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Hit by stock market meltdown, America's richie-rich club got poorer by $300 billion, but software czar Bill Gates, with a net worth of $50 billion, remained the richest in the United States for the 16th straight year, says business magazine Forbes.
Forbes released the annual ranking of America's 400 richest persons on Thursday.
The list also includes at least four persons of Indian origin.
Among India-origin people, Bharat Desai and family of software firm Syntel is ranked 212th with an estimated net worth of $1.65 billion.
Kavitark Ram Shriram, ace venture capitalist and one of the founder directors of Google, with an estimated wealth of $1.45 billion is in the 272nd spot in the list of 400 richest Americans named by Forbes.
Software entrepreneur Romesh Wadhwani and family are placed at the 277th spot with a wealth of $1.4 billion.
The fourth Indian on the list is noted venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. With estimated wealth of $1.1 billion, he stands at 347th position.
Bill Gates is followed by his friend and legendary investor Warren Buffett (estimated wealth, $40 billion) on the Forbes' list.
Forbes said: "Almost all of America's wealthiest citizens are poorer this year" and it is only for the fifth time since 1982 that the collective net worth of The Forbes 400 -- the annual tally of the nation's richest people -- has declined.
Their collective wealth plummeted by $300 billion in the past 12 months from $1.57 trillion to $1.27 trillion.
Faltering capital markets and real estate prices, along with divorce and fraud, pushed the fortunes of 314 members down and drove 32 plutocrats off the rankings.
"Faltering capital markets and real estate prices, along with divorce and fraud, pushed the fortunes of 314 members down and drove 32 plutocrats off the rankings," Forbes said.
Warren Buffett, America's second-richest, saw his fortunes decline by $10 billion. Buffett was outranked for 16th time this year by Gates as America's richest person, although the net worth of Microsoft co-founder also fell by $7 billion.
Among the richest Americans, Oracle's Lawrence Ellison ($27 billion) is ranked third after Gates and Buffett.
The Walton family -- owners of Wal-Mart -- for ages has been amongst the richest Americans. This year too Forbes ranks then in the top 10.
Wal-Mart's Christy Walton & family ($21.5 billion), Jim C Walton ($19.6 billion), Alice Walton ($19.3 billion) and S Robson Walton ($19 billion) occupy the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh positions, respectively, amongst the 400 richest Americans.
Media baron and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($17.5 billion) is ranked eighth.
Charles Koch and David Koch -- of Koch Industries, which has huge interests in manufacturing and energy -- share the ninth position, with estimated wealth of $16 billion, each.
The 10 richest Americans together lost $39.2 billion in the past 12 months, marking a decline of 14 per cent. The list is based on the wealth figures as on September 10, 2009.
Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, with estimated wealth of $15.3 billion each are jointly ranked 11th on the Forbes list.
Besides, others on the list are -- Michael Dell of Dell at 13 position ($14.5 billion), Steven Ballmer of Microsoft at 14th ($13.3 billion), media mogul Rupert Murdoch at 37th ($6 billion), Google CEO Eric Schmidt at 40th ($5.5 billion) and Apple's Steve Jobs at 43rd ($5.1 billion).
Oscar winning director Steven Speilberg was ranked at the 97th spot ($3 billion) while television anchor Oprah Winfrey stood 141st ($2.3 billion) in the Forbes list.