Now 84 years old, Moroun was born in Detroit though his family originated from Lebanon. He is propelled into the upper echelons of this year’s list thanks to his ownership of the Ambassador Bridge. Which is the only privately owned border crossing between the US and Canada.
Moroun bought the bridge from the Bower Family in 1979, but only in recent years has its real significance come into play. The Ambassador Bridge is a suspension bridge that connects Detroit, Michigan, in the United States, with Windsor, Ontario, in Canada.
It is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume: more than 25 percent of all merchandise trade between the United States and Canada crosses the bridge. A 2004 Border Transportation Partnership study showed that 150,000 jobs in the region and $13 billion in annual production depend on the Windsor–Detroit international border crossing.
In January this year a Michigan judge ordered Moroun to spend a night in jail after a contractual dispute over the construction of ramps on the bridge.