25. Tyler Perry

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Entertainment, Media
Age 46
Born into poverty in New Orleans, the media and entertainment mogul took inspiration from Oprah’s advice to keep a diary of his thoughts. He turned those early missives into a hit musical, propelling him toward success. Today Perry is an industry unto himself: a writer, director, actor, and producer—not to mention the creator of plays, books, films, and TV shows like the popular House of Payne on TBS. In 2011 Forbes named Perry the highest-paid man in entertainment, with $130 million in earnings.

We bought a fort Perry recently purchased 330 acres of the former Fort McPherson in southwest Atlanta, with plans to redevelop the site into a new movie studio.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.