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Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular

Michael Jordan, May 2011. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski)

Well, it’s official — black America’s sneaker appetite has made Michael Jordan a billionaire. Yes, that’s billionaire with a B.

According to Forbes”World’s Billionaire’s List,” released on Monday, Jordan is No. 1,741th richest man in the world, and the 513th-richest person in the United States. His net worth is a cool $1.0 billion flat, reports Business Insider.

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Number one on the list for a 16th year is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $79.2 billion, followed by Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu and then “the Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett ($72.7 billion). A record 197 women made the list this year, and there were 290 newcomers — both breaking records.

Apparently, the one percent and its growth rate is a bit of concern to some. Certainly, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Business Insider expounds:

The total wealth in the hands of about 1,800 people is roughly equivalent to double the GDP of Germany, Europe’s largest economy. The rising number of billionaires and their expanding assets underscores the growing global wealth gap, which Oxfam says could lead to the combined riches of the world’s wealthiest 1 percent overtaking that of the other 99 percent by next year.

Angela Bronner Helm is a Harlem-based writer and educator. Follow her on Twitter at @anjiihelm

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