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America’s richest self-made woman grew up on a dairy farm—now she has a net worth of $11.6 billion

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Dianne Hendrix didn't grow up on the legacies of celebrities or political leaders. Instead, he spent his childhood on a dairy farm in Wisconsin—training in a work ethic that eventually helped him build a business empire.

Hendrix - who has a net worth of $11.6 billion - topped Forbes' list of America's richest self-made women for the fifth year in a row. Her fortune is largely dependent on ABC Supply, a building materials company she formed with her late husband in 1982. She is currently the chairman of the company.

In 2017, Hendrix told Forbes that her parents watched the farm run 24/7, instilling in her a work ethic, which became important from an early age: She became pregnant at 17, And he had to finish his senior year of high school while living at home. , At age 21, she filed for divorce from her high school sweetheart and, as a single mother, juggled a series of odd jobs in offices - instead choosing a single career and single-mindedly pursuing success at it. 

By 1994, the company had 100 locations. Four years later, it exceeded $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time, according to Forbes.

Since her husband's passing in 2007, Hendrix has led ABC Supply on her own. The company now has more than 840 locations, according to Forbes, and is the nation's 23rd largest private company. ABC Supply's website notes that it has acquired the assets of 18 other companies over the past five years, indicating dominance of the market.

In 2017, Hendrix opened a local career center that hosts workshops to teach middle and high schoolers skills such as coding and building. She told Forbes that the program aims to educate teens about "the value of a job."

"Kids are like, 'Wow, is that what welders do?' he said. "They can go to vocational school and become a welder that will pay $50,000 a year. Those are good jobs. Really good jobs."

America’s richest self-made woman grew up on a dairy farm—now she has a net worth of $11.6 billion