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The year 2024 proved to be a record-breaking year for the most successful women in America, with their combined fortunes soaring to $154 billion, a nearly 25% increase from the previous year. The minimum amount required to make the list also jumped by more than 35%, highlighting the wealth and success of these queens of capitalism. With nearly three-fourths of the women on the list either starting or co-founding a company, it is clear that entrepreneurship is a key factor in their success. The healthy stock market played a significant role in pushing their fortunes to new heights, with 73 members seeing an increase in their wealth compared to the previous year.

Diane Hendricks, the billionaire owner of roofing and building supply distributor ABC Supply, maintained her position as the top earner on the list for the seventh consecutive year, with a record $20.9 billion fortune. She has led the company to new heights since taking over as chair in 2007, overseeing a significant increase in revenue. Hendricks saw the biggest gain in dollar terms this year, with her fortune increasing by $5.9 billion, largely due to a rise in ABC Supply’s revenues. Another notable gainer is Elizabeth Uihlein, whose fortune rose by 81% to an estimated $6.7 billion, driven by increased information about her packaging supplies firm Uline and stronger market conditions.

The list welcomed 11 new faces this year, including singer Katy Perry, who earned an estimated $350 million from the sale of her music catalog in September 2023. Fawn Weaver, owner of Uncle Nearest whiskey brand, and money manager Joan Payden also made their debut on the list. Additionally, there are now a record 31 billionaires among the self-made women, including figures like Barbara Banke, Susan Ocampo, Sara Liu, Taylor Swift, Sheila Johnson, Lisa Su, and Michelle Zatlyn, who have all seen their fortunes rise above the billion-dollar mark.

The geographical distribution of the women on the list reflects the diversity of wealth across the United States. California remains the state with the highest number of list members, with notable names like Ellen DeGeneres and Ruth Porat residing there. Texas and New York also have a strong presence, with figures like Gwynne Shotwell and Mary Callahan Erdoes calling those states home. Despite the overall success of the women on the list, there were some who saw their fortunes decline, such as Whitney Wolfe Herd and Doris Fisher, due to various factors like market performance and personal decisions.

The methodology used to compile the list involved valuing individual assets, both public and private, as well as consulting with experts to determine the worth of private companies. To be eligible for the list, women had to have substantially made their own fortunes in the U.S. and/or be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. While some faced more obstacles than others in their journey to wealth, all the women on the list showcased their determination and entrepreneurial spirit. The self-made score assigned to each woman reflects their unique paths to success, with some starting from humble beginnings and overcoming significant challenges to achieve their current status.

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