America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Marian Ilitch

$5.1 B

  • Marian Ilitch and her husband, Mike, who died in February, cofounded Little Caesars Pizza in 1959.
  • Mrs. I, as she’s known, now owns the pizza chain which has $4 billion in sales.
  • She also owns the Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino Hotel; Mike’s Detroit Tigers are now in a family trust.
  • Ilitch is helping build a $1.2 billion sports and entertainment district in Detroit.

Diane Hendricks

$5.1 B

  • Diane Hendricks chairs ABC Supply, one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding and windows in America.
  • The $7.2 billion (sales) company made its biggest acquisition to date in 2016, buying building materials distributor L&W Supply for $674 million.
  • The move added interior products like drywall, ceiling tiles and steel framing to ABC’s portfolio for the first time.
  • Hendricks cofounded the business with her late husband, Ken, in Beloit, Wisconsin, 35 years ago. She has run it since his death in 2007.

Judy Love

$2.9 B

Tom and Judy Love opened their first gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma, in 1964 using a $5,000 gift from her parents.

  • Judy kept the books and ran the company with Tom until 1975, when she returned to college.
  • Today Judy is the executive secretary at Love’s and chairman of the Love Family Fund.
  • Revenues rose 13% to $16 billion in 2016, thanks in part to 47 new locations.

Oprah Winfrey

$3.1 B

  • The entertainment mogul is having a resurgence of her on-screen career, including April’s HBO film ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.’
  • The onetime Nashville news anchor will return to her TV reporting roots as a special contributor on 60 Minutes this fall.
  • Her OWN network had its most-watched year in 2016, but the bulk of Winfrey’s wealth is still derived from her talk show years.
  • Weight Watchers is counting on the ‘Oprah effect’: she bought a 10% stake in 2015 and acts as a brand ambassador.

Doris Fisher

$2.7 B

Doris Fisher founded Gap in San Francisco with her late husband Don in 1969 after Don couldn’t find jeans that fit.

  • Fisher served as the company’s merchandiser from the day it opened until 2003. She served on the Gap board until 2009.
  • Fisher now owns 7% of the retailer, less than her sons Robert, John and William.