Luckily for the kids in question, most rich people arrange to pass their fortunes down to their children. And sometimes, dear reader, it’s a lot of wealth. These are 40 of the richest heirs and heiresses in America right now. Some of the names you will know, while others you may not. And a few might be major surprises.
40. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde is a very famous actress, director and producer. But even without her camera skills, you will have probably heard of the star because of her parents: Andrew and Leslie Cockburn. Those two were both famous journalists, with Leslie being a documentary filmmaker as well. And, naturally, they passed their earnings down to Olivia.
39. Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson is the latest member of an acting dynasty. Her grandmother is The Birds star Tippi Hedren, and her mother is Melanie Griffith. Oh, and Dakota’s father Don Johnson was of course a movie star, too. So even if she didn’t have Fifty Shades of Grey and the like under her belt, the younger family member would still be very rich.
38. The Bezos children
We all know the name of Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world. But you might be less familiar with the Amazon founder’s four young children. That’s because Jeff prefers not to divulge that information to the media. But when they come into their inheritance, chances are everyone will know.
37. Peter Brant II
You know you’re rich when you’ve got a number in front of your name. Such is the fate of Peter Brant II – the oldest child of White Birch Paper Company owner Peter Brant. The former has had some success with a unisex makeup line, but he also grabs headlines for all the wrong reasons. In 2016 the younger Peter was arrested at JFK Airport for an alleged drunken assault.
36. Billie Lourd
Carrie Fisher – the woman who gave the world Princess Leia – had one child. This was Billie Lourd, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and also became an actress. Yet it wasn’t just her mother’s Star Wars money that made the younger family member rich. Billie’s father was famous talent agent Bryan Lourd and her grandmother was, of course, the legendary Debbie Reynolds.
35. Paige Laurie
Paige Laurie is a Walmart heiress, seeing as she’s the granddaughter of co-founder James “Bud” Walton. She has a lot of money, but it may not always used in the most sensible way. Back in 2005 it came out that she’d paid someone to do her university coursework for her. And despite that effort it turns out money actually can’t buy you a degree. Yes, Paige had to return it.
34. Aerin Lauder
No doubt you’ll recognize the name of Aerin Lauder’s grandmother. Estée Lauder gave her name to a multi-billion dollar makeup company which is known all over the world. And the former now works for that company as well. Aerin is the style and image director for Estée Lauder Cosmetics, plus she has her own home and lifestyle brand called – what else? – AERIN.
33. Edward Norton
This may be surprising if you only know him from Fight Club. But actor Edward Norton is actually the heir to an impressive fortune. He’s the grandson of James W. Rouse, a real estate developer and philanthropist who made his money from urban planning in the 1930s. And Edward was actually raised in one of his grandfather’s communities.
32. Nicole Richie
Nicole Richie became a reality TV star in 2003 with The Simple Life. Things weren’t really all that straightforward in reality, though. She’s the adopted daughter of Lionel Richie and will inherit his fortune, but her own biological parents were unable to raise her themselves. As Nicole grew up she also struggled with drug abuse, and Lionel had to steer her away from that path.
31. Eden Sassoon
Eden Sassoon isn’t just one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. No, she is also the daughter of haircare mogul Vidal Sassoon. Eden supplemented her father’s money by opening her own hair salons and a pilates franchise. But her life hasn’t been without tragedy. Sadly, her sister Catya Sassoon died of a drug overdose in 2002.
30. Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase’s full name is actually Cornelius Crane Chase – a tribute to his very wealthy step-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane. The former was apparently never wanting for cash while he was growing up in New York. But according to plenty of other actors who have worked with him, his money sure never bought him any manners.
29. Ally Hilfiger
As any fan will know, Ally Hilfiger turned riches into reality show stardom. The daughter of Tommy Hilfiger was once the co-lead of MTV’s aptly named show Rich Girls, which followed her privileged life. That being said, though, money can’t necessarily buy everything. Ally had Lyme disease, which in some cases cannot be cured.
28. The Page children
Larry Page – one of the co-founders of Google – has two children with his wife Lucy. But he keeps them out of the public eye so much that no one knows their names or even the gender of the younger child. And no, even Googling them won’t help, ironically. But if all goes well they’ll inherit millions when the kids are older.
27. Sam Logan
Reality TV star Sam Logan theoretically could do absolutely nothing for the rest of his life if he wanted. His mother Elizabeth is the part-owner of Scripps Networks, which runs several television channels including the Travel Channel and Food Network. In 2018 the company was bought for an incredible $14.6 billion, and Sam stands to inherit at least some of that.
26. Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer played the incredibly wealthy Winklevoss twins in The Social Network movie. Yet it turns out that the former isn’t short of cash himself. Arnie’s grandfather Armand Hammer – who the actor was named after – founded Occidental Petroleum and made millions. So if for whatever reason the acting career fails, Armie won’t exactly be out of pocket.
25. Spike Jonze
Being John Malkovich and Her director Spike Jonze was born under the name of Adam Spiegel. Also, his grandfather was Joseph Spiegel – the founder of the catalog company named after himself. Spike has claimed in interviews that he never benefited much from his family’s money. But it’s hard to imagine it didn’t help even a little.
24. Amanda Hearst
Amanda Hearst is a great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and thus heir to a massive fortune. But she has tried to make it on her own as a fashion editor, and you won’t see her on reality TV. Amanda told the New York Times in 2012, “Whenever the subject of doing reality television comes up, I immediately disregard it, because most people don’t come off well, and it’s embarrassing.”
23. Brooke Shields
Did you know that actress and model Brooke Shields is actually descended from a princess? Yes, her paternal grandmother was Princess Donna Marina Torlonia of Italy. Other members of the family also made fortunes of their own. Yet despite all the riches, Brooke had a difficult time growing up as a child star.
22. Alexa Dell
The very appropriately named Alexa is heir to a computer fortune. She’s the daughter of Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies, which is a company that’s worth billions. Alexa even grew up with her three siblings in a house called “The Castle.” And she’s also the most famous of the four Dell kids, since she maintains a popular Instagram account where she shows off her luxurious lifestyle.
21. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson really does have it all. She’s a world-famous movie star, a celebrated beauty and an heiress. Her father Karsten Olaf Johansson made his fortune from architecture, and her mother Melanie Sloan from movie producing. So between that money and what she made from movies, Scarlett isn’t short of cash.
20. Megan Ellison
Megan Ellison is the daughter of Larry Ellison – the chairman of the Oracle Corporation. Her position as a heiress helped her become the producer of films such as Her and Zero Dark Thirty. She’s aware of how lucky she is, though. When accepting the Visionary Award from the Producers Guild of America in 2017, Megan said, “We are extremely privileged and therefore have the opportunity as well as a responsibility.”
19. Dylan Lauren
When Dylan Lauren’s world-famous fashion designer father Ralph Lauren asked if he could name a brand after her, she said no. The former was only 16 and wanted to use her name for something she created herself. So what did the heiress end up doing? Well, she started the company Dylan’s Candy Bar in 2001.
18. Carly Simon
“You’re So Vain” singer Carly Simon is the daughter of Richard L. Simon, who helped found the company Simon & Shuster. According to Carly herself though, she had a difficult childhood and ended up spending most of her inheritance on therapy. Luckily, the star had a fortune anyway thanks to her music career.
17. Travis Knight
Travis Knight is the son of Phil Knight – co-founder of famous clothing brand Nike. Though he decided not to follow his father into that particular business. Travis serves on the board of Nike but is better known as a film director and animator. He’s also done several acclaimed films with the studio Laika, which his father owns.
16. Jake Gyllenhaal
Most of you will know that Jake Gyllenhaal is from a Hollywood family. His parents were very well-off, though they raised him to be socially conscious. Jake told The Guardian newspaper in 2011, “My mother would say that there are people who have so much money who don’t give any of it away and there other people who have much less money, who give more than the richest people in the world.”
15. The Ballmer children
Microsoft executive and Los Angeles Clipper owner Steve Ballmer – a multi-billionaire of course – has three sons. These are Sam, Peter and Aaron. They’re old enough to be out in the world now, but Steve is known to make them an off-limits subject in interviews. And eventually, all three will likely become ballers as well as Ballmers.
14. Eve Jobs
No, you won’t get a prize for guessing who Eve Jobs is the daughter of. When Apple founder Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, the money went to his wife – Eve’s mother Laurene. No one knows how much she gave or plans to give to Eve. But it is known that the young woman is embarking on her own career as an equestrian – something there’s also plenty of money in.
13. Ariana Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller – the founder of Standard Oil – was one of the richest people in American history. And his family are still enjoying that legacy today. Great-great-granddaughter Ariana Rockefeller is a fashion designer now, and she told CNBC in 2018 that her famous family always “put a lot of value on hard work.”
12. Kyra Sedgwick
Actress Kyra Sedgwick was born into riches as the daughter of venture capitalist Henry Dwight Sedgwick V. And when her mother remarried, she became the step-daughter of art dealer Ben Heller. Though despite the wealth, Kyra’s childhood wasn’t always ideal. In 2018 she told The Wall Street Journal, “Growing up, I spent a lot of time alone. My parents worked a lot or were away. I became a keen observer of human nature.”
11. Georgina Bloomberg
Equestrian Georgina Bloomberg is the daughter of former NYC mayor and one of the richest men in America – Michael Bloomberg. She once famously said that she hated growing up with her last name. But these days Georgina seems have settled into it a bit more. She told Haute Living magazine in 2015, “I believe I was put on this earth to make a difference in animals’ lives. I’m very lucky I have been afforded that luxury.”
10. The Brin-Wojcicki children
Just by being born, the children of Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki hit the jackpot twice over. The former is the co-founder of Google, and the latter is CEO of 23andMe. They’re divorced now, but they both still maintain vast fortunes. Their children Benji and Chloe are still in school, though when they’re adults the kids stand to be very rich indeed.
9. Jennifer Gates
Jennifer Gates is the heiress to Microsoft, and her father Bill Gates is a billionaire. Yet she stands to inherit less than you might think. Bill has said in the past that he plans to give his children no more than $10 million each, so they would make their own way in life. And this is paying off so far, as Jennifer is training to be a doctor.
8. Kate Hudson
Actress Kate Hudson was born the child of two Hollywood stars: Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson. Needless to say, that meant a childhood of wealth for Kate and her brother Oliver. Yet emotionally things weren’t great. The two kids believed that their father abandoned them, and when they were adults he outright disowned them. Luckily, Goldie’s partner Kurt Russell – also rich from his acting career – stepped up to be a dad.
7. Lynsi Snyder
Lynsi Snyder inherited the multi-billion In-N-Out Burger franchise at just 35 after the tragic deaths of both her uncle and her father. Richard Snyder was killed in a plane crash and H. Guy Snyder died of a drug overdose. Now, Lynsi considers herself the protector of her family’s legacy. She told Forbes magazine in 2018, “It’s not about the money for us. Unless God sends a lightning bolt down and changes my heart miraculously, I would not ever sell.”
6. Balthazar Getty
As you know, the rich and famous Getty family have a reputation for being, well, a bit dysfunctional. And the magnificently named heir Balthazar Getty was no exception for a while – gaining the nickname “wild child.” He also didn’t do himself any favors with a tone-deaf Sunday Times interview in 2016. The heir discussed never getting up before eleven and having his maid bring him breakfast. Very relatable.
5. Lydia Hearst
William Randolph Hearst made his fortune from magazines, so it makes sense that his great-granddaughter Lydia Hearst would have a career as a magazine model. She’s posed for publications including Vogue Italia, Elle, Marie Claire and more. Naturally, she could have declined payment from all of them and still been very rich.
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is known primarily for being funny, but in another world she might have been known only for being rich. She’s the daughter of Gérard Louis-Dreyfus, the chairman of agriculture company Louis Dreyfus Energy Services. At the time of his death, he was worth billions. And it speaks to Julia’s success that a lot of you may not know that.
3. Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper is the son of the famous Gloria Vanderbilt – the heiress to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s 1877 railroad fortune. It might go without saying that with a legacy going back that far, there are some dark things waiting to be uncovered. And Anderson expressed little sympathy in 2015 when he discovered one of his ancestors was killed by a slave he was keeping.
2. The Zuckerberg children
Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook founder and the eighth richest person in the world – has two daughters named Maxima and August with his wife Priscilla Chan. They kids are still very young, so they probably don’t have the slightest idea what they stand to inherit. But based on the continuing runaway popularity of Facebook, it’ll probably be a lot.
1. Paris Hilton
It’s hard to think of the word “heiress” without thinking of Paris Hilton. The great-granddaughter of famous hotelier Conrad Hilton became “famous for being famous” with her reality show The Simple Life. She was a pop culture icon for a while, but then her star faded. Paris’ money is still there, though.