One of the Wealthiest Families in the World Resides in New England
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Millionaires are more common than they used to be, but billionaires are still an elite group. However, if you look at the top 25 richest families in America, they've stacked up enough wealth combined to be richer than small nations.
You might think that the wealthiest Americans come from high-tech backgrounds, but you would be wrong. Today's super-rich either inherited or took over businesses developed in the 1800s when the First Industrial Revolution and Second Industrial Revolution occurred.
You'd be surprised who's not on the list. There's only one New England-based family and company on the top 25 list.
In 1949, Edward Crosby Johnson II founded Fidelity Investments. After his son, Edward "Ned" Crosby Johnson III, completed a degree at Harvard University and spent two years in the U.S. Army, the elder Johnson hired his son as a research analyst in 1957, and in 1960, became a portfolio manager for Fidelity Investments.
From 1963 -1977, Edward Johnson III managed the famous Fidelity Magellan Fund, one of the world's most successful mutual funds, according to wealthmanagement.com. He was also a leader in creating 401K retirement accounts.
Ned Johnson, who ran Fidelity Investments out of Boston, and grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, also started other companies, like the charitable Fidelity Foundation, to help invest in fledgling non-profit organizations. The headquarters are in Salem, New Hampshire.
Ned Johnson said this about the Fidelity Foundation, according to FidelityFoundation.org:
When we invest in an organization, we consider it a partnership...if we can help that organization become more self-sufficient, we feel we've achieved something.
In 2014, Edward C. Johnson III stepped down as CEO of Fidelity Investments, and his daughter Abigail took over the CEO reigns. Ned passed away in March of 2022 at 91 years old.
The Edward Johnson family of six is the #7th wealthiest American family, with a net worth of $36 billion with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. They are the only New England family on the list of the 25 wealthiest families in America.