BUSINESS

Elaine Marshall Is America's Fourth-Richest Woman But Nobody Knew It

09/19/2012 11:20 am ET | Updated Sep 19, 2012

Apparently it's possible to be a billionaire and escape the notice of billionaire rankings for some time.

Bloomberg News revealed on Monday that the reclusive Elaine Tettemer Marshall, 70, of Dallas, is the fourth-richest woman in the country and 69th-richest woman in the world. She has never before appeared on an international wealth ranking, despite being worth more than $12.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.

That makes her 222,807 times richer than the median U.S. household.

Marshall's billions come from her 15 percent stake in Koch Industries. She secured her fortune by marrying into wealth and gained control of the stake after her husband E. Pierce Marshall, who inherited it from his father, died in 2006. Strangely enough, she is the daughter-in-law of Anna Nicole Smith, the late model and stripper who launched a series of lawsuits against the Marshalls to try to secure part of that fortune.

For her part, Marshall denies that she is worth more than $12.7 billion. She told the Dallas Morning News through a spokesman that the valuation was "ridiculous."

Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries, are the 7th- and 8th-richest people in the world and are each worth $37.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They are among the most influential donors in the Republican Party.

Related on HuffPost:

The Forbes 400: The Richest People In America


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