10 Richest People of All Time
Microsoft founder Bill Gates tops the Forbes World’s Billionaires list again with a net worth of $79.2B. Gates is followed by Mexican business telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu who has a net worth amounting to $77.1B, trailed by American businessman Warren Buffet with a net worth of $72.7B.
Their net worth may seem unimaginable to ordinary people like us, but did you know that there are individuals who lived before them who had more wealth than these three richest billionaires in the world?
Discover the list of 10 people who are wealthier than those in the Forbes World’s Billionaires List in the next pages.
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (Wealth: $185B)
You probably remember him from your history classes, or besides the fact that he founded Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Cornelius Vanderbilt is an American businessman who established his empire by building railroads and shipping lines. He began his business with one boat that served as a passenger ferry before eventually expanding his steamship company. In the 1860’s Vanderbilt also started to purchase railroads starting in New York and expanding to the western states in the US. He was the one who urged the construction of the Manhattan Grand Central Depot in 1871, which was replaced by the popular Grand Central Terminal in 1913. During his time, Vanderbilt was known to accumulate an estimate of $185B. He died at age 82 in his home in Manhattan, leaving most of his wealth ($100B) to his son, William.
9. Alan Rufus (Wealth: 194B)
Alan Rufus, also known as Alan the Red, served his uncle William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. During his service, Rufus was able to acquire a vast amount of land titles in England. Rufus also commissioned the construction of the Richmond Castle and was known to be a generous donor of several religious structures. He died in 1090 at age 53 with a wealth that amounted to 7% of England’s GDP during his time; which at present, amounts to $194B.
8. Henry Ford (Wealth: 199B)
One of the most popular icons in the US’ commerce history is industrialist and automobile manufacturer, Henry Ford. As you already know, he is the founder of Ford Motor Company, which makes him one of the greatest movers in the history of transportation. Ford is known for introducing inexpensive cars that were affordable to the masses, as well as the use of assembly lines for production.
Ford was born in a family that farmed for a living. He left home at age 16 to work as a machinist. When he was 28 years old, Ford was an engineer in Thomas Edison’s company where he experimented with engines that ran on gasoline. At age 36, Ford began to establish his first automobile company only to experience bankruptcy and issues with his business partners for his following businesses; until he was able to make a fortune with the Ford Motor Company along with his partners Alexander Malcomson and the Dodge brothers. In his lifetime, Ford is believed to have acquired a net worth of $199B.
7. Muammar Gaddafi (Wealth: $200B)
The infamous former Prime Minister of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi is believed to have acquired a fortune amounting to $200B. Gaddafi ruled the African country for 42 years, taking control over the country’s vast oil fields.
Gaddafi refers to himself as a “simple revolutionary” and a “pious Muslim”; however, it is believed that his great wealth were hid in secret bank accounts all over the world and invested in real estates and stakes.
He is known to have had an army of female (virgin) bodyguards, wearing flamboyant clothes, and his other penchants like carrying a large Bedouin tent with him wherever he went to meet with world leaders. Gaddafi’s death in October 20, 2011 became global news when videos on how he was beaten and shot by rebels were released for the public to see.
6. William the Conqueror (Wealth: $209B)
Born in Normandy, France, William the Conqueror led the invasion of England and was instated as the first Norman king of England after King Harold and his brother were killed in the Battle of Hastings. He reigned in England for 21 years (1066-1087) where he was known to acquire vast properties, which were also distributed to his fellow Normans. During his time, William the Conqueror was able to amass nothing less than $209B in wealth.
5. Jakob Fugger (Wealth: $221B)
His name is not as popular as the people in this list, but Jakob Fugger, also known as Jakob Fugger the Rich, is a well-known trader in Europe. Born in Ausburg, Germany, Fugger was born in a merchant family. He further expanded his family’s business when he was able to establish their textile trade in Italy as well as their mining (gold and silver) business in Hungary and Bohemia. He died at the age of 66, leaving a net worth of $221B.
4. Mir Osman Ali Khan (Wealth: $230B)
Known as the world’s richest Indian (ever), Mir Osman Ali Khan served as Nizam of Hyderabad (a monarch state) for 37 years after succeeding the throne from his father in 1911. During his time as a Nizam, Khan focused on developing the state’s transportation, electricity, irrigation, and education.
Pictured above (right) with one of his many sons (left), Mir Osman Ali Khan was known to be a stingy man, wearing the same fez cap for over three decades and even believed to eat on a tin plate. However, Khan lived in a palace which had 6,000 workers (38 of which had jobs to dust the chandeliers), had a treasury with gold, silver, and jewelries amounting to millions of dollars, as well as owning a diamond paperweight worth $200 million. When Khan died in 1967, he was reported to have left $230B in wealth, seven wives, 42 mistresses, and 149 children.
3. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (Wealth: $300B)
Also referred to as Tsar Nicholas II, Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov is the last emperor of Russia. During his rule, Tsar Nicholas II was believed to amass $300B worth of wealth. He and his family were executed in 1918 during the Russian Revolution.
2. John D. Rockefeller (Wealth: $340B)
Known as the richest man in American History, John D. Rockefeller is a philanthropist and a business magnate who founded the Standard Oil Company. Rockefeller was able to grow such wealth that he was able to spend the last four decades of his life in retirement where he donated most of his wealth to education and medical research and also founded the University of Chicago.
1. Mansa Musa (Wealth: $400B)
The richest man that ever walked the earth (to date) is Mansa Musa, the emperor of Mali. Musa, born in 1280, was able to grow his wealth through the country’s natural resource — gold. The emperor lived such a lavish lifestyle where it was believed that his pilgrimages to Mecca involved dozens of camels carrying pounds after pounds of gold. It is also believed that Musa had a huge army of 200,000 men with 40,000 archers. Besides spending money on himself, Musa also built educational structures and mosques, some of which still stand today.