Hedge-fund investor James Simons on  Dec. 14, 2011.

Hedge-fund investor James Simons on Dec. 14, 2011. Credit: Randee Daddona

Four Long Islanders, led by East End hedge fund manager James Simons, again made the Forbes global billionaires list, which was released Monday.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, with an estimated net worth of $79.2 billion, retained his spot as the world's richest man as the Forbes list swelled to 1,826 billionaires from 1,645 a year ago.

Among the list's 290 newcomers were Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy; Markus Persson, creator of the Minecraft video game; and Michael Jordan, basketball legend and co-owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Meanwhile, 138 from last year's list dropped out of the billionaire category. Russia, stung by economic sanctions and a steep decline in energy prices, saw its billionaire roster fall to 88 from 111 last year.

Long Island's wealthiest was Simons, 76, the former head of Stony Brook University's mathematics department who founded the Renaissance Technologies hedge fund. The East Setauket resident ranked No. 76 on the global list at $14 billion, a $1.5 billion increase from last year.

No. 2 on the global list was telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico with $77.1 billion. He was followed by the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett, at $72.7 billion. Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, moved up to third place from fourth.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ranked No. 14 on the global list, two spots ahead of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder from Westchester.

The other Long Islanders on the list:

Charles Dolan, 88, moved up 27 spots to No. 381. He and his family had a fortune valued at $4.3 billion. The Cove Neck resident founded Cablevision Systems Corp. of Bethpage, which owns Newsday.

Kenneth Langone, 79, a Sands Point resident and early investor in Home Depot, moved up 50 slots to No. 714 with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion.

Louis Bacon, 56, a hedge fund investor from Oyster Bay, ranked No. 1,118 with a net worth of $1.7 billion.

These billionaires are listed by Forbes as having their primary residences in Manhattan, but are registered to vote on Long Island:

Ira Rennert, 80, an investor, owns a 64,389-square-foot home in Sagaponack that is reputed to be the largest in the country. He placed No. 240 with a net worth of $6.1 billion, up $100 million year over year. Last week, a Manhattan jury levied $118 million in damages against Rennert and his investment firm for looting millions from a magnesium company.

Julian Robertson Jr., 83, a hedge fund investor who owns property in Locust Valley, ranked No. 512. His fortune was valued at $3.4 billion, up $200 million from a year ago.

Mark Rowan, 53, co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, ranked No. 737 with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He owns property in Southampton.

David Walentas, 76, a real estate investor who owns property in Bridgehampton, had an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, good for No. 1,054 on the list.

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