Northwest Indiana's own Dean White is again one of the richest men in the world and the second wealthiest in the state, according to Forbes Magazine.

Forbes estimates the Crown Point resident, Northwest Indiana’s only billionaire, is worth $2.4 billion. The former real estate, hotel and billboard magnate is the 260th richest man in America, up from 268th last year.

White is the second richest person in Indiana after medical device-maker Cook Group founder Gayle Cook, who is 240th nationally with a net worth of $5.8 billion, which rose significantly along with the stock market last year. Shopping mall magnate and Indianapolis Pacers owner Herbert Simon is worth $2.05 billion, and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is worth $1.6 billion.

Internationally, White ranks as the 722nd richest billionaire in the world, up from 738th in 2015.

White first passed the $2 billion threshold in 2014, according to Forbes. He made his fortune building hotels, selling billboard ads, and then selling the billboard company he inherited from his father for $960 million. He has extensive real estate holdings all across the county, include the 33-story "Big Blue" hotel in downtown Indianapolis, which is the largest JW Marriott hotel in the world.

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Only 12 billionaires in the world are older than White, who is 92, Forbes found.

The magazine ranked Microsoft mogul and computer operating system pioneer Bill Gates as the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $75 billion. Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara and the wealthiest retailer in the world placed second, with $67 billion, while investment guru Warren Buffett was third with $60.8 billion.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.