Making His Way to the Top: Robert F. Smith, $5.2 Billion
The wealthiest Black person in the US is not a household name, but he should be! Robert F. Smith’s journey began in Denver, CO, where he grew up. His parents carried him as a child to witness Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Later, he earned degrees in chemical engineering and business at _two _Ivy League universities: Cornell and Columbia. From there, Smith climbed the ladder, making his mark at companies like Kraft General Foods and Goldman Sachs before establishing his own private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners. Now, he uses his wealth and influence for philanthropy, promising to pay off student debt for Morehouse college graduates and even advocating for a policy push to help the Black community.