History

The Richest Men to Ever Exist. And Jeff Bezos Is Not at the Top.

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Introduction To The Richest Men to Ever Exist

Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos may be among the all-time wealthiest individuals, but they don’t even come close to the top of the list. As estimated by top economists and historians and adjusted for inflation, the world’s wealthiest people range from 19th-century American businesspeople to an African ruler who once controlled half of the world’s gold.

1. Mansa Musa- $400 billion

Source: TED-Ed

Mansa Musa, or Musa I of Mali, was by far the richest man ever to have walked the planet. A staggering $400 billion was at Musa’s disposal as monarch of the empire of Mali. For comparison, the richest person on Earth is currently worth more than four times that amount. He was born in 1280 and died in 1337 as a devout Muslim, building various educational facilities and mosques around Africa; one is at Timbuktu. Because Musa’s reign was so long ago, there are still conflicting accounts of his death and the transfer of power to his son. The wealth Musa presided over has never been equaled by anyone else in the history of humanity.

2. John D. Rockefeller- $340 billion

Source: Business Casual

One of the most illustrious families in American history, the Rockefellers‘ $340 billion wealth still ranks as one of the richest ever amassed. The co-founder of Standard Oil, he was born in New York City in 1839 and climbed to fame during his lifetime. With his philanthropy, Rockefeller has become a household name, having founded the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University while he was still alive. In 1937, at the age of 97, he died.

3. Andrew Carnegie- $310 billion

Source: Business Casual

The steel industry propelled Andrew Carnegie to fame in the mid-1800s, when he became an extraordinarily wealthy and influential businessman. Carnegie emigrated to the United States in the late 1840s with his family from Scotland, where they lived in poverty. With the $310 billion wealth he amassed from his numerous investments, Carnegie went on to form the U.S. Steel Corporation. He is also renowned as one of the world’s most generous philanthropists for having donated nearly all of his fortune.

4. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov- $300 billion

Source: TheRichest

Tsar Nicholas II, Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, accumulated $300 billion in wealth. Russia’s final emperor, Nicholas II, is perhaps most known for his role in the Russian Revolution, which ended with his overthrow. When he was executed in 1918, so was his family. According to the Russian Orthodox Church, he is the wealthiest saint in human history, making him one of the most revered saints in Russian history.

5. Mir Osman Ali Khan- $230 billion

Source: Study IQ education (Audio is in Hindi language)

If you’ve never heard of Mir Osman Ali Khan, you’re missing out on one of the world’s richest men. While in power in India’s Hyderabad State, he amassed a fortune of $230 billion. For 37 years, he was the Nizam of Hyderabad, overseeing the expansion of education, electricity, and the railroads in his domain. His claimed 149 children survived him when he died in 1967.

6. William the Conqueror- $229.5 billion

Source: Biographics

As much as $229 billion has been estimated as William the Conqueror‘s fortune. William, the first Norman monarch of England, reigned from 1066 until 1087. He conducted the final successful invasion of England, and after going out to dethrone a monarch, he became one. William the Bastard, as he was also called, is supposed to be descended from Viking invaders from centuries prior, which explains how he acquired his penchant for conquest. 

7. Jakob Fugger- $221 billion

Source: Biographics

A lesser-known historical person than many of the world’s wealthiest, Jakob Fugger managed to amass $221 billion through business and banking endeavors. Fugger lived from 1459 to 1525. He was born and died in Augsburg, Germany. Most of the Fugger money came from the textile business in Italy, although the Hungarian and Bohemian mining of silver and gold also helped.

8. Muammar Gaddafi- $200 billion

Source: Gym4u

Muammar Gaddafi, the recently killed and overthrown ruler of Libya, is a guy whom most readers are familiar with. During his 42-year reign in Libya, Gaddafi acquired an estimated $200 billion in wealth. Gaddafi, a polarizing politician and dictator was famously deposed in 2011 during the Libyan civil war when protestors pulled him into the streets and killed him.

9. Henry Ford- $199 billion

Source: Grunge

Henry Ford amassed a fortune of just around $200 billion as one of the most important figures in American corporate history. Henry Ford Because of his role in creating and bringing automobiles to the masses, Henry Ford is renowned the world over. When it comes to industry and business, he was the first to implement greater salaries for his workers and design the assembly line, which made it possible to produce inexpensive things that everyone in society could afford.

10. Cornelius Vanderbilt- $185 billion

Source: Biographics

After making his wealth in the 1800s through the development of rail and shipping networks, Cornelius Vanderbilt became one of the most well-known names in American history. He founded Vanderbilt University, and his family name still holds a lot of weight today. An on-air correspondent for CNN. Anderson Cooper is a descendant of the Vanderbilts. Most of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s fortune was gained after the Civil War when the railroad magnate extended his business empire through acquisitions.

11. Alan Rufus- $178.65 billion

Source: TED-Ed

William the Conqueror’s close friend is Alan Rufus. His wealth was comparable to that of William the Conqueror. According to present values, he had a fortune of $178.65 billion when he was alive. Part of his land comes from the 250,000 acres (“the Land of Count Alan”) that the King granted him in Yorkshire in exchange for his assistance in the invasion in 1071. These numbers make him one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

With almost a hundred buildings he oversaw in Norman England alone, Alan Rufus was a large employer of highly trained craftspeople. In other cases, they’re still visible today. For instance, in Norfolk’s Costessey Park, the original manor house of Costessey Hall can still be found on the north bank of the River Tud. Alan laid the foundations of Richmond, North Yorkshire, beneath Richmond Castle.

12. Jeff Bezos- $170 billion

Source: TheRichest

Bezos is the CEO, chairman, and president of Amazon.com, founded in 1994. he was the only one who could have brought about such a radical shift in consumer behavior. Famously, while driving across the United States with his wife to launch their company, Bezos drafted Amazon’s business plan. A year after Amazon’s market valuation reached $1 trillion, his fortune crossed $170 billion for the first time ever in September 2018. Jeff Bezos holds a 17 percent stake in Amazon.

13. Bill Gates- $149 billion

Source: Top Trending

With Microsoft shares soaring to $136 billion at their peak in the dotcom era, Bill Gates amassed an astronomical fortune for himself. That’s enough to make him the 13th-richest person in history.

Summary

This list includes every generation known throughout history. Because this list is about individuals, not families, the Rothschild family, with a net worth of over $300 billion, could not be included.

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Kiyara Molina

Kiyara Molina has more than 05 years of experience as a Client Manager at RR Donnelley. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University. She is spending her free time exploring exciting things and writing blog articles on Readwires.

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