America has been around for a relatively short time compared to other countries. Despite its comparative newness, it has still managed to become the homeplace of some of the world’s most successful multinational corporations. These companies are among the best of the best. And because they are the best of the best, they have managed to make quite a profit.
In America, it’s still common to pass down your business to your children. Even if they’re not interested in running the company, they still get a healthy part of the fortune. On this list are the richest heirs and heiresses in America. Some names you’ll recognize, while others keep a low profile, choosing to be rich but not famous, just like these richest celebrities in the world.
Net Worth: $110 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Gloria Vanderbilt
Anderson Cooper was born in New York City, and he is related to the Vanderbilt family, which holds one of the largest fortunes in America. He is successful in his own right, as he is a journalist, author, and TV personality. He hosts the popular news show on CNN called Anderson Cooper 360.
He attended Yale University. Before that, he took after his fashionista mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and he modeled for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. He also was a child model for Harper’s Bazaar. He first started as a fact checker for Channel One before moving up the ranks.
Net Worth: $80 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Edward Mower Norton, Jr.
Edward Norton is an actor and filmmaker who was received three Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe. He was born in Boston. His grandfather founded The Rouse Company, an urban planning business, as well as Enterprise Community Partners, a real estate company. His father was actually a well-known federal prosecutor.
Norton began acting as a child in theater. He graduated from Yale in 1991, working in Japan before moving to New York City to begin acting. He debuted in the Richard Gere thriller Primal Fear, which got him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe for his supporting role. But our favorite Ed Norton role? Fight Club, hands down.
Net Worth: $300 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Hilton Hotels Corporation
Paris Hilton is one of America’s most well-known celebrities. She was born in New York City, and she is the heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune. Hilton is a popular brand of hotels, and that has given Paris quite a head start in business. However, she isn’t just an heiress; she is also a businesswoman in her own right.
Paris has started several perfume lines, and her brand alone has brought in three billion dollars. She has started other brands and brand locations, opening Paris Hilton Stores. These stores, which operate worldwide, have brought in millions, as has her Paris Hilton Beach Club Resort. This Philippines destination has brought in ten million dollars per year. She also is paid to appear at events, raking in $300K from appearances.
Net Worth: $20 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Andrew Cockburn
Olivia Wilde is an actress, heiress, and activist who was born in NYC and attended the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. She has produced a film, Booksmart, which was released at the end of May 2019 (May 24th, to be exact). Her film career began in 2005, but it is her TV career she was known for.
Wilde got her start in television on the popular medical series, House, airing from 2007 to 2012. She played Dr. Hadley (AKA “Thirteen”). She’s also had roles in films, including Conversations with Other Women, Tron: Legacy, Butter, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Lazarus Effect, Rush and more. Wilde is currently engaged to fellow actor Jason Sudeikis, and they share two children together.
Net Worth: $80 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Goldie Hawn
Kate Hudson is an Oscar-nominated actress, and daughter of Hollywood legend Goldie Hawn. Her biological father is actor Bill Hudson, and her stepfather is actor Kurt Russell. Hudson first began acting when she was eleven, appearing onstage. Her venue was the Santa Monica Playhouse. She then moved up, trying her hand at film in 1998’s Desert Blue.
She had her breakthrough in Almost Famous. Her unforgettable performance as band groupie Penny Lane won her a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. She also has appeared in Fool’s Gold, My Best Friend’s Girl and Bride Wars, among others. Hudson also has her own fashion label, Fabletics.
Net Worth: $14 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Don Johnson
Dakota Johnson is an actress and fashion model. Her parents are Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, two acclaimed actors. She was born in Austin, Texas, and she resides in Los Angeles. She has been in the film industry since 2010 and is best known for her role as Anastasia in the Fifty Shades of Grey film series.
For her Fifty Shades role, she won the People’s Choice Award and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Rising Stars. She also appeared in Suspiria, The Social Network, 21 Jump Street, Wounds and The Peanut Butter Falcon. She is typically cast in dramas, but for this young star, the sky’s the limit!
Net Worth: $200 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Getty Oil
Balthazar Getty (whose first name is actually Paul) is the heir to the Getty Oil fortune. He is also a musician and producer. He produces the music for The Wow, a rap duo, and he is part of the band Ringside. He also was an actor in his childhood. He played Ralph in Lord of the Flies, a cult classic about a bunch of morally-questionable boys stranded on an island.
On TV he also played Thomas Grace on the show,Alias. But our personal favorite performance is most definitely his bizarre auto mechanic in David Lynch’s hypnotic film Lost Highway. Getty also appeared in films as a teen icon, acting in Natural Born Killers, White Squall, Big City Blues, Ladder 49 and more. He is also a philanthropist. He is part of The Lunchbox Fund, which provides food to impoverished children in Africa.
Net Worth: $100 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Hearst Corporation
Amanda Hearst is an American socialite born in New York, and she is the heiress to the Hearst Corporation. She is also a model. She is involved in Friends of Finn, a charity she founded. Friends of Finn is an organization that focuses on preventing and stopping puppy mills, which treat dogs inhumanely. Hearst works at Marie Claire, where she is the associate marketing editor.
Her great-grandfather was William Randolph Hearst. Her father, who was not part of the Hearst bloodline, left her mother before she was born. Hearst’s stepfather is Jay McInerney, a famous novelist. Hearst modeled for IMG, a modeling agency, and she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and several other famous magazines.
Net Worth: $25 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Frank Shields
Brooke Shields is an actress and former famous child model (she also did some modeling in her adulthood as well). She was born in Manhattan, and she still resides there. She attended Princeton University, and she has been in the movie/fashion industry since 1966.
It was her role in the film Pretty Baby, by Louis Malle, which got her critical film acclaim. After Pretty Baby, she appeared in other dramas and continued modeling. She appeared in The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love, two famous 80s films that have become cult classics through the decades.
Net Worth: $25 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Carrie Fisher
Billy Lourd is an actress, and daughter of Hollywood legend Carrie Fisher, who sadly passed away in 2016. Her father is Bryan Lourd, perhaps one of the biggest talent agents in Hollywood. Lourd’s roots make her the heiress to Carrie Fisher’s fortune and estate. She also happens to be the granddaughter of Debbie Reynolds, another Hollywood legend.
Lourd currently resides in Beverly Hills, and attended NYU. She has appeared in television shows such as Scream Queens and American Horror Story. She portrayed the role of Lieutenant Connix in the recent Star Wars trilogy, which has released films from 2015 to 2019.
Net Worth: $65 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal is the son of Stephen Gyllenhaal, a famous Hollywood director. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. His mother, Naomi Foner, is a screenwriter. He was born in Los Angeles, and he attended Columbia University. He started acting when he was a child, appearing in the 1991 film City Slickers.
He had his first breakthrough role in October Sky, where he played Homer Hickam. He won an Indie Award for his role as Donnie Darko in the eponymous film. He acted in the film alongside his sister Maggie. He also has appeared in Brokeback Mountain, receiving critical acclaim.
Net Worth: $4 billion*
Wealth Inherited From: Ralph Lauren
Dylan Lauren is both an heiress and an entrepreneur in her own right. She was born in New York City, and her father is the founder of the major fashion label Ralph Lauren. Dylan’s older siblings (two of them) are also successful, with her one brother being a businessman and the other a film producer.
Dylan owns Dylan’s Candy Bar, which is the world’s largest candy store. Dylan started the venture after she was inspired by the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She has been in business for eighteen years.
Lauren was nominated as one of the “Most Stylish New Yorkers” in 2007 by the magazine US Weekly. She married her husband Paul in 2011. The two have twins, Cooper and Kingsley.
Net Worth: $140 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Karsten Olaf Johansson and Melanie Sloan
While Scarlett Johansson’s undeniable talents are solidly self-earned, Hollywood’s biggest starlet certainly got a leg up thanks to her parents: one is a successful Danish architect, and the other is a film producer. This foot in the door surely helped Johansson traverse the murky world of Hollywood.
But traverse she did. Today, Johansson has a string of hit films both big and small to her name. She’s been in huge tentpole flicks like The Avengers, as well as small arthouse fare like Ghost World, Lost in Translation and Under the Skin.
Net Worth: $20 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Hilton Hotels
Nicky Hilton is an heiress, fashion designer, and businesswoman. She is the sister to Paris Hilton, and she is the heiress to the Hilton Hotels fortune. She was born in New York City and attended Convent of the Sacred Heart. She is married to James Rothschild, an heir to the Rothschild fortune. Hilton has also worked as a model. However, it was her fashion design business that really took off.
Hilton has her own line of handbags called Nicholai, as well as handbag lines for eLuxe and Samantha Thavasa. Her lines have appeared during New York Fashion Week. Most recently, she worked with Tolani, a baggage company, where she designed a “Mommy and Me” capsule. She launched the collection in 2017 and 2019, while the bags actually hit the stores in 2018 and, upcoming, in 2020.
Net Worth: $50 million*
Wealth Inherited From: The Crane Company
Chevy Chase is a comedian, writer, and actor who was born in Manhattan. His real first (and middle) name is Cornelius Crane. He was born in a Manhattan book editor and magazine writer, Edward Tinsley Chase. His mother was a concert pianist, and she was the heir to The Crane Company because she was adopted by Cornelius Vanderbilt, her stepfather.
His nickname, Chevy, was given to him by his grandmother. He was nicknamed after “The Ballad of Chevy Chase,” a medieval English song. He is famous for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, as well as his many comedic movies like Caddyshack and Fletch.
Net Worth: $2.8 billion*
Wealth Inherited From: Standard Oil
Ariana Rockefeller is a rich heiress to Standard Oil and a member of the historic, highly prominent Rockefeller dynasty. The Rockefellers date back to the early-nineteenth-century when their patriarch founded Standard Oil and made billions. The family has remained wealthy, but they have also managed to be very charitable.
Rockefeller is very interested in fashion, and she studied at Columbia University. Her label is very successful, and she just added a handbag line. She is a major supporter of the Human Society, and she chaired the NYBG Winter Ball. She lives in the Upper East Side of Manhattan with her husband, an entrepreneur named Matthew Bucklin. She is also an equestrian.
Net Worth: $28 billion*
Wealth Inherited From: William Randolph Hearst
Lydia Hearst Shaw is an heiress, blogger, and model. She was born in Connecticut, and she attended Sacred Heart University. Her modeling agency is Radius Entertainment, while the APA is her theatre agent. She is married to podcaster and comedian Chris Hardwick.
Lydia has modeled both internationally and on the runway domestically. She has modeled in shows for Fendi, Chanelle, Nicole Miller, Jeremy Scott (a Moschino spinoff), Rebecca Taylor, and more. She has also appeared in advertising campaigns for Prada, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, and more cosmetic and fashion companies. She also designed her own line of handbags for Puma French 77.
Net Worth: $65 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Richard L. Simon
Carly Simon is a singer-songwriter and a published children’s book author. She became famous in the 1970s with her records. She has had thirteen Top 40 hits in the U.S. She is the daughter of Richard Simon, who co-founded the book company Simon & Schuster. He was also a classical pianist, sparking his daughter’s interest in music.
Carly Simon started out as part of a duet, The Simon Sisters, before trying her hand at a solo career. Her first album, Carly Simon, took off, and she received a Grammy for her work. She was also briefly married to James Taylor.
Net Worth: $28 billion*
Wealth Inherited From: William Randolph Hearst
Patty Hearst is the granddaughter of tycoon William Randolph Hearst. She was born in San Francisco and attended the University of California. She is both an author and an actress. Her best-selling memoir, Every Secret Thing, is nothing short of an exciting read.
Hearst famously appeared on numerous TV shows and in feature films. Typically, she was cast as a version of herself representing the mighty Hearst family lineage. Few know that Hearst also has an award-winning family of dogs, who have competed (and often won) numerous Kennel Club Dog Shows over the years.
Net Worth: $16 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Robert Sedgwick
Golden Globe award-winning actress Kyra Sedgwick is a familiar face to TV and film fans alike. But you may not realize that the starlet was actually a born millionaire – she’s the daughter of successful venture capitalist Henry Dwight Sedgwick V. She also happens to be married to Hollywood superstar Kevin Bacon. Sedgwick made a name for herself as a teenager, landing a role on Another World when she was still just 16.
This led to film roles in movies like Singles and Phenomenon. She also co-starred alongside Tom Cruise in the Oscar-nominated Vietnam War film Born on the Fourth of July. Most famously, Sedgwick starred for many seasons on the hit TNT series The Closer. The role scored Sedgwick her highest critical praise, including multiple Golden Globe and SAG award nominations.
Net Worth: $6.6 billion*
Wealth Inherited From: Mars, Inc.
Victoria Mars is a fourth-generation offspring of the wealthy Mars family. She attended Yale University, where she received her BA, as well as The Wharton School, where she received her MBA. Her relatives, four generations ago, started the candy empire Mars, Inc. Mars., which has attracted mega- investors like Warren Buffett, rakes in tens of billions per year.
Victoria’s first job was in France, where she was a brand manager for Milky Way, a chocolate bar subsidiary of the company. She was then the export manager for Milky Way. She worked her way up in the company, serving on the board of directors. She also launched Livelihood Funds, which helps promote sustainable resources in Africa for agribusiness. She owns 8% of Mars, Inc.
Net Worth: $28 million*
Wealth Inherited From: George Riley Mercer
Tinsley Mortimer is an heiress, socialite, and reality television personality. She has also modeled. Her father, George Mercer, was an extremely wealthy real estate developer and investor, while her mother, Dale, was an interior designer. The other business lineage in her family was her grandfather, George, who founded the Mercer Rug company in 1936.
Mortimer attended Columbia University, where she achieved a BA in history. She also volunteered at Habitat for Humanity briefly before her acceptance into the prestigious university. Her other career included working as a beauty assistant for Vogue. She also was a beauty ambassador for Christian Dior, and she even had her own lip gloss: “Tinsley Pink.” She currently appears on High Society, a reality show about her and other rich housewives (and they all hate each other, naturally).
Teresa Heinz Kerry
Net Worth: $750 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Heinz Ketchup
Teresa Heinz is a businesswoman and the widow of ketchup heir John Heinz. She was born in Portugal, and currently holds dual citizenship in America and Portugal. She is known to reside in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. Teresa Heinz is the heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune thanks to her late husband, John Heinz. After he passed, he left his wealth and leadership duties to her.
Heinz Kerry currently chairs Heinz’s charities and is a frequent donor to social and environmental charities. She has received honorary doctorates from many different universities. Teresa founded the charity Second Nature, which helps bring sustainability and environmental consciousness to college campuses. She also founded the awards program The Heinz Awards, which celebrates contributions to the environment and ecology.
Net Worth: $500 million*
Wealth Inherited From: Seagram’s
Clare Bronfman is the heiress to the Seagram Liquor fortune. Her father was Edgar Bronfman, Sr., who founded Seagram. She also has had a lively equestrian career. She was born in New York, and she began her career in equestrianism when she was seventeen.
She started competing at a high level when she was twenty. She has won several equestrian competitions, such as the Grand Prix and Samsung Nations Cup. She has won the Grand Prix twice.