1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Wealthiest People in North Carolina - 2012

Do You Know these Richest Tar Heels?


The Wealthiest People in North Carolina - 2012

James Goodnight is North Carolina's wealthiest person

Getty Images
Do you recognize the name James Goodnight? You may not, but there's a good chance that you, or your business has used his product. So many people and businesses use his software that he's North Carolina's richest man. Each year, Forbes releases a list of the 400 wealthiest people in America, and for 2012, three of them are Tar Heels.

Two of the men are considered "self-made" - no "family" money to assist them. The list of North Carolina's most wealthy hasn't changed drastically over time, as these three men have been on it for a while now. Stock car tycoon Bruton Smith was on the list as recently as 2005, with a net worth of $1.5 billion at the time, but he's fallen off as other have risen.

James Goodnight
At number 46 in America and number 125 in the world, James Goodnight co-founded software giant SAS with fellow North Carolina State alum John Sall in 1976. He currently has an estimated worth of $7.3 billion. SAS is the world's largest private software company, as their analytic software has helped thousands of businesses solve problems and identify new opportunities. Despite the economic downturn, he made a promise in 2009 to not lay off a single person - a promise he has kept so far. His firm is known for very excellent working conditions and incredibly worker-friendly policies - including wellness programs, on-site daycare centers and free snacks. Mr. Goodnight is 69, resides in Cary, and is married with three children.

John Sall
John Sall is the 108 most wealthy person in America, and number 246 in the world. Along with James Goodnight, he co-founded software giant SAS. He's currently the executive vice president and runs the dynamic data visualization software division. His estimated worth is $3.6 billion. Along with his partner, Goodnight, he owns the Prestonwood Country Club, the Umstead Hotel & Spa near Raleigh he and co-founded a local private school - Cary Academy. He is presently a trustee at N.C. State University. Mr. Sall is 64, resides in Cary, and is married with four children.

Clemmie Spangler Jr.
Clemmie Spangler Jr. is the 250th most wealthy person in America, and number 804 in the world. His estimated worth is about $1.9 billion. While the two other names on this list made their fortune in software, Clemmie Spangler Jr. made his wealth in investments. He studied business at UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard Business School, and eventually took over his father's failing bank - the Bank of North Carolina. Using his business savvy, he merged it with NCNB in 1982, and eventually with Bank of America. Right now, he owns building and construction materials supplier National Gypsum. A longtime proponent for education, he served as chair of North Carolina's board of education from 1982 to 1986 and president of UNC Chapel Hill from 1986 to 1997. He also served as president of Harvard University's Board of Overseers from 2003 to 2004. Mr. Spangler is 80, currently lives in Charlotte, and is married with two children.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.