Butt family, owners of H-E-B, named one of the richest families in US by Forbes

Family’s estimated net worth is $17.8 billion

H-E-B’s Charles Butt was named a top CEO in Glassdoor’s Top CEO list for 2019. The San Antonio-based retailer’s Chairman and CEO ranked second out of 100 chief executives from across the nation. (H-E-B)

SAN ANTONIO – The Butt family, proud owners of Texas’ beloved grocery chain H-E-B, are one of the richest families in the U.S., according to Forbes.

Coming in at an estimated net worth of $17.8 billion, the Butt family fortune puts them in 15th place for wealthiest families.

At the top of Forbes’ richest families list is the Walton family with a $247 billion fortune thanks to their ownership of Walmart. It’s more than twice the estimated net worth of family No. 2, the Koch family, whose diversified wealth is estimated to be around $100 billion.

So how does this compare to years past? In June 2016, Forbes estimated the H-E-B family fortune to be closer to $11 billion.

To find the summation of the family’s wealth, Forbes “added up their assets, including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, art and cash, and took into account estimates of debt.”

Forbes also excluded “any assets irrevocably pledged to charitable foundations” which could have potentially put the Butts higher up the list as they are known for their philanthropy through H-E-B donations.

“We attempted to vet these numbers with all the families or their representatives,” Forbes officials said.

H-E-B was also named “Grocer of the Year” in December by Grocery Dive for the company’s preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic.

H-E-B was founded in 1905 in Kerrville by Florence Butt who opened her petite grocery store with just $60, Forbes reported.

Howard Butt helped to expand H-E-B across Texas and his son Charles, who started as a bag boy in the 1940s at age 8, would take over as CEP in 1971.

Today, Charles is still in charge of the company and owns the majority stake in Texas’ favorite grocery chain which has more than 340 store locations throughout Texas and Mexico.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.