There are 138 women on this year?s billionaires list ? up from last year?s total of 104.

At age 90, Liliane Bettencourt is the world?s richest woman, and enters the top ten list of the world?s wealthiest people for the first time since 1999. She and her family own over 30% of L?Oreal, which her father founded.

Christy Walton?s net worth reached new highs as Wal-Mart stock jumped in 2012. She remains the richest woman in the United States. Christy inherited her wealth when husband John Walton, a former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic, died in an airplane crash in 2005.

Billionaire Andronico Luksic died of cancer in 2005, leaving his business empire in the care of his wife, Iris Fontbona, and his three sons: Jean-Paul, Andronico, and Guillermo Luksic. The Luksic family controls Antofagasta, one of the world?s largest copper miners.

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton gave $1.7 million to a Washington D.C. charter schools initiative alongside fellow billionaires Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer. The Walton family?s most generous philanthropist, her ambitious Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., opened in 2011 featuring works donated from her personal collection?which is valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart is still the richest woman in the Asia-Pacific region, even though falling iron ore prices have shaved $1 billion off her net worth.

Jacqueline Mars and her two brothers, John and Forrest Jr, are the third generation to own Mars, Inc. The siblings inherited the company in 1999 when their father died. Mars is the largest candy company in the world, with an estimated $33 billion in sales, thanks in part to its $23 billion acquisition of gum maker Wrigley?s in 2008.

Susanne Klatten, Germany?s richest woman, inherited a 12.6% stake in automaker BMW from her late father Herbert Quandt, who rescued the company from bankruptcy decades ago. Susanne, her brother Stefan Quandt and her mother Johanna Quandt together own nearly 50% of BMW, which has continued to grow despite weakness in Europe thanks to sales in the U.S. and China.

Abigail Johnson was named president of Fidelity Financial Services, which oversees the asset management, brokerage and retirement and benefits services units of Fidelity Investments in August 2012. This makes Abby one of the most powerful women in finance and the leading candidate to take over the CEO seat when her father, Edward ?Ned? Johnson, 82, steps down.

Fashion legend Miuccia Prada runs the luxury goods and clothing company Prada with her husband Patrizio Bertelli. The granddaughter of the company?s founder is the lead designer, while Bertelli handles the business side as CEO. The design house is expanding: 2012 saw new store openings in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, and they?re reportedly seeking a partner to enter India.

Anne Cox Chambers is the surviving daughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox (d. 1957). Today the company includes Cox Communications (cable), Cox Media Group (newspapers, TV and ration stations), Manheim (car auctions), and . In January the company cancelled plans to take m public, citing current market conditions. At age 93 Chambers continues to sit on the board.

The bulk of Dirce Navarro de Camargo?s wealth comes from her stake in Camargo Correa, a conglomerate founded by her late husband, Sebastiao Camargo, in 1939 with operations in diverse areas like cement, energy and construction. In 2012, the industrial empire acquired 95% of Cimpor, a publicly traded cement maker based in Lisbon, for over $3.7 billion. Dirce became chairman of Camargo Correa upon her husband?s death in 1994 and served until 1996. Even though Dirce is Brazil?s richest woman, she continues to stay out of the limelight.

Beer heiress Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is one of the richest women in the world. A decade ago she inherited a 25% controlling stake in Dutch brewer Heineken from her late father, Freddy Heineken. The company has more than 170 premium brands in more than 65 countries.

Silicon Valley?s wealthiest woman, Laurene Powell Jobs, is focusing her attention on spreading awareness for the DREAM Act. As the namesake of the Laurene Powell Jobs Trust, Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Walt Disney Co., with a 7.3% stake ? worth twice that of her Apple shares, left to her by late husband and company cofounder, Steve Jobs.

Johanna Quandt is the former secretary and third wife of the late Herbert Quandt, the German executive who rescued automaker BMW from bankruptcy. BMW sold a record 1.85 million vehicles in 2012, including its Rolls-Royce and Mini brand cars; revenues in 2011 were $92 billion. An uptick in BMW?s stock price lifted her net worth from $10 billion last year.

One of Sweden?s richest women, Antonia Johnson succeeded her father as head of the Axel Johnson Group, a diversified trading company, in 1982. The privately held company, founded by her great-grandfather in 1873, has interests in food, security, energy, telecom, real estate and industrial products.

The widow of J. Pierce Marshall, who inherited nearly all of a 14.6% stake in Koch Industries from his father, J. Howard Marshall II (while Namesake son J. Howard III was cut out entirely).

Another tough year for Savitri Jindal?s OP Jindal Group, steel and power conglomerate founded by her late husband, which she chairs. The family?s fortune fell $3.3 billion over the past year and is down $5.6 billion in two years.

Eva Gonda Rivera, widow of Eugenio Garza Laguera, the former chair of Femsa, Latin America?s largest beverage company and the biggest independent Coca-Cola distributor in the region. Eugenio?s stake passed was passed to his wife and four daughters after his death in 2008. Together they control 50% of Femsa?s B shares, which are traded both in Mexico and on the New York Stock Exchange.

Eva Gonda Rivera, widow of Eugenio Garza Laguera, the former chair of Femsa, Latin America?s largest beverage company and the biggest independent Coca-Cola distributor in the region. Eugenio?s stake passed was passed to his wife and four daughters after his death in 2008. Together they control 50% of Femsa?s B shares, which are traded both in Mexico and on the New York Stock Exchange.

Spain?s richest woman dropped out of school at age 11 to work as a seamstress, then helped her then-husband make dressing gowns and lingerie in their home. Today the company Ortega and Mera founded is one of the globe?s most successful retailers: Inditex, parent company of the Zara retail stores.

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus has held her own as chairman of the French bellwether that was run by her husband, Robert, before his death in 2009. The Russian, who is in her early 50s, steered the commodities giant back to its agricultural focus ? raising $350 million in a perpetual bond issue in Singapore ? the first time commodities giant raised capital on the public markets for in its 160-year history.

Blair Parry-Okeden is the granddaughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox (d. 1957), inheriting a 25% stake after her mother, Barbara Cox Anthony, passed away in 2007. Not active in the family business, Parry-Okeden lives in near-anonymity in Australia, making her one of that country?s richest residents.

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