Sara Blakely #17 on Forbes list of richest, self-made women in America

Sara Blakely, the Atlanta-based founder of Spanx, has pretty much become a mainstay on annual Forbes lists of the wealthiest members of society. She first appeared on the publication’s billionaire list in 2012.

CRESSKILL, NJ - MAY 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely attends the 2015 Peace, Love & A Cure Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit on May 20, 2015 in Cresskill, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation)

CRESSKILL, NJ – MAY 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely attends the 2015 Peace, Love & A Cure Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Benefit on May 20, 2015 in Cresskill, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation)

Related: Spanx founder Sara Blakely shares secrets of success

At 41, she was the youngest billionaire who had not earned her fortune through marriage or inheritance.

Blakely, who recently opened the Spanx headquarters at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta, is on the newly released second annual list of the 60 richest, self-made women in America.

There are 17 billionaires in the ranks. At number 17, with a net worth of $1B, Blakely, 45, is the last of the billionaires.

Video: Celebrating Women’s History Month: Sara Blakely

Everyone who follows Blakely — including names like Madonna; Nasty Gal founder, Sophia Amoruso (the only millennial newcomer to the list who isn’t in the entertainment business) and Carolyn Rafaelian, founder of the bangle company, Alex and Ani — each have a net worth in the hundreds of millions.

This year, the list begins with Diane Hendricks, owner of Wisconsin-based ABC Supply, the largest wholesale distributor of roofing and siding in the country. Hendricks is worth $4.9 billion. Taylor Swift takes the last slot at number 60. Swift, who is 26, is worth $250 million.

If you can believe it, Oprah Winfrey actually got richer, moving up to number 2 in part thanks to her Weight Watchers deal.

Blakely, who is also currently part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks with her husband Jesse Itzler, appears on the cover of the June 21 Forbes with Hendricks and Amoruso.

Read more: Meet the Hawks’ new owners

Forbes reports that Blakely recently assumed the role as CEO of Spanx in March after former CEO Jan Singer served less than two years in the post. It is the first time in 14 years that Blakely is serving as CEO of the company she created.

Blakely is the only Georgia woman on the list, but not the only connection to the state.

Patricia Miller (number 49) and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard (number 54), cofounders of the accessories company, Vera Bradley, got the idea to make their colorful bags while at an airport in Atlanta, reports Forbes.

Like Blakely, they started the company at home, using $500 in startup funds borrowing $250 each from their husbands. Now they sell half a billion dollars worth of bags and other accessories each year.

Reader Comments 0

58 comments
WE Pennix
WE Pennix

A very nice person, very giving!!'

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

Steve Erwin it is the Apprentice thing/tv show that she was on and got her GLOBAL CONNECTIONS.

Steve Erwin
Steve Erwin

Johnny Knight - Is there anything in this post you have correct? You are truly a brainless idiot.

Steve Erwin
Steve Erwin

I believe you started calling someone out for not reading the headline, when it is you who looked stupid by not getting it. Then there is the Apprentice/Trump thing. That covers most of the content you've posted.

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

She owes a lot of her marketing and production to The Apprentice. I guess you forgot she was on The Apprentice put her in contact with people to get her product to market on a global scale.

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

after being on the apprentice she was introduced to Richard Branson and that is when SPANKX really took off.

Heru Uzza
Heru Uzza

Last I heard this lady is broke she got exposed has a fraud the billion dollars was base on potential of making that.When she was exposed all of her investors back out. This story was in the news a month ago

Beadie Bre
Beadie Bre

Let her be the example... you don't have to sell your soul to be successful

Ashley Blue
Ashley Blue

She did it with her intelligence and brilliant marketing strategies. I can definitely respect that

JP Prince
JP Prince

Wait, you mean Mrs. Trump didn't earn her wealth?!?! Oh wait, neither did Donald so...

Johnny Knight
Johnny Knight

are you stupid? Trump did earn his money you Moroon.

JP Prince
JP Prince

Johnny Knight "I got a small loan of a million dollars". Anyone can make money after getting that, in fact, trump would have more money right now if he put it in a CD instead of making "great deals".

atlmom
atlmom

Most people would lose it or spend it

atlmom
atlmom

Not true. Most people would lose it in a minute. Or spend it

atlmom
atlmom

Originally she is from Florida.

Kim Steward
Kim Steward

I think I'm the only woman that can't stand Spanx. Just work out instead of trying to stop the circulation by sucking it all in. Not a fan.

Carly Lynch
Carly Lynch

Neana Gibney, we were just talking about her the other day!

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

I hope she's a Trump Supporter \U0001f918\U0001f918

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

That's Right Jamie, I know a \U0001f4a9Load of women who are Voting for Donald, just because you are one of the Narrow minded and I would bet to say "Liberal" people who believe that all women should hey Donald Trump you are 1,000,000% wrong, I know a few women who are successful business owners and Trump supporters, and a lot of girls I went to high school with back in the 80s and have raised their families and have grandchildren now, are Supporting and Voting for him, I guess you are simply voting for Hillary because she is a woman, and don't care that she should be at the least before a grand jury, on her crimes he is committed in office as Secretary of State with her emails and compromising national security.

Jamie Carter
Jamie Carter

Congratulations on your shitload of women, duder.

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

Jamie please tell me on why People should vote for Hillary JUST BECAUSE she's a woman and would be the first woman president, look on how the first "African-American president" will go down in history as the worst president of the United States ever, specifically on how inexperienced he was and how much he hated his own country

Mary Ann Lee
Mary Ann Lee

And that is how the subject was changed!

Neal Mckeown
Neal Mckeown

You are correct that he inherited a lot of money, however he turned that into a Empire on Real Estate Ventures among other things and you have to be a smart businessman to accomplish this

Mary Ann Lee
Mary Ann Lee

Neal not as long as GW Bush was president. Let us not forget Nixon and Eisenhower, etc.

CoCo Jackee
CoCo Jackee

How did we get off the subject of Sarah Blakley

Patrick Pearson
Patrick Pearson

Neal, Neal, Neal....I think you support Trump because you have similar taste in hairstyles.

Harriett White
Harriett White

Wouldn't leave home without them. First heard about years ago on Oprah.

atlmom
atlmom

She has been married for a few years. It is in the article.

Max Brill
Max Brill

I begrudge no one who is rich if no crimes were committed to get rich. I don't care if you inherited it, won it etc. good for her she is hot.

Badrinath Jayakumar
Badrinath Jayakumar

"At 41, she was the youngest billionaire who had not earned her fortune through marriage or inheritance." Respect to her

Jenae Brown
Jenae Brown

I literally just blew at my phone to move the bug.

Phillip Dillard
Phillip Dillard

Wish there were less scallywags & more women like this. Respek!