This Billionaire Created the Most Efficient Software in The World

He is the richest person in Cary, North Carolina

Luay Rahil
3 min readMar 7, 2022


Photo: Canva

Earlier this year, Forbes published its annual list Forbes 400, which ranks the richest Americans by their net worths. The 400 richest Americans saw their combined wealth increase 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion. Almost all are richer than last year.

Today, I will uncover the richest person in Cary, North Carolina.

According to Forbes Magazine, three billionaires consider North Carolina their home, and none is wealthier than James Goodnight, who lives in Cary, with a net worth of $9 billion. He is the 90th richest man in the country.

Who is James Goodnight?

James Howard Goodnight is an American billionaire businessman and software developer. He has been the CEO of SAS Institute since 1976, which he co-founded that year with other staff members of North Carolina State University.

Goodnight was born to Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson in Salisbury, North Carolina, on January 6, 1943. He started to work at age 12 at his dad’s hardware store, where he learned the value of hard work.

The most efficient software in the world

James Goodnight attended the North Carolina State University and graduated with a master’s and Ph.D. in Statistics in 1968. He paid for his education by programming computers, where he developed a new software called SAS with the help of his colleagues. SAS stands for statistical analysis system for analyzing data.

SAS helps businesses organize the enormous amounts of data that they manage and analyze that data to present information to the company and investors on more efficient ways to run the business.

He says, “SAS began in college. We used SAS to make it easier to analyze all the data from agricultural experiments. By the time we finished college, we had about 120 customers using SAS, and we continued to support those customers and added more. Today, we have 83,000 different customers.”

He has been serving as CEO of SAS for more than 45 years, SAS’s revenue for 2020 was $3 billion, and the company has been…



Luay Rahil

I write about business, and leadership development.