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Michael Jordan Becomes First Pro Athlete on Forbes 400 List with $3 Billion Net Worth

President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Michael Jordan during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 22, 2016.
NBA legend Michael Jordan has achieved another groundbreaking milestone in his legendary career, this time off the basketball court. Forbes has officially ranked him at number 379 on its esteemed Forbes 400 list, making him the first professional athlete to ever earn a spot among America's 400 wealthiest individuals.

This prestigious entry into the Forbes 400 is attributed to Jordan's strategic move earlier this year when he sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA franchise he had acquired in 2010 for approximately $275 million. 

Forbes estimates Jordan's current net worth at an impressive $3 billion. His journey to billionaire status began in 2015, driven not only by his basketball prowess but also his lucrative endorsement deals with iconic brands like Nike. This partnership, which started in 1984 with a contract worth $500,000 per year plus royalties, has remained a cornerstone of his financial success. As of the latest data, Jordan continues to receive yearly royalties from Nike, amounting to a substantial $260 million.

However, it's not just Nike that contributed to Jordan's financial empire. Over the years, he inked lucrative contracts with major brands such as Hanes, Gatorade, and Upper Deck, further bolstering his financial standing.

Beyond his wealth accumulation, Jordan has also become renowned for his philanthropic efforts. In celebration of his 60th birthday, he made history with a generous $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish America, marking the largest individual gift ever received by the foundation in its 43-year history.

While Jordan's prowess on the basketball court is legendary, with five MVP awards and six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls during his illustrious 15-season career, his off-court achievements continue to shape his legacy. His strategic investments and business acumen have made him an iconic figure not only in the world of sports but also in finance and philanthropy.

In the larger context of America's wealthiest individuals, Jordan's journey from the courts of the NBA to the elite ranks of the Forbes 400 is a testament to his unique blend of talent, business savvy, and dedication to making a difference.

As of Forbes' latest assessment, Elon Musk leads the Forbes 400 list with an estimated worth of $251 billion, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with an estimated wealth of $161 billion.

Forbes reports that the collective net worth of America's 400 richest individuals now stands at an astounding $4.5 trillion, equaling the record set in 2021. This sum even surpasses the 2022 GDP of Japan, which was $4.23 trillion according to the World Bank.

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