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The 10 Richest People in Tennessee



Richest People in Tennessee

Tennesse located in the southeast region of the United States is the 15th most popular out of the 50 states. Of course, you can expect to see individuals of different classes and calibers. But who are the wealthiest people in Tennessee? In this article, we will focus on the 10 richest people in Tennessee and how they earn their money. Some of these guys are multimillionaires and they have assets and net worth beyond your imagination.

The 10 Richest People in Tennessee

Here is the list of millionaires in Tennessee according to Forbes.

10. Jeffrey Lorberbaum Net Worth $1.2 billion

Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum born in 1954 is a popular businessman who resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is the owner and leader of the company “Mohawk” which deals with flooring services. Before acquiring wealth,  Lorberbaum earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1974.

Following his graduation, he joined his family’s carpet business, which eventually merged with Mohawk Industries in 1988. From there, Lorberbaum steadily rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming CEO and Chairman in 2001.

Under Lorberbaum’s guidance, Mohawk Industries has experienced remarkable growth and transformation. He has overseen numerous strategic acquisitions that have expanded Mohawk’s products and market reach. This has added significant figures to his various accounts, keeping him on the 10th spot in our list of the 10 richest people in Tennessee.

9. Dean Solon Net Worth $1.5 billion

Dean Solon is a notable entrepreneur and businessman who was born and raised in the United States. He resides in Gallatin, Tennessee. Solon earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing his education, he embarked on a career path in the field of solar energy.

In 2003, Solon founded Shoals Technologies Group. The company specializes in electrical balance of systems solutions for solar installations. As CEO and Chairman of Shoals, Solon has helped in providing innovative products and services that have helped to streamline the installation and operation of solar energy systems. 

These innovations have helped to address common challenges faced by solar developers and installers, such as wiring errors and system downtime. On the other hand, he has accumulated enough wealth to provide these solutions. Ultimately, his contributions to the energy sector will forever remain in the history books.

8. Willis Johnson Net Worth $2.2 billion

Willis Johnson, born in 1947, is an American billionaire businessman who built his fortune by selling already-used cars and spare parts. He began quite small at first but today he is one of the wealthiest men in Tennessee.

His journey started when he worked at his father’s scrapyard in California. Here he gained firsthand experience in the business. By longing to start his own company, he started working at a Safeway grocery store before venturing out on his own.

In 1982, Johnson founded his own company named “Copart” which specialized in selling already used vehicles. At first, He started with a single lot in Vallejo, California. He used the knowledge and experience from his prior work experiences. His vision was to create a more efficient and transparent marketplace for buying and selling salvaged vehicles.

Copart saw steady growth under Johnson’s leadership. He took the company public in 1994 and got the capital he needed for expansion. Now the company is situated in 11 countries with over 243 locations. In 2010, Johnson stepped down as CEO of Copart by handing over the reins to his son-in-law, Jay Adair. But this has not decreased his worth, he still stands as one of the richest people in Tennessee

7. Brad Kelley Net worth $2.5 billion

Brad M. Kelley born in Kentucky in 1956 is unarguably the 7th wealthiest man in Tennessee. But how has he earned his money? Kelley’s initial success came from founding Commonwealth Brands in 1991.

This company produced budget-friendly cigarette brands like USA Gold and Malibu. He undercut the competition with lower advertising costs. This strategy proved lucrative, and Kelley sold the company to Houchens Industries for a price of $1 billion in 2001.

But he didn’t stop there, he went into land purchase and became one of the largest landowners in the United States. Reports from Forbes show that the land he acquired was over 1 million acres stretching from Hawaii to Florida. However, it’s worth noting that he has sold some Texas ranches in recent years.

As of today, Brad Kelley is a popular business that resides in Franklin Tennessee. He is estimated to have a net worth of $2.5 billion. While he has scaled back on some of his landholdings, his net worth has not decreased.

6. Bill Haslam Net worth $2.5 billion

Bill Haslam is the former Governor of Tennessee and he holds a significant position among Tennessee’s wealthiest individuals. He was born into a family that founded the Pilot Corporation. This business generated a substantial fortune for him. Apart from this, his career as a politician also added figures to his account.

But before emerging as the governor, Haslam served as the president of Pilot Corporation. He expanded its operations and made sure that the company was one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. During this time, Pilot Corporation diversified its interests and expanded its reach. They venture into other areas like energy and logistics.

Haslam did not stop there. At some point, he got into real estate from the money he got from his business, and his finances kept on getting better and better. Additionally, this involvement in numerous businesses has undoubtedly contributed to his wealth accumulation and solidified his position as one of Tennessee’s wealthiest individuals

5. Jon Yarbrough Net worth $3.2 billion

Jon Yarbrough is a popular figure, recognized for his entrepreneurial success and contributions to the development of innovative gaming technologies. He was born and raised in the United States and he stands 5th in our list of 10 richest people in Tennessee. But how did he rise to fame?

In 1998, Yarbrough founded Video Gaming Technologies (VGT), a company focused on designing and manufacturing video gaming machines for casinos and other gaming establishments. His breakthrough came when his company was able to produce Class II gaming machines. This game catered to the needs of the players and his company became more popular.

Of course, they didn’t stop there. Through strategic partnerships and investments in research and development, Yarbrough and his team developed other gaming machines. These games delivered immersive experiences for players and optimized revenue generation for operators.

In 2014, Yarbrough sold VGT to Aristocrat Leisure Limited in a deal valued at over $1 billion. Despite the sale of VGT, Yarbrough has remained active in the gaming industry. He has used his expertise and resources to pursue new opportunities and ventures to stay in the top ranks of billionaires in Tennessee.

4. Martha Ingram and Family Net worth: $3.8 billion

Martha Ingram is a prominent businesswoman who was born in 1935. She grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and during college, she attended Vanderbilt University. This was where she met her future husband, E. Bronson Ingram, who was heir to the Ingram Industries fortune. The industry was founded by her father-in-law, Orin Henry Ingram.

Martha Ingram became deeply involved in the family business. From her ideas, the company diversified its interests into various sectors, including marine transportation, book distribution, and printing services. Martha Ingram served as chairman of Ingram Industries from 1995 until 2008. She continued the legacy of her late husband, who passed away in 1995.

However, while Martha Ingram and her family maintain a relatively private profile over the years, their influence and impact are felt far and wide. They continue to be valued members of the Nashville community and leaders in the business world with massive net worth.

3. Fred Smith Net worth $4.6 billion

Fred Smith is an American businessman best known as the founder and CEO of FedEx Corporation. His company is one of the world’s largest and most successful logistics companies. He was born in 1944 in Marks, Mississippi. Smith attended Yale University, where he studied economics and wrote a paper outlining his concept for an overnight delivery service. After graduating in 1966, he served as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps before launching his own company based on the idea he profound.

In 1971, Smith founded Federal Express (now FedEx) intending to offer overnight delivery services. Despite initial challenges and financial struggles, Smith persevered, and FedEx began to gain traction. In a short time, they became a global leader in logistics and supply chain management.

On this achievement, Smith did not relent in his efforts. He implemented the hub-and-spoke distribution model, which changed the way packages were sorted and delivered. This enabled a faster and more efficient service. Today, FedEx operates in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, employing hundreds of thousands of people and generating billions in revenue annually.

2. Jimmy Haslam Net worth $5.0 billion

Jimmy Haslam is a prominent American businessman and the owner of the Cleveland Browns football team. He was born on March 9, 1954, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is the son of Jim Haslam who is the founder of Pilot Corporation.

His Journey started, after completing his studies at the University of Tennessee. He began working for his father in various roles. However, he eventually rose to become the president and CEO of Pilot Cooperation in 1996. Of course, his visions led to the growth and expansion of the company. They achieved the feat of being one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.

In 2012, he and his family acquired the Cleveland Browns Football team. He has invested in infrastructure improvements, player development initiatives, and community outreach programs to strengthen the Browns’ position both on and off the field. The revenue generated from these businesses has boosted his stand as one of the richest people in Tennessee.

1. Thomas Frist Jr and Family Net worth $17.1 billion

Thomas Frist Jr. who was born on August 15, 1938, is the richest person in Tennessee.  He lives in Nashville with his family and he is the co-founder of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). This establishment is one of the world’s largest healthcare service providers. He got into this field because of his family background, his father was a physician.

Frist Jr. earned his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. After completing his medical training, he served in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon before returning to Nashville to join his father’s practice.

In 1968, Frist Jr. and his father, along with colleague Jack Massey, founded the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).  Their goal was to improve the delivery of healthcare services in the United States.  HCA grew rapidly and expanded its operations through acquisitions and new hospital developments.

As the CEO of HCA, Frist Jr ensured that the company provided a variety of health care services including hospital care, outpatient services, and physician practices. Through his vision, leadership, and generosity, he has helped to improve access to quality healthcare and enrich the lives of countless individuals.


In conclusion, the wealthiest individuals in Tennessee are not only millionaires but also billionaires. They have invested a lot to reach their current status. While some come from affluent families, these individuals have not relented in their efforts across various endeavors. Their dedication, vision, and goals have helped them to become successful individuals in Tennessee and the world at large.


Ralph has shaped this website into a source for inquisitive readers looking for the latest information on Richest People, Net Worth, Top List (Luxury) and How to Make Money Online. He has over 5 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content online.

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