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Posted: March 13th, 2013
Erie’s Hagen ranked among world’s wealthiest

Erie’s Susan Hirt Hagen is in little danger of being named to the Forbes list of celebrity billionaires.

And while a new list by Forbes magazine ranks her as one of the wealthiest people in the world, the venerable business publication couldn’t even round up a photo of the woman who ranks as the fourth richest person in Pennsylvania.

Hagen, 76, daughter of Erie Indemnity co-founder H.O. Hirt, is hardly new to the ranks of the wealthy. Thanks to trusts established by her late father in 1967, she owns 35 percent of the company’s common shares, according to Forbes.

That ‘s enough to rank her in a tie with more than 30 others for the 931st richest person in the world, with wealth estimated at $1.6 billion.

Despite that, she’s flown beneath the radar of the world’s financial press. It wasn’t until earlier this year that Hagen was named to a list of billionaires published each year by Bloomberg.

The business-oriented news service noted the slip in June, writing: “(Hagen) has been a billionaire for years — and has never appeared on an international wealth ranking.”

Her relative obscurity was acknowledged by the Allentown Morning Call, which wrote: “And have you even heard of Susan Hirt Hagen?”

A spokeswoman for Erie Insurance said she couldn’t comment on Hagen’s finances.

In truth, Hagen hasn’t exactly been invisible.

In addition to serving in various civic roles, she’s made multimillion dollar gifts to Penn State Behrend and to her alma mater, Ohio’s Wittenberg University.

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