No. 25 Simplot Family
Jack Simplot (1909—2008) was no ordinary potato farmer. In 1967, the Iowa native struck a deal with McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc to supply the fast-food giant with frozen french fries. With that single transaction, Boise-based J.R. SIMPLOT CO. went from supplying a fraction of McDonald’s spuds to prepping the lion’s share of one of America’s favorite guilty pleasures. Simplot’s heirs oversee a $2.5 billion agricultural operation with interests in farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, and other endeavors.