37. Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely
Photograph by Fernando Decillis

Focus Business, Philanthropy, Sports
Age 44
In 1998 the former fax machine salesperson created the shapewear empire Spanx, landing a spot in 2012 on Forbes’ lists of “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” ($1.07 billion) and “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” (number 91). From red carpet punchlines to placement on retail shelves in 60 countries, Spanx has entered the cultural zeitgeist.

Hoop dreams Already the poster woman for up-by-her-girdle-straps entrepreneurs everywhere, Blakely’s local profile is even higher thanks to splashy new corporate digs at Buckhead Atlanta—and her spot on the new Atlanta Hawks ownership team.

Back to Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful

This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.