Even the world’s richest people can be unlucky in love. From Elon Musk and MacKenzie Scott to Kim Kardashian and Tyler Perry, these billionaires are still looking for a Valentine.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRACELYNN WAN FOR FORBES; PHOTOS BY DIA DIPASUPIL/GETTY IMAGES
As the Beatles famously taught us—money can’t buy you love. Which explains why many of the wealthiest individuals on the planet find themselves single this Valentine’s Day. Some have experienced the pain of divorce (once or thrice) while others practice serial monogamy for several years before moving on. There are also single billionaires with difficult exes and other red flags that might give a prospective partner cold feet.
To identify some of America’s Most Eligible Billionaires, we combed through the ranks of the Forbes 400—from innovative tech entrepreneurs to brash fashion moguls to passionate philanthropists—for those who don’t have a ring on their finger (yet) but are open to finding love. Some potential mates—including those who were recently widowed or have more than 75 candles on a birthday cake—were left out because, well, maybe they’ve seen too much.
Bottom line, each of these eligible billionaires has a lot more going for them than a bank account with three commas. But if that’s your thing—ask one of them for a little seed money and start a new dating site.
NET WORTH: $187.2 BILLION
A man who named his first four Tesla models S, 3, X, Y, would appear to have one thing on his mind—and with 10 children (and counting), Elon Musk certainly has the numbers to prove it. Despite three divorces—including two from the same woman—the world’s second richest man is still looking for love. As he told Rolling Stone in 2017: “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy. I will never be happy without having someone. Going to sleep alone kills me.” But there are, of course, some ground rules that come with dating the 51-year-old billionaire. For one thing, when you step off a private jet with the Chief Twit, don’t tweet about where you just landed. For another, how do you feel about living on Mars?
NET WORTH: $4.9 BILLION
The 46-year-old cofounder and former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey has been linked with many women over the years but has generally been private about his love life. When he’s not running tech businesses—Dorsey also cofounded the payments company Block (né Square)—he is also a licensed massage therapist and briefly thought about a career as a fashion designer. One downside to dating Dorsey? Forget about romantic brunch dates—he eats just once a day in the evening.
Laurene Powell Jobs
NET WORTH: $12.5 BILLION
The widow of Steve Jobs—whom she married in 1991—Laurene Powell Jobs has focused on her work as an impact investor since his death in 2011 as the founder and chair of Emerson Collective. Jobs, who has three adult children with the late Apple cofounder, has dated several men since her husband’s death in 2011—including former Boston mayor Adrian Fenty and Eleven Madison Park chef, Daniel Humm—but remains single. An avid sports fan, she owns 20% of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. And for those who appreciate the ocean, Jobs also owns a $120 million superyacht, Venus, that was designed by Philippe Starck.
NET WORTH: $9.1 BILLION
The vacation options are endless with Brian Chesky, the 41-year-old cofounder and CEO of Airbnb. A former competitive bodybuilder who loves posting photos with his beloved dog, Sophie Supernova, Chesky has been linked with artist Elissa Patel in recent years. But he’s still willing to share his bed—for the sake of his company. Late last year, in a shrewd publicity stunt, he offered a room in his San Francisco home on Airbnb “Stay with me,” Chesky wrote in the listing. “You’ll spend time with me and Sophie, my golden retriever, as I share stories from the early days—or you can relax in your suite, decorated with some of my favorite pieces of Airbnb history.”
Melinda French Gates
NET WORTH: $6.7 BILLION
Long before she married Bill Gates in 1994, Melinda French had a successful career at Microsoft as a multimedia product developer. After their first child was born, she left the company to focus on her work as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable organization. Despite their divorce in 2021, after 27 years of marriage, the couple remain committed to their joint philanthropic work even if they are both moving on romantically. Bill Gates was recently linked to Paula Hurd, widow of ex-Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, while at the end of 2022, Melinda was reportedly dating former Fox correspondent Jon Du Pre. And while she’s not exactly saying “I do” again, she values nothing more than love. As Gates wrote in The Moment of Lift, her bestselling book about female empowerment: “To me, no question is more important than this one: does your primary relationship have love and respect and reciprocity and a sense of teamwork and belonging and mutual growth? I believe all of us ask ourselves this question in one way or another—because I think it is one of the greatest longings of life.”
NET WORTH: $32.8 BILLION
Do you like a man with excellent taste in real estate? Ken Griffin made his fortune running Citadel Advisors, the hedge fund he founded in 1990, but in the past 15 years, his passion has been collecting trophy homes around the world. The twice-divorced Griffin, 54, owns several apartments in New York, including a $238 million penthouse in Manhattan. He also has a few posh properties in Miami, as well as homes in Aspen, Hawaii, London and the Hamptons. And if that’s not enough, Griffin has also amassed a $450 million oceanfront compound in Palm Beach.
NET WORTH: $26.8 BILLION
The 52-year—old novelist owes her massive wealth to a 4% stake in Amazon, which her ex-husband, Jeff Bezos, founded. Following a multibillion-dollar divorce in 2019 after 25 years of marriage, Scott appeared to forsake money for love in 2021 when she wed Dan Jewett, a former science teacher at her children’s school in Seattle. Alas, the couple divorced in January. Today, much of Scott’s life is devoted to philanthropy—in just over two years, she has donated more than $14 billion to some 1,600 charities, including $275 million to Planned Parenthood and $570 million to the United Way. And while it is probably not the wisest dating strategy, all of Scott’s philanthropic work comes with “no strings attached.”
NET WORTH: $3.1 BILLION
Once known as the “homeless billionaire” in the early 2000s after he sold his apartments in New York and Miami to live out of luxury hotels, 61-year-old Nicholas Berggruen has settled down in the last decade—he had two children via surrogates in 2016—but still hasn’t married. The son of a wealthy art collector, he runs the Berggruen Institute, a think tank focused the future of democracy and capitalism. Oh, and he has a place to live now—several of them. In 2021, Berggruen purchased the lavish Hearst estate in Beverly Hills for $63.1 million and a few months later bought the 6,300-square-foot property next door for $12.3 million.
NET WORTH: $1.7 BILLION
Say this about dating Kim Kardashian—despite being a billionaire shapewear mogul, she has nothing to hide. In fact, she prefers to live her life in front of the cameras. And in the tabloids. And on social media. And anywhere else that will earn her money and add value to Skims, which Forbes values at $3.2 billion. Despite a complicated dating past—three divorces, including most recently from Kanye West, and a high-profile breakup with former SNL star Pete Davidson—the 42-year-old Kardashian remains a hopeful romantic. And she knows what she’s looking for next—a man with brains. “I think my next route, I feel like I have to go to different places. Clearly, it’s not working, whatever I’m doing,” she told Late Late Show host James Corden in September. “I think it’s gonna be, like, scientist, neuroscientist, biochemist, doctor, attorney—that’s maybe what I envision in the future.”
NET WORTH: $1 BILLION
Self-made billionaire Tyler Perry described being “poor as hell” before joining the ranks of Forbes 400 in 2020. That same year, the 53-year-old director, actor, producer, and playwright split from his longtime girlfriend, Gelila Bekele, after 11 years together and one child. He has remained single since, but is still a sucker for love stories, as he proved when he allowed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stay at his Los Angeles home when they first moved to the United States. As for finding love in 2023, Perry would be smart to follow the wisdom of his most famous alter ego, Madea, who once advised: “When you go on a date, don’t give up nothing. Dating and having sex will get you dinner and a movie, but holding out will get you diamonds and furs and Cadillac and proposing and everything else.”