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Bill Gates tops Forbes list of 400 richest people in America

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw the biggest jump in wealth among all the people on the list, earning him the No. 11 spot.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is richest person in America. CBS

Bill Gates is the richest person in America, according to Forbes.

Revealing its list of the 400 richest people in the nation on Monday, Forbes pegged former Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with a treasure chest of $81 billion. Gates actually added $9 billion to his net worth over the past year, partly due to a rise in his Microsoft shares as well as growth in other investments.

But Forbes lauded the man mostly for its charitable contributions.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away $30 billion since 2000, Forbes said, saying that the foundation helped played a role in eliminating smallpox, reducing polio, and overhauling the American educational system.

"Now he's taking on the deadliest animal on Earth, the mosquito," Forbes said. "Malaria cases are down 25 percent since 2000, but there are still 200 million cases worldwide, and Gates is throwing billions toward making that number zero."

Among other tech moguls, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison took third place with a net worth of $48.1 billion. Ellison surprised the tech world last Thursday when he announced that he would give up his job as CEO of the database giant to focus on the roles of chief technology officer and executive chairman of the board.

But Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took top honors as the biggest gainer on the list. Ranking him No. 11, Forbes pegged Zuckerberg's net worth at $34.7 billion, up $15 billion from last year. The increase comes from his ownership in a stock that once was dubbed a loser following the company's disappointing IPO in 2012.

Facebook has been busy this year spending big bucks on product acquisitions. In February, the social network shelled out $19 billion in cash and stock to acquire messaging app Whatsapp. And then in March, Facebook doled out $2 billion for the company that makes the virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift. Though some skeptics questioned these deals, Facebook stock has since climbed out of its hole and is now around double its original price.

As a result, Zuckerberg is now the third richest American in the tech business, and the 11th richest person in America, according to Forbes.

Which other tech players made the list?

Google CEO Larry Page took the No. 12 spot with $31.7 billion, while his partner, Sergey Brin, was No. 13 with $31.2 billion. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer came in with a net worth of $22.3 billion. Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell was worth $17.5 billion. And Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen made the list with $17.1 billion.