Peter Thiel, 44
Estimated net worth: $3 billion
How he made his money: The Internet
Pet causes: Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, The Committee to Protect Journalists
Peter Thiel made the majority of his billions with a few very smart investments—mainly in two little start-ups called PayPal and Facebook. As the co-founder of PayPal, Thiel helped make the company the go-to source for online payment, eventually selling to eBay. After that, he famously served as Facebook’s angel investor, betting $500,000 that the social-networking site would take off. Now his stock in Mark Zuckerberg’s company is currently worth an estimated $1.7 billion. Can you say “jackpot”?
This German-born super-investor is a tough nut to crack: Openly gay, he’s also a noted conservative who identifies as a libertarian. He donated $1.7 million to Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and hosted a “HomoCon” fundraiser with gay nemesis Ann Coulter in his New York apartment. So even though Thiel is supposedly single, we’re not so sure tying the knot is one of his top priorities.
For a closer look at Peter Thiel read Queerty correspondent John Gallagher’s analysis of his connection to Ron Paul.
Photo via the Thiel Foundation