How Mariah Carey's Ex-Fiance James Packer Became One of the World's Top 500 Richest People

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Before becoming Mariah Carey's ex-fiance, Australian businessman James Packer was best known for being among the top 500 richest people in the world.

Forbes calculates Packer's current net worth to be $3.4 billion, but just how did he amass such a colossal fortune? His wealth actually goes back generations.

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As the son of late media mogul Kerry Packer and the grandson of Sir Frank Packer, the 49-year-old Sydney native comes from a long line of wealth.

James' great-grandfather, Robert Clyde Packer started the family's association with the media as a newspaper editor and founder of The Daily Guardian. Sir Frank carried the baton after working his way up the ladder at his father's paper, starting as a journalist and rising to become a director of the company.

In 1956, Sir Frank, along with competing newspapers, ventured into broadcasting. The family company, Consolidated Press Holdings, launched an Australian broadcast station when television was first introduced to the country and, from there, the family's media interests continued to grow.

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James' father Kerry is credited with building a greater Australian interest in the sport cricket by telecasting matches and founding World Series Cricket.

At 67 years old, Kerry died of kidney failure in 2005, and passed on $5 billion to his only son, James, along with control of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited.

By 2007, James was said to be worth $7 billion with investments mainly in casinos and entertainment, but his wealth headed south after taking hits from reported losses in various Las Vegas ventures.

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Now, James has turned much of his attention to the movie business. In 2013, he partnered with Brett Ratner to form the production company RatPac Entertainment, which has been behind films like San Andreas and The Lego Movie.