Nowadays, there are more and more billionaires around the world. Especially in the tech industry. Are they also the richest people of all time? Who is on this list and how big do you need to be to make it?
The list below reveals the 10 richest people of all time. It’s not just about dollar billionaires. Wealth has been measured in different ways over the centuries. There is for example the financial wealth but also the fortune of the landowners. The latter is difficult to convert but Time Magazine still managed to draw up a list of the 10 richest personalities of all time.
10. Bill Gates
Let’s start with a person from our time. Everyone knows Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. For a long time, he was the richest man in the world but he had to give way to the person who now occupies the ninth place in this ranking. The tech giant donates much of its assets to good causes and is the founder of ‘The Giving Pledge’. He promised to bequeath 95% of his fortune which is currently estimated at 93.2 billion dollars (or 80 billion euros).
9. Jeff Bezos
Who took the top spot from Bill Gates? This is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, one of the most popular e-shops in the world. He also founded Blue Origin, a company with which he wants to capitalize on ‘affordable’ space tourism. Finally, he also bought the Washington Post. His fortune ? 141.3 billion dollars (121 billion euros).
8. Alan Rufus
We delve into the past to meet Alan Rufus. He lived from 1040 to 1093 and was the nephew of William the Conqueror. With his uncle, he won the Norman conquest of England and this allowed him to own a gigantic piece of land in the north of England. At his death, he held 11,000 pounds (12,500 euros). Although that may not seem like a lot, it was at the time 7% of England’s GNP. At present, his fortune would be around 166 billion euros .
7. John D. Rockefeller
During the 20th century, this billionaire was a famous oil tycoon. He died in 1937 at the age of 97. It is to him that we owe the creation of the Standard Oil Company, the largest oil company in the United States. At one point he owned 90% of all oil. It looked too much like a monopoly and the company was divided into 34 small companies. Among these are still ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP.
John D. Rockefeller was also the first man to raise $1 billion. Converted, his fortune would amount to around 400 billion dollars (343 billion euros).
The first dollar billionaire was, like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, a philanthropist. He spent a lot of money on good causes and invested $250 million in his own organization, the Rockefeller Foundation. This organization mainly came to the aid of the United States after the First World War.
6. Andrew Carnegie
The Industrial Revolution didn’t just bring Rockefeller to the fore. Andrew Carnegie was also there. He mainly built his fortune in the 19th century and died in 1919. Andrew Carnegie left the oil industry to Rockefeller and concentrated on the steel industry with the Carnegie Steel Company.
His fortune is estimated at 404 billion dollars (about 347 billion euros). With his wealth, he built no less than 1,689 public libraries. In his eyes, it was important to invest in knowledge and he also injected tens of millions of dollars into American education.
5. Joseph Stalin
A personality not the most pleasant but, who says power, necessarily says money. The former leader of the Soviet Union died in 1953. At the time, he was the ruler (or absolute ruler) of one of the greatest nations in the world. His fortune was therefore equivalent to a country representing nearly 10% of the world’s gross product, or 7.5 trillion dollars (6.4 trillion euros).
Unlike his predecessors on the list, Stalin was not generous and was known to kill opponents. In fact, he has between 9 and 20 million dead on his conscience.
4. Akbar the Great
Further back in history there is Akbar the Great. This man ruled the Mongol Empire from 1556 to 1605. His territory was approximately at the level of present-day India and accounted for 25% of the world’s gross product. Conversion: $18.75 trillion (or approximately €16 trillion). He was known as a great ruler and a visionary emperor who was tolerant of other religions.
3. Song Shenzong
The top 3 also starts with an emperor, but he began to rule long before Akbar the Great. Song Shenzong belonged to the Chinese Song dynasty and ruled from 1067 to 1085. Under his rule, China was already one of the most lucrative economies in the world. Mainly due to technological innovations and a “modern” tax system. It represented 25 to 30% of the world’s gross product. This would now equal between 18.75 and 22.5 trillion dollars (or 16 and 19.3 trillion euros).
2. Augustus Caesar
No, not Jules but Auguste. Augustus reigned over the Roman Empire from -27 to -14 BC, after the death of Julius Caesar. He is the man behind the Pax Romana and was able to take over a kingdom that was also around 25-30% of the world’s gross product. Additionally, he could count on a personal fortune of approximately $4.5 trillion .
1. Mansa Moussa
Who takes first place? Mansa Moussa, the former king of Mali, lived from 1280 to 1337. He is said to be the richest man of all time. Indeed, he was able to conquer Timbuktu and extend his empire to Niger and therefore the most important trade routes of the trans-Saharan trade. He also owned the gold mines of Bambuk. Its territory produced half of the world’s stock of gold. It is therefore not difficult to believe that his wealth cannot be expressed in dollars, euros or any other amount or currency.