For some families, influence is just another perk that comes at the door. Through power, persuasion, and prominence, some groups are just destined to have their hand in the collective cookie jar, stirring it up on the slightest whim.
That doesn’t mean they don’t do good. It just means they have influence. These are four of the most influential people behind the curtain. When they talk, people listen – big time.
4 The Koch Family
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Charles and David Koch are two of the most well known names from the second richest family in America, according to Forbes. Their father, Fred C. Koch got the ball rolling down the river, so to speak, when he founded America’s largest private company, Koch Industries, alongside the cofounding of the Wood River Oil and Refining Company in 1940.
Since that day, they’ve been refining their business at every turn and slowly seeping into every aspect of daily life. They are actively involved in a variety of varied industries including biofuels, fertilizers, fibers, pollution control technology, electronics, information, commodity trading, glass, investments, minerals, energy, and ranching. Good ol’ ranching.
Some of their corporate divisions include major manufacturers of tissue, packaging paper, building products, and a host of other items that go along with the way of life for so many reading. If being a major player in multiple markets makes you “influential”, then the Koch family is influential.
Following Fred’s passing in 1967, his sons David and Charles took over. David passed away in 2018, at the age of 79, but his brother, Charles still runs the company today as its CEO. While an elusive figure to the media, Charles may shrouded in mystery to some, but others who know him praise his allegiance to free-market principles and ability to grow his family business. Many times, that ability goes hand-in-hand with political hand-holding. Between their money and charm, the Kochs have never had a problem making friends in high places.
3 The Walton Family
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Fans of ’70s TV remember the Waltons as a down-homey group. The real life Waltons are the richest family in America. Yup. Goodnight, John Boy.
Three of their most prominent members, Jim, Rob, and Alice Walton have all found themselves consistently listed on the Forbes 400 list since 2001. Their fortune comes from the superstore walls of Walmart, which was founded, in part, by Bud and Sam Walton. Currently, Walmart is the world’s largest retailer, one of the world’s largest business ventures in existence based on annual revenue, and, thanks to their 2.2 million employees, the world’s largest private employer.
What sets the Wizards of Walmart from the Kochs above is that, although they have shown signs of political leanings, they manage to keep their profile down in that regard. While the family may have a long-standing connection with Hillary Clinton, a former Walmart board member, some members of the family have bucked tradition by backing conservative candidates and groups. There are actually people tracking these leanings to find out which way the family might fall along the political spectrum. With many billionaire broods, who wear their donations on their sleeve, it’s an interesting approach to public scrutiny.
2 The Bush Family
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From political leanings to political triumph, few families in modern history can boast the presidential resume of the Bushes. When you need to add a number for your presidency after your name to separate you and your dad, it makes for an interesting Thanksgiving.
With over $400 Million to their collective name, the Bushes have been American Royalty for quite some time. It was George H.W. Bush’s assent to the vice presidency under Ronald Reagan before commandeering the Oval Office in 1988 for himself that started the White House roll. As soon as the new millennium kicked in, his son George W. Bush took the title and, as the commander in chief, edged out his pop by holding the seat for two terms.
Whether it’s Jeb winning elections in Florida, Jenna talking with the latest pop stars, or Billy laughing with Donald Trump about “locker room” jokes, there is little this family can’t be a part of, if they want to be.
1 The Rothschild Family
This is the one that most think of when they hear wealthy family. The Rothschild family is the most well-known of all European banking dynasties. For over 200 years they were seen as major players in the impact of Europe’s economic and political history. Beginning in a Frankfurt banking house back in the 1820s, Mayer Rothschild and his sons went on to become well-renowned international bankers. They established branches in London, Paris, Vienna, and Naples by the end of the decade. Their influence didn’t end with the world of banking and finance, their businesses have included mining, energy, real estate, and wine. They have also been heralded for their charity work, dating back centuries.
Today, Jacob Rothschild is the wealthiest member of the family’s English branch. Retired from investment banking, he has a net worth of $1 billion according to Bloomberg. The family is said to be worth close to $400 Billion.
They say that money can’t buy happiness. If you’re the Rothschilds, it can definitely buy something close enough.
Sources: SEC.gov, Forbes, Love Money, TheRichest YouTube
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