No. 3 -- Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen

NET WORTH: $12.7 billion

Ahead of Perelman -- but still not cracking the list of the Richest 10 Americans -- Warren Buffett and Bill Gates had to reach down the Forbes list to No. 17 to land Paul Allen. (Philanthropic experts argue that casting a wide net and attracting pledges from eons of millionaires may ultimately raise more than targeting the select billionaire set.)

With a fortune valued at over $11 billion, Allen is the second-richest technology executive on the Buffett/Gates list. He also shares a distinction with Larry Ellison -- that of being a college dropout.

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