Doctorate, University College
Erika Pohl-Stroher owes her wealth to her grandparents, Franz and Marie Stroher, who founded German hair care and cosmetics giant Wella AG in the 19th century. When Procter & Gamble bought the company for more than $4 billion in 2003, she received around $1.1 billion for her 23% stake. Pohl-Stoher, who started collecting stones on childhood holidays, owns one of the world's most valuable private collections of gems and minerals. It includes more than 80,000 pieces assembled over 60 years and is on permanent loan to TU Bergakademie Freiberg, a mining and technology university in Freiberg, Germany. Pohl-Stroher studied chemistry and biology at the University of Jenna and received a doctorate in biology. When escaping from East Germany with her family, she brought one suitcase of toys from her home in the Ore Mountains. This became the basis of her folk art collection. Today, Pohl-Stroher lives quietly in Switzerland.