To return to the 400 richest Americans, perhaps the most salient feature of the Forbes list is its changing membership. At death, fortunes tend to be divided, and most descendants don't inherit enough to stay on the list. While the current 400 includes members of the Pritzker, Hearst, and Walton families, they already have fifty-nine children, most of whom will end up rich but much less so than their parents. Back in 1982, the list had thirteen Rockefellers and no fewer than thirty-three du Ponts. By 2005, only two Rockefellers remained, and all the du Ponts were gone. Indeed, 1982 and 2005 come across as very different eras. The earlier year was strong on family scions; most of the places they once held are now occupied by self-made men and women, among them Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Whitman, and Martha Stewart.
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