Wal-Mart widow tops world's richest mothers list

Wed May 5, 2010 4:50pm EDT
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By Walden Siew

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Having children isn't a barrier to making a billion dollars as eight women on a new list of the world's richest mothers showed.

The list compiled by Forbes.com reveals the 70 women around the globe who will celebrate Mother's Day Sunday as billionaires.

Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton who was the son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, tops the list with $22.5 billion.

She is followed by Liliane Bettencourt, 87, of France, whose father founded the cosmetic giant L'Oreal and Birgit Rausing, the 86-year-old widow of the Swedish creator of packaging giant Tetra Laval.

Of the 70 billionaire moms, only eight built their vast fortunes on their own, compared to 555 self-made billionaires who are fathers, according to Forbes.com.

Margaret Whitman, 53, known as Meg, built her fortune of $1.3 billion as the former CEO of online auction house eBay Inc. The mother of two sons is now a candidate to replace California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"For Whitman, motherhood was not a deterrent to her success, but an aid," Forbes said on its website.

Other self-made millionaires on the list include Rosalia Mera, who along with her former husband launched the Spanish clothing firm Zara, Doris Fisher of the clothing giant The Gap and Guiliana Benetton of the Italian firm Benetton.   Continued...