whose Vanderbilt bloodline goes back to one of the wealthiest men in American history. Some heirs delve right into the family business, like Abigail Johnson of Fidelity. Others seized the opportunity to chase their own passions, like entrepreneur Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren. Read on for more heirs to famous American brands.
Carly Simon’s Father Co-Founded Simon & Schuster
As many times as you’ve heard “You’re So Vain,” you may still have never put together that singer Carly Simon’s father co-founded the famous Simon & Schuster publishing company! The song is even about the wealthy businessman!
Carly’s father, Richard L. Simon, started the publishing house in 1924 alongside M. Lincoln Schuster, and it is now worth over a billion dollars. Carly did so well for herself with Gold-certified singles like “Mockingbird” that she didn’t live under that shadow of her family name. She did carry on the publishing tradition by becoming a children’s book author.
Balthazar Getty’s Father Was Held For Ransom
The name “Getty” has a familiar ring to it because the family members have been American socialites for more than a century. It all started with George Franklin Getty, an oilman who helped his son, Jean Paul Getty, establish Getty Oil in 1916.
One of Jean’s grandchildren, John Paul Getty III, was abducted and held for ransom in 1973; this was Balthazar’s father. Understandably, Balthazar grew up with mixed emotions surrounding his family’s wealth, something he deems the “Bread of Shame.” Balthazar combated these feelings by establishing a career of his own as an actor.
Armie Hammer Has An Oil Tycoon Grandfather
Armie Hammer had some personal experience to draw from when portraying the affluent Winklevoss twins in The Social Network. The actor’s great-grandfather and namesake, Armand Hammer, was the founder of the energy and gas corporation Occidental Petroleum.
Armand passed in 1990 at the age of 92, leaving behind his $800 million fortune to his only son, Julian Armand Hammer. Julian also had only one son, Michael Hammer, and that is Armie Hammer’s father. Unlike his ancestors, Armie has a sibling to split his inheritance with: a brother named Viktor.
Chevy Chase’s Mother Was Adopted Into The Crane Family
Chevy Chase emerged as a noteworthy actor in the National Lampoon movies and as a Saturday Night Live cast member. You may be shocked to hear that his fame began long before his comedy days. Chevy’s mother, Cathalene Parker, was adopted by her stepfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane.
Not to be confused with Cornelius Vanderbilt of the Vanderbilt family, Chevy’s adoptive grandfather came from the Crane family. Cornelius’ grandfather founded the industrial products company Crane Co., establishing a fortune that led to Chevy having a charmed upbringing before building his own career.
Paris Hilton’s Grandfather Pledged 97% Of His Worth To Charity
It’s no secret that Paris Hilton’s family established the famous Hilton Hotels. Her great-grandfather, Conrad Hilton, was the company’s founder and has since left the estate to his children. One of those children is Paris Hilton’s grandfather, Barron Hilton.
In 2007, Barron announced that he would be leaving 97% of his $2.3 billion fortune to charity, which means Paris won’t be inheriting as much as she could have. Being that Paris is a famous media personality with a net worth of $300 million, we’re sure she’ll be fine.
Travis Knight Is The Heir To Nike
Travis Knight is the son of Phil Knight, the mastermind behind the brand Nike. Though Travis has a career of his own, he also holds 38 million shares of Nike stock. Considering Nike is valued at almost $30 billion, Travis stands to inherit quite a bit from his father’s company.
Travis is much more than just the son of the Nike founder. He is a filmmaker and animator who works at Laika Studios. He directed the stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings and the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee.
Eve Jobs Is The Apple Founder’s Youngest
Eve Jobs is the youngest of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ four children. Though Steve Jobs reportedly had a net worth of $7 billion when he passed in 2011, the family’s net worth has managed to climb to a staggering $20 billion in the years since.
Steve’s wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, inherited his fortune when he passed, so how much of the estate the children have seen thus far is still unknown. We do know that Eve attends the prestigious Stanford University and is regarded for her equestrian skills. Best of all, she sometimes competes against Bill Gates’ daughter, Jennifer Gates.
Anderson Cooper’s Family Is The Famous Vanderbilts
Anderson Cooper is one of the few heirs whose occupation and name don’t make it immediately obvious who his famous family is. As it turns out, his mother is Gloria Vanderbilt, making Anderson a member of one of the most famous families in American history.
His great-great-great-great-grandfather was Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the richest Americans in history who built his wealth from the railroad system in the 1800s. Hundreds of years later, the family fortune is still flowing. Anderson is said to have inherited most of his mother’s $200 million estate!
Alexa Dell’s Father Is The Man Behind Dell Technologies
Alexa Dell is one of four children of the famous Michael Dell, CEO and founder of Dell Technologies. Alexa has made a name for herself as a business and brand development strategist. Between her career, her famous father, and her millionaire real estate investor husband, Alexa has managed to secure a spot on the wealthiest people in America list.
She’s worth a whopping $28 billion, which is noted by the designer brands that she dotes on her Instagram page and the $3 million engagement ring her husband proposed with.
Ann Walton Kroenke’s Father Founded Walmart
Walmart is one of the most well-known stores around, boasting the best deals on a wide array of products. The megastore dates back to 1962 when a man named Sam Walton founded the first store in Arkansas. That man was the father of Ann Walton Kroenke, who inherited half of his stake when he passed in 1995.
The other half went to Ann’s sister, meaning that they both inherited a hefty amount. Since then, Ann’s net worth has been estimated to be $6.6 billion! To top it off, Ann’s husband is real estate billionaire Stan Kroenke.
Snyder’s Inheritence Made Her One Of The Youngest Billionaires
Lynsi Snyder was already well off upon receiving the first half of her inheritance at the age of 30. On her 35th birthday, she became one of the world’s youngest billionaires when the second half of her inheritance brought her net worth to almost $3 billion!
What could this inheritance be from, you might ask? The answer is none other than In-N-Out, a burger chain that Lynsi’s grandparents opened in 1948. Lynsi is the founders’ only grandchild and now owns the business, wich is valued at over $1 billion!
Victoria B. Mars Has An 8% Stake In Mars Inc.
It’s not difficult to discern what brand Victoria B. Mars’ family started given her famous last name. Her great-grandfather started Mars Inc., known for being the company behind such big-name candies like M&Ms, Skittles, and Milky Way.
Victoria served on the company’s board of directors before becoming its chairman in 2014. In 2016, she became a billionaire when she inherited an 8% stake in the company. Her estimated net worth it now more than $7 billion!
Ariana Rockefeller Comes From Standard Oil Money
Ariana Rockefeller comes from a long lineage of heirs. Her great-great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, founded Standard Oil in 1870. The company was the largest of its time and closed its doors in 1911 after being deemed an illegal monopoly.
John’s grandson and Ariana’s grandfather, David Rockefeller Sr., served as the chairman of Chase Manhattan Corporation. Ariana has now carried on the family legacy by starting her own Manhattan fashion line. Between her business and that of her family, Ariana has managed to secure a net worth of $2.8 billion.
Abigail Johnson Has More Stake In Fidelity Than Her Siblings Do
If you thought there was tension between you and your siblings, just imagine only having a 5% stake in the family business compare to your sister’s 24.5%. That’s the case with Abigail Johnson and her two siblings when it comes to Fidelity Investments.
To be fair, Abigail is the one who took over for their father as CEO and is also the company’s president. It was her grandfather, Edward C. Johnson II, who founded the business that ultimately resulted in Abigail’s $16 billion net worth.
Megan Ellison’s Father Founded Oracle
Megan Ellison is the daughter of Larry Ellison the founder and CEO of Oracle, who has a net worth of over $66 billion. The computer software company is worth over $108 billion. Larry also has a massive stake in NetSuite, a company estimated at over $300 billion.
As a result, Megan not only inherited 900,000 shares of Oracle stock but also 3 million shares of NetSuite stock, to be shared with her brother, David Ellison. Megan also founded the film production company Annapurna Pictures, which has backed major films such as Her and Zero Dark Thirty.
Ally Hilfiger Followed In Her Father’s Fashion Footsteps
Ally Hilfiger is the daughter of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, the man who turned his fashion chain store into a famous luxury brand. Tommy sold his company in 2006 for $1.6 billion, though his estimated net worth today is closer to half a billion.
Ally has followed in her father’s business-minded footsteps, working as a television producer and designer. She produced and starred in the show Rich Girls, heads the clothing line NAHM, and has written a book about her experience conquering Lyme disease.
Dylan Lauren Is Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren’s Daughter
Dylan Lauren gets her famous last name from her father, fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Thanks to Ralph Lauren Corporation, Dylan is in a place to inherit a large fortune when her father passes, though she’s done well for herself without the financial boost.
Dylan attached her name to her own business, Dylan’s Candy Bar. The New York shop is said to be the largest in America, and has contributed to her $50 million net worth. Meanwhile, her father’s net worth is a staggering $6.3 billion!
Aerin Lauder Works For Her Grandmother’s Company
Though some heirs may wish to sit back and collect their inheritance, others, like Aerin Lauder, dive right in to the family business. Her grandmother is Estée Lauder, founder of the famous cosmetics brand.
Aerin is the company’s style and image director, and she also has her own brand, AERIN beauty, and has a net worth of over $2 billion. Her sister, Jane, also followed in their grandmother’s footsteps, working as the global brand director for Clinique. Both sisters stand to inherit a fortune from the Estée Lauder empire.
James Murdoch’s Father Founded News Corporation
James Murdoch’s father is the legendary Rupert Murdoch, the founder of News Corporation. The media group was the fourth-largest of its kind and thus had to split into two separate entities– one for media (renamed 21st Century Fox), and the other for publishing (News Corp.)
Upon the split, James became the CEO of his father’s 21st Century Fox. To top it off, James became a Tesla board member, bringing his net worth to half a billion, which is sure to skyrocket upon his inheritance.
Peter Brant Jr.’s Father Started White Birch Paper Company
Peter Brant Jr. gets more than just his name from his father. Peter’s father and grandfather together co-founded a paper conversion company, which became White Birch Paper Company in 2008. The same year, Peter Sr. managed to gain control of 22% of the North American newsprint market.
Peter Jr. combined his career as a model with his family’s business savvy to create a unisex line for MAC Cosmetics. He paired up with his brother, Harry, to form the collection. Even as a college student, Peter Jr. is already worth $2 million.