The Forbes Shuffle

October 24, 2011 | 16 comments
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0--UdvarHazyForbes’ annual look at the 400 richest Americans was released last month, so I thought I would again take a look at the Mormons on the list, and was surprised to find a different Mormon on top of the list. Aaron B. claimed last May that Steven Udvar-Házy is LDS, and I have been able to verify that at least his wife is from an LDS family. Udvar-Házy now tops the Mormons on the Forbes list.

Others on the list have moved around also since this past May. Richard Peery has jumped from #5 among Mormons to #3, while the Marriott brothers have dropped and switched positions.

Udvar-Házy is a Hungarian immigrant who grew up in New York City and Los Angeles. He essentially invented the aircraft leasing business when he started International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) in 1973 with two partners, growing the business from handling a single plane to thousands. Udvar-Házy continued to run ILFC after it was purchased by AIG in 1990 in a transaction that made him a billionaire. But when AIG was bailed out by the government in 2008, the resulting restrictions led him to retire in 2010, and then attempt to buy back the company. When that failed, he started a new leasing firm, Air Lease Corp.

Steve Hazy, as he is often known, has also become a large donor, usually to aircraft-related concerns. He is perhaps best known for his $66 million donation to the U.S. National Air and Space Museum, which created the Museum’s large annex near Dulles Airport in suburban Virginia, which will eventually house more than 300 aircraft. He also provided funding for the Christine and Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Library and Learning Center at the Prescott Campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Closer to home for many Mormons, Hazy funded the Udvar-Hazy School of Business at Dixie College in St. George, Utah. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Skywest Airlines (also owned by LDS Church members).

Still, I must admit that all I can verify is that his wife seems to come from an LDS family, although Aaron B. claims that she was Relief Society President at one point in a ward covering the part of Beverly Hills, California where they live.

Here’s the list as it now stands from Forbes:

#107 – Steven Udvar-Házy  $3.2 billion (up from $2.8 billion in May)

#117 – James Jannard     $3.0 billion (same as in May)

#227 – Richard Peery     $1.9 billion (up from $1.5 billion in May)

#312 – Richard Marriott     $1.4 billion (down from $1.8 billion in May)

#331 – J. Willard (Bill) Marriott     $1.3 billion (down from $1.9 billion in May)

To be honest, many of these changes are due to changes in the values of stock and real estate holdings, which have seen significant changes in the current uncertain economy. May’s list was based on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, where as this list is based on its list of the 400 richest Americans. Udvar-Házy was not included in the main part of May’s list, but was mentioned in the comments by Aaron B.

[Last May I addressed whether or not we should care about who are on these lists. If you object to this, please read that post first before commenting -- I don't see the point in repeating what was said then.]

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16 Responses to The Forbes Shuffle

  1. Bob on October 24, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Kent, I would how long the list would have to be for me to make it? I would guess over 1,000 (or more).

  2. Bob on October 24, 2011 at 9:03 am

    …would wonder…..

  3. Jax on October 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Bob, if it would only take 1000 to put you on the list, then your doing better than me… I’d need closer to 7 digits than 4 :)

  4. Chris H. on October 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I thought this was going to be a post about Steve Forbes endorsing Rick Perry.

  5. D. Russell on October 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Steven Udvar-Hazy’s kids are also LDS. They were in my singles ward in the Bay area for a couple of years.

  6. Romney / Hunstman 2012 on October 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    If he didn’t have that Tom Selleck mustache, I might be inclined to believe this guy is Mormon.

    With a ‘stache like that, he can only be jack Mormon at most.

  7. WraithOfBlake on October 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Nice try, R/H 12.

    http://universe2.byu.edu/node/2607

    But according to the 2009 BYU Dailiy Universe article “Mustaches Play Interesting Role in BYU Culture, “Moustaches must be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the mouth.”

  8. Tim on October 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    It’s probably just a ploy to avoid those time-consuming callings–you’re less likely to be called as a bishop (like Peery was, back when he was even higher on this list) if you’re wearing a mustache.

  9. Alison Moore Smith on October 24, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Wait, I’m not on it??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Kent Larsen on October 24, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Romney / Hunstman 2012 (6), you haven’t seen a picture of me, have you?

  11. Aaron B on October 26, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Did I just get mentioned by name 3 times in a T&S post? OH MY GOSH I AM FAMOUS!!!!!!!

  12. Aaron B on October 26, 2011 at 12:56 am

    By the way, I would not bet my life on the accuracy of my claim that Udvar-Hazy is himself Mormon. I received this information second hand (I’ve never met him), and I am going by my fallible memory of a couple conversations I had 8-10 years ago. But I was a member of the Los Angeles Stake, and those with whom I spoke were in a position to know the truth of the matter.

  13. Kent Larsen on October 26, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Good to know, Aaron. Unlike Famousmormons.net, I’m not willing to jump at every rumor that comes along. I think about 10% of Famousmormons is in accurate.

  14. LA on October 29, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Yep, he was the Sunday School Pres. in the Westwood 1st Ward when I lived there.

  15. Kent Larsen on February 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    In a critical post, Salon just pointed out another LDS Billionaire that hasn’t been on my radar: Frank Vandersloot.

    From Salon’s description, I’m not sure I’m too pleased with him:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/19/billionaire_romney_donor_uses_threats_to_silence_critics/

  16. Tim on February 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Vandersloot is pretty famous here in Eastern Idaho. I’m not sure how accurate the Salon article is, but I absolutely believe that he’s scared at least the local newspapers. He’s as close to a celebrity as Eastern Idaho has, yet, for example, when one of his sons died an early death recently, as far as I could tell the only mention in the local paper was the actual obit. I found that strange at the time–and now, reading the Salon article, it makes more sense.

    Meanwhile, we’ll see how long the Salon article lasts. And I guess we’ll also see if Vandersloot is up to attacking the bloggernacle…

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