Walt Disney is considered to be the forerunner of the American animation industry. He has won 22 Oscars and holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual as a film producer. His The Walt Disney Company has produced many successful animation films. He later established amusement theme park, Disneyland, in 1955, which has since grown manifold.
Colonel Sanders is the man who revolutionized the American fast food industry by founding the restaurant chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Establishing a style trademark by wearing a white suit and black string tie, Sanders went on to become a symbol of the KFC brand. Such is the popularity of the brand, the symbol is recognized all over the world.
3 Ray Kroc
Ray Kroc was the man who helped expand McDonald's into a global franchise, eventually turning it into the most successful fast food corporation. Not surprisingly, he was mentioned in Time magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century list. He was also the owner of the popular baseball team San Diego Padres.
Richard Branson is an English business magnate. The founder of Virgin Group Ltd., which controls over 400 companies, Branson was named on Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in The World. Branson has also had a major impact as a philanthropist; he set up a charitable organization called Branson School of Entrepreneurship to provide entrepreneurial training to youngsters.
Business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford is credited to have made the automobile an accessible conveyance for Americans in the 20th century. Following the success of his company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He also became known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I.
Ratan Tata is a well-known Indian industrialist and the former charman of Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Sons. His reign as chairman was marked by acquisitions of iconic global brands, such as Tetley, Jaguar Land Rover and Corus by the Tata Group. Ratan Tata was instrumental in turning Tata Group from a largely India-centrist group into a global business.
Widely regarded as the richest person in modern history and the wealthiest American ever, John D. Rockefeller was a business magnate who founded the Standard Oil Company. He was America’s first billionaire. He also defined the structure of modern philanthropy as the foundations created by him had a major effect on scientific research, medicine, and education.
Paul Allen was an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist. He is credited with co-founding one of the most popular multinational technology companies in the world, Microsoft Corporation. Along with his philanthropic activities and ownership of several other companies and sporting clubs, Paul Allen had a major impact on sports, wildlife, education, arts, healthcare, community services, environmental conservation, and more.
Dhirubhai Ambani was an Indian business tycoon. He is credited with founding Reliance Industries, which is currently the largest company in the country in terms of revenue. Dhirubhai Ambani's life and career inspired the 2007 drama film Guru, in which his character was portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan.
11 Carlos Slim
12 Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel is a German-American venture capitalist and entrepreneur. As the co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel redefined the way online payments and online money transfers work in the United States and most Asian countries. He also played a major role in the development of Facebook as its first outside investor.
13 Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver is an English restaurateur and chef who gained international recognition after appearing on popular TV shows, such as Jamie's Kitchen and The Naked Chef. In 2005, his Feed Me Better campaign helped introduce several children to healthier foods. He also established a charity restaurant called Fifteen, which employs disadvantaged young people.
14 Ross Perot
Ross Perot was the founder and CEO of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems. He received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and developed the Naval Academy’s honor system. He ran for president as an independent candidate and then established the Reform Party. He sold Perot to Dell for $3.9 billion.
16 Sam Walton
N. R. Narayana Murthy is an Indian businessman who is credited with co-founding one of the most popular and successful Indian multinational corporations, Infosys. While Fortune magazine named him as one of the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Time magazine called him the father of the Indian IT sector. Murthy serves as an inspiration to aspiring businessmen in India.
A multi-talented personality, Howard Hughes was one of the richest person of his time. A business tycoon, he made big investments in films and aviation industry. Passionate about flying, he set numerous flying records, and also risked his own life in process. Howard Hughes who inherited his family business and became millionaire at the age of 18, was later on troubled with mental illness and turned recluse.
22 Fred Trump
Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who displayed extraordinary dedication and courage to save the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Oskar Schindler's act is viewed by many as the kind of act that restores faith in humanity. His inspirational and heart-warming story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film titled Schindler's List.
24 Peter Jones
25 Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.
26 Dany Garcia
Dany Garcia, founder of The Garcia Companies, is an American media mogul. She offers various services and manages brands, talent and projects on multiple platforms. Her Seven Bucks Productions has produced several successful films like Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level and Rampage. Many of them have been with her ex-husband and action hero Dwayne Johnson.
27 Joy Mangano
Before she turned her peculiar inventions into a billion-dollar business empire, Joy Mangano had worked as an airline assistant and a waitress. Her best-known invention has been the Miracle Mop, a self-wringing mop made of plastic. She has also penned a memoir and has inspired the 2015 film Joy.
28 Guy Fieri
Primarily a restaurateur, Guy Fieri is a testimony to the fact that any professional can become famous if they are passionate enough in doing what they do best. From being a restaurateur, he went on to become a TV personality, hosting shows for Food Network channel. By mid-2010, he had become the face of the network.
Chris Gardner is an American motivational speaker and businessman. After struggling with homelessness, Gardner went on to establish Gardner Rich & Co, a brokerage firm, in 1987. His rags to riches story inspired the film The Pursuit of Happyness. Also a well-known philanthropist, Gardner has been playing a major role in creating low-income housing and employment opportunities for the homeless.
Christie Brinkley is an American actress, model, and entrepreneur. Widely regarded as one of the most attractive women ever, Brinkley has been featured on more than 500 magazine covers and was the face of CoverGirl for 25 years! Apart from being an inspiration to aspiring models worldwide, Christie Brinkley has also touched the lives of many through her philanthropic activities.
Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-American restaurateur. In 1973, Puck moved to the US and opened a restaurant named Spago in 1982. He then established himself as a respected restaurateur by opening several other restaurants. In 2013, he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Also an actor, Puck has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
32 Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel is credited with popularizing social media all over the world as he co-founded the popular social media company Snap Inc. In 2015, he was named the youngest billionaire in the world. The following year, he was named in Forbes magazine's list of 400 Richest Americans with an estimated net worth of $4 billion.
34 Hugh Hefner
As the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner changed the way people viewed nudity. Known for his enviable lifestyle, he resided in luxury mansions along with his Playboy Playmates. Also a well-known philanthropist, Hefner made significant donations to various causes. He also supported freedom of expression and sexual liberation.
Bernard Arnault is a French businessman and chairman of the luxury-goods company LVMH. Also an art collector, Arnault played a key role in establishing LVMH as a patron of art. In 2006, he sponsored the construction of an art museum called Louis Vuitton Foundation. He also created a competition called The LVMH Young Fashion Designer to students from fine-arts schools.
A Greek shipping magnate who was one of the world's richest men at one point, Aristotle Onassis held the world's largest privately-owned shipping fleet at the peak of his career. He was involved in the privatization of the Greek national airlines as well. He had liaisons with many famous and beautiful women and was married to Jacqueline Kennedy.
38 Kat Von D
40 Alan Shepard
Alan Shepard was an astronaut and the first American to travel into space. In 1971, Shepard became the fifth and oldest astronaut to walk on the Moon; he was 47 years and 80 days old at that time. From 1963 to 1969, he played an important role as the Chief of the Astronaut Office. His work inspired several TV series.
Nate Robinson is a former professional basketball player who has played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, and Chicago Bulls. He went professional in 2005 and became the NBA's first three-time slam dunk champion in 2010. He retired in 2018. He now runs a restaurant in Rainier Beach.
Carly Fiorina made history by becoming the first female head of a Dow Jones-listed company when she became the CEO of HP. The daughter of a law professor father, she had initially joined law school but then dropped out to study management. She has also been Ted Cruz’s vice-presidential running mate.
44 Jerry Jones
Businessman Jerry Jones is best known for being the owner of the National Football League (NFL)'s Dallas Cowboys since 1989. An alumnus of the University of Arkansas, he launched many businesses as a young man and suffered a series of failures before finally finding financial success. Besides his business ventures, he has appeared in a few TV programs.
45 Azim Premji
Business magnate Azim Premji revolutionized the Indian software industry with Wipro Limited. Twice listed to Time 100, he transformed his vegetable oil and soap manufacturing company to a leading IT solutions brand, through marked diversification. He owns a non-profit foundation and is the first Indian to join The Giving Pledge.
Russell Simmons is a controversial American businessman who co-founded the hip-hop music label, 'Def Jam Recordings', and established the clothing line 'Phat Fashions'. He is noted for Harriet Tubman Sex Tape which generated a lot of heat in 2013. Simmons who calls himself a Christian yogi is accused of sexual assaults on several women. He has adopted veganism and advocates non-violence.