The Wealthiest Billionaires From Illinois

Like many major states, Illinois is not short of wealthy billionaires. From start-up founders to inventors and wealthy families, Illinois has some seriously wealthy individuals. The list below states Illinois’s wealthiest residents as well as how they earned their money. Here are the top 5 wealthiest people from Illinois:

  1. Lukas Walton: $24.2 billion (grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton) – Lukas Walton’s wealth comes from his inheritance of shares in Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. The shares are controlled through his family’s trusts and holding companies, and he is credited with a significant portion of his late father’s (John T. Walton) share of the company.
  2. Patrick Ryan: $10.1 billion (CEO and founder of Ryan Specialty Group) – Patrick Ryan built his wealth through the insurance industry. In 1960, he co-founded Ryan Insurance Group (now known as Aon Corporation) Under Ryan’s leadership, Aon grew from a small startup to a global corporation, with offices in more than 120 countries and over 50,000 employees.
  3. Neil Bluhm: $6.3 billion (owner of iconic Chicago properties like 900 North Michigan Ave.) – Neil Bluhm, a real estate mogul and casino magnate, has amassed his wealth through various entrepreneurial endeavors. Later on, in the 1990s, Bluhm branched out into the casino industry, co-founding Rush Street Gaming, which owns and operates several successful casinos in multiple states.
  4. Mark Walter: $5.7 billion (CEO of investment firm Guggenheim Partners) – Mark Walter, the co-founder of BlueCrest Capital Management, has made his billions through his impressive investment acumen and strategic business choices. His career began in 1992, when he co-founded BlueCrest with several colleagues from JPMorgan, where he worked as an attorney and loan officer. From there, he quickly rose to prominence as a savvy investor with a keen eye for lucrative opportunities.
  5. Ty Warner: $5.7 billion (creator of Beanie Babies) – Ty Warner, creator of the infamous Beanie Babies plush toys, made his billions through a combination of shrewd business decisions, clever marketing, and, of course, those irresistibly cute stuffed animals. The Beanie Babies craze of the 1990s was no joke – at the height of their popularity, people were spending hundreds of dollars on just one toy, and Warner was at the forefront of it all.

Several other notable names appear on the full list, including:

  • Joe Mansueto: $5.6 billion (founder of Morningstar, an independent investment research firm) – Mansueto started Morningstar in 1984 with just $80,000 of his own savings, providing independent investment research to individual investors. He quickly grew the company to become one of the most trusted sources for investment information, helping individuals and businesses make better financial decisions.
  • Thomas Pritzker: $5.6 billion (hyatt hotels) – Thomas Pritzker is a member of the Pritzker family, which is a powerful and wealthy family in the United States, known for their investments in various industries including real estate, hotels, and technology. The Pritzker family’s wealth is largely due to their investments in Hyatt Hotels, which they founded and grew into a global hospitality chain.
  • Elizabeth Uihlein: $4.9 billion (packaging materials) – Elizabeth Uihlein, along with her husband Richard Uihlein, has amassed a fortune as co-founder of Uline, a shipping supplies company that was started with seed money from Richard’s father. In 1980, the couple saw an opportunity in the shipping industry and seized it, building Uline into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
  • Eric Lefkofsky: $4.3 billion (Groupon and other investments) – Eric Lefkofsky made his billions as a serial entrepreneur, but it was his co-founding of Groupon in 2008 that really launched him into the stratosphere of wealth. Lefkofsky and his long-time business partner, Brad Keywell, identified a gap in the market for daily deals and seized the opportunity, turning Groupon into one of the most successful startups of the 2010s.