Hawaii's richest resident is eBay founder Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar, Chairman and Founder of eBay.
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  • Forbes has determined who the richest resident is in each US state.
  • Despite all the big stars flocking to Hawaii, the elusive eBay founder Pierre Omidyar takes the state crown.
  • Omidyar has given away $1.5 billion of his wealth since 2014.

America's elite have long chosen Hawaii as the ideal tropical paradise for their vacation homes.

The island's notable neighbors include billionaires such as Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel and Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

But despite the big names and flashy personalities of Hawaii's ultra-rich residents, it is media-shy eBay founder Pierre Omidyar who is the island nation's richest permanent resident, according to Forbes' 2024 list of the richest billionaires in every state.

Overall, Forbes has calculated that 54 billionaires live in 47 out of 50 US states. Together they have a total value of $1.6 trillion.

Omidyar only contributes $6.5 billion to this total.

The French-born Iranian-American founded eBay in 1995. Within three years, he had earned his first billion with the online auction house.

Chairman and founder Pierre Omidyar and CEO Meg Whitman of in 1998.
James D. Wilson/Getty

In 2002, eBay acquired online payment company PayPal for $1.5 billion. It was spun off in 2015 to allow eBay to develop its own payment system.

In 2020, Omidyar resigned from eBay's board as part of a broader restructuring of the company. The departure was not related to disagreements with the company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

He remains active in the company and retains the role of Director Emeritus.

Omidyar also became involved in investigative reporting and founded First Look Media, which subsequently launched the online news site The Intercept.

While he lives in Hawaii's state capital Honolulu with his wife Pamela, he also develops real estate in Mexico.

According to Forbes, the 56-year-old is the 444th richest person in the world. Since 2004, he has donated over $1.5 billion of his wealth through impact investments and philanthropy.

He is a longtime Democratic Party donor and a well-known critic of Big Tech. In 2020, the Omidyar Group donated $150,000 to Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit organization that represented Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Omidyar took over the top spot in Hawaii from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Although Ellison still owns 98% of an entire island in Hawaii, records indicate that California is his primary residence, according to Forbes.

The Hawaiian island of Lanai was purchased by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
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The same goes for Mark Zuckerburg and Jeff Bezos, who took top spots at their primary residences in California and Florida, respectively.

In 2021, Bezos and his now-fiancée Lauren Sanchez broke the record for purchasing the most expensive property ever sold on the Hawaiian island Architectural Digest. The couple paid $78 million for a 14-acre property on the island of Maui.

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