AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Wayne Hughes congratulating jockey Gary Stevens for riding Hughes' Beholder to victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff horse race in November 2016.
The son of a sharecropper, B. Wayne Hughes grew up poor. Now he is one of the richest people in America, and has created one of its most recognizable companies.
Hughes co-founded Public Storage in 1972 and has grown it to the largest self-storage company in the world. Its portfolio now spans more than 140M SF of net rentable real estate, spread across more than 2,200 locations. He retired as its CEO in 2002.
In 2011, he founded American Homes 4 Rent, a publicly traded REIT that acquires, renovates, leases and operates single-family homes as rental properties. It portfolio includes 48,982 single-family properties in select submarkets in 22 states. Its IPO in 2013 brought in $706M; its current market capitalization is $6B.
Hughes has owned thoroughbred horses since 1972, including award-winners Action This Day and Beholder. In 2004, he purchased and moved to the historic 700-acre Spendthrift Farm, a working stud farm near Lexington, Kentucky.
Hughes created and funds the Parker Hughes Cancer Center in Minnesota that undertakes the research to develop drugs and treatment for children's leukemia and cancer. — Catie Dixon
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