Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 499 John Brown $5.33B

Random fact: Took over Stryker after its president, Lee Stryker died in a plane crash.


Brown is the chairman emeritus of Stryker Corp., a Michigan-based medical device manufacturer. Brown joined the company as chief executive in 1977, leading it through 2009 when he retired. In that period, Stryker revenues grew from $17 million to $6.7 billion. He owns about 5% of the company.

As of :
Last change -$92.5M ( -1.7%)
YTD change +$102M ( +1.9%)
Biggest asset SYK US Equity
Country / Region United States
Age 88
Industry Technology
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

John Brown's net worth of $5.33B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Brown's fortune is held in Stryker Corp. stock, which he acquired through awards and purchases in his 40 years with the company. He owns more than 5% of the business, a publicly traded medical device manufacturer, according to the 2022 proxy filing.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes, charitable donations and market performance.

Jon Zimmer, a spokesman for Stryker Corp., declined to comment on Brown's net worth.


Family: Married, 2 children

Brown was born in 1934 and raised in West Tennessee. The eldest of five children, he attended a junior college after graduating from high school and then transferred to Auburn University where he studied chemical engineering. After graduating, Brown began work at an aluminum company.

He was contacted by a recruiter from Stryker in 1976 and was offered the role to replace Lee Stryker, the company's president and chief executive officer who had recently died in a plane crash. Brown turned down the role at first, but soon after accepted and moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan to run Stryker.

Brown served as chief executive officer and president and then chairman of the board of Stryker Corp. for 32 years until 2009. He led the company's initial public offering in 1979.

  • 1953 Graduates from high school.
  • 1976 Becomes president and chief executive of Stryker.
  • 1979 Leads Stryker's initial public offering
  • 2010 Retires as chairman.