The Coloradans on Forbes' Richest People List

October 2 2009, 11:13 AM

Quoting Forbes on the nation's 400 richest people in America, Phil Anschutz is a "reclusive mogul" who saw "his big bet on Michael Jackson's comeback lurch into a drug-induced coma after the pop star's untimely death in June. His concert promoter, AEG, has lost millions of dollars from ticket refunds, rehearsal costs; recouped some losses selling merchandise, rehearsal footage." Nevertheless, Anschutz, an oil driller's son, bought out his father and struck energy riches in Utah and Wyoming, parlaying the proceeds into a multi-billion-dollar telecom, sports, real estate, media, movies, and wind empire, which includes the sale of Qwest Communications shares in past years. All that puts Anschutz, age 69 and worth about $6 billion, at number 37 on the Forbes 400, down a notch from his 2008 ranking at 36, but still the top dog in Colorado. Satellite-television mogul Charlie Ergen slipped a few notches to number 49 with $4.9 billion, down an astounding $3.1 billion from 2008, notes the Denver Business Journal. The other locals on the list include: cable-TV magnate John Malone of Liberty Media, Parker; cheese king James Leprino of Leprino Foods, Denver; heiress Pat Stryker, Fort Collins; and Gary Magness, Denver, heir of cable-TV tital Bob Magness. Microsoft's Bill Gates remains number one in the nation, with a net worth of $50 billion. Following him are Warren Buffett ($40 billion), Lawrence Ellison of Oracle ($27 billion), and four members of Wal-Mart's Walton family.