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Warren Buffett Remains Second Richest American Despite $5 Billion Gain

Warren Buffett keeps his #2 slot on the new Forbes 400 list of the Richest Americans, released tonight (Wednesday).

The magazine estimates Buffett's fortune at $45 billion.

That's $5 billion more than last year's $40 billion.

Despite the gain, however, Buffett remains behind his friend, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who keeps his top spot on the list with $54 billion. That's an increase of $4 billion from last year's estimated $50 billion for Gates.

Oracle's Lawrence Ellison is in third place with an estimated $27 billion, unchanged from last year.

Buffett is featured in a Forbes cover story and video clip that accompanies the new list. "The Summit" features a recent conversation among Buffett, musician and businessman Jay-Z, and Steve Forbes on "wealth, success, and giving back."

Overall, it was a good year for Buffett's fellow billionaires. Forbes calculates the total combined wealth of its 400 Richest Americans increased 8 percent to $1.37 trillion from $1.27 trillion last year. That's still below 2007 and 2008 when the Forbes 400 total wealth topped $1.5 trillion.

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