Sam, Make Way for Ron

Is takeover artist Perelman the fattest cat of all?

Who is America's richest man? Forbes magazine says he is Sam Walton, 71, of Bentonville, Ark., the folksy, pickup-driving founder of Wal-Mart Stores (1988 sales: $20.8 billion). Last October the magazine estimated Walton's wealth at $6.7 billion. Forget about it, says Institutional Investor, noting that a portion of Walton's wealth is shared with four grown children. In its May issue the financial monthly says the richest man in the U.S. is Ronald Perelman, 46, of New York City, who has amassed a personal fortune of $5 billion in a mere ten years by assembling companies in businesses ranging from cosmetics to...

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