Good Morning
Good Morning

LI billionaire is 29th richest American on list

James Simons, director of Renaissance Technologies Corp., testifies

James Simons, director of Renaissance Technologies Corp., testifies during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. Hedge-fund managers, in a rare appearance before Congress, defended their industry's practices and profits while splitting over whether the U.S. should impose stricter regulations. Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg News Credit: BLOOMBERG/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

One Long Island billionaire is No. 29 on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list for 2010.

James Simons, 71, a former Stony Brook University math professor, who made his money in a hedge fund he created is worth $8.5 billion, which places him at 29th among richest Americans, and 80th on the world list topped by Mexico telecom tycoon Carlos Slim who the Forbes magazine estimates is worth $53.5 billion.

Simons ranking is up from 55 on the richest Americans 2009 list, despite recession losses. He stepped down in October from the firm he founded Renaissance Technologies of East Setauket. A company spokesman said at the time that Simons would hold the title of nonexecutive chairman.

Slim who owns a stake in The New York Times pushed to the top of the world list past regulars computer pioneer William Gates of Washington state ($53 billion) and investor Warren Buffett, Nebraska, ($47 billion),

Forbes lists 66 billionaires in New York State whose combined wealth is $215.7 billion. Topping the state list is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg a media magnate, listed at $17.5 billion. Forbes places him at 8 among America's richest. Bloomberg is followed by manufacturing and energy billionaire David Koch, whose estimated wealth places him at No. 9.

Cablevision founder Charles Dolan and family of Oyster Bay are 141 on the richest Americans list with $2.3 billion, and trader Steven Schonfeld, 50, of Old Westbury, is No. 371 with $1 billion.

The rise of Slim, the 70-year-old son of an immigrant shopkeeper, is just a part of the emergence of billionaires in developing countries, Forbes reporter Keren Blankfeld said. She noted this year's top 10 richest also include two billionaires from India and one from Brazil.

"They're kind of spread. It's a nice spread," Blankfeld said of the list, which had long been dominated by Americans and Europeans.

The full list showed Taiwan tripling its number of billionaires to 18, Turkey more than doubling to 28, and Brazil increasing by 50 percent to 18. Russia also rebounded, almost doubling its number of billionaires to 62 after stock markets there recovered from severe setbacks.

Still, it is hardly time to mark the passing of U.S. dominance: The number American billionaires rose by more than 40 to 403. That is more than six times second-place China with 64 billionaires.

This story was supplemented with reports from The Associated Press.

More news