With every passing year, more opportunities arise for the rich and elite in the world to claim a spot as one of the richest people in the world. It’s the ultimate achievement in the world of the rich. While some have held on to their positions, others have been succeeded by new leaders and innovators. Including the top 10 on this list, there are 1,810 billionaires recorded in the world today, their combined net worths totaling a staggering 6.48 trillion dollars.
10. Liliane Bettencourt – 38.9 billion
Attention was drawn to Bettencourt after several of her staff members were found guilty of taking advantage of her mental state to steal millions from her. One of them included celebrity photographer Francois-Marie Banier, who received a sentence of 3 years in prison, and was also ordered to pay Bettencourt 172 million dollars in damage. Bettencourt is the richest person in France, and all of Europe.
9. Charles and David Koch – 39.6 billion each
Brothers Charles and David Koch are the primary shareholders of the multinational Koch Industries. Koch Industries is primarily involved in the oil industry and chemical technology business, and also has subsidiaries trading, investments, and manufacturing of products such as paper towels and dixie cups. Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company in the USA. Charles Koch has been chairman of the company since 1967, when it was worth 50 million.
In the past, Charles Koch has made attempts to run as a GOP nominee with support from his younger brother David. David Koch is also an active philanthropist, having donated over 1.2 billion dollars to various causes through David Koch Charitable Foundation. The brothers also regularly fund Republican causes.
8. Michael Bloomberg – 40 billion
>Michael Bloomberg is best known for serving as the 108th mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013, as well as his current career as a politician. He is also the owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP, which he founded in 1981 following his career with Solomon Brothers.
There was much speculation that Bloomberg would run in the 2016 election, and Bloomberg himself said he was considering running as an independent candidate due to his dissatisfaction with the lineup. However, he later chose not to and focused his energy on Bloomberg LP.
Larry Ellison – 43.6 billion
Self-made entrepreneur Larry Ellison began his journey to riches by building computer databases for the CIA in the 1970s. He named the database “Oracle”, which later became the name for the software company he founded later in 1977. Named Software Development Labs at the time, Ellison invested $2000 with two partners to create the future billion-dollar database software giant.
Before becoming one of the richest people on earth, Ellison dropped out of college – twice! He spent two years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and then attended the University of Chicago for one term, which sparked his interest in computer design.
Larry Ellison has donated at least 1% of his wealth to charity, and has also signed The Giving Pledge, a promise to donate the majority of his wealth to charitable funds after his death. He is also a licensed pilot and owns two military jets. He has also had much success in yachting.
6. Mark Zuckerberg – 44.6 billion
You likely have an account on the very site that made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire. Facebook is the world’s largest social network, hosting 1.65 billion users. Facebook was founded in 2004 as a small scale social network in his Harvard dorm room. Zuckerberg dropped out of harvard after it began taking off to pursue his dreams in Silicon Valley. At the age of 31, Zuckerberg is one of the youngest billionaires.
Facebook has acquired over 50 companies over the course of its lifetime. Its first major acquisition was photo sharing social network Instagram for one billion dollars in April of 2012. In February 2014 it purchased messaging app Whatsapp for a whopping 19 billion dollars. Just a month later in March, Facebook purchased virtual reality company Oculus for 2 billion in an effort to cash in on the rapidly growing field of VR gaming.
Although Zuckerberg has not signed The Giving Pledge like many other billionaires, him and wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to give at least 99% of their earnings to charity over the course of their lifetimes. Priscilla Chan advocates for the advancement of equality, health, education, has been influential in her husband’s philanthropal decisions. Zuckerberg and Chan plan to create a special charity for schools in California.
5. Jeff Bezos – 45.2 Billion
Chances are that if you’ve ordered something on the internet, you’ve ordered something at least one from Amazon.com. Despite the sheer size of Amazon, founder Jeff Bezos also manages two other successful companies. He is the founder and owner of aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin, and manages the Washington Post which he purchased in August 2013 for 250 million.
Bezos left his job as a hedge fund investor to found Amazon in 1994. He started the business from his garage, inspired to do so after reading about the boom in internet usage. Bezos is well known for his skills as a manager and his attention to detail in the workplace.
Through Amazon.com, Bezos has launched several charitable campaigns. He has also supported several campaigns for equality, and frequently donates to scientific and educational projects.
4. Carlos Slim Helu – 50 billion
Carlos Slim Helu, often shortened to just Carlos Slim has earned the titled of the richest person in the world multiple times. Known as the “Warren Buffett of Mexico”, he has made his fortune through investing and ownership of many large companies. He is the CEO of telephone services Telmex and America Movil, the largest cell phone service provider in Latin America. Slim has share in an incredibly diverse portfolio of businesses, from everyday products like beverages to financial services.
Despite his wealth, Slim’s primary residence is a 6 bedroom home close to where he grew up in Mexico City. He is actively involved in the real estate business however, often buying and selling properties in upscale cities such as New york City and Beverly Hills. He has also opened the largest aquarium in Latin America in 2014, the Inbursa Aquarium. Slim has founded multiple charitable funds through his many companies.
3. Warren Buffett – 60.8 billion
By far, Warren Buffett is the most successful investor on earth. He is the CEO and primary shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway. Even more incredible is the fact he is self made.To this day, he is known for his frugal habits, despite his massive wealth. From a young age he had a propensity for business and investing. His first job of sorts was selling soda, gum, and newspapers door to door.
Berkshire Hathaway owns massive companies such as Geico, Dairy Queen, and Fruit of the Loom. It also has large stakes in Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, IBM. It is the fifth most valuable company in the United States.
To this day, he is known for his frugal habits, despite his massive wealth. He even lives in the same house he purchased in 1958 for 31,500 dollars. Although he is generally frugal with himself, he is generous towards others. Buffett has pledged to give away 83% of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda gates foundation, which would likely make it the largest charitable donation in history.
2. Amancio Ortega – 67 billion
Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega had a modest start, founding a small family textiles factory in 1963. He later founded his primary money maker, clothing company Zara with his then-wife Rosalia Mera in 1975. By 1980, Zara stores were all over Spain. In 1989, the first Zara store was opened in the United States. As Zara expanded, it acquired businesses such as Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear. He also owns textile company Inditex, considered by many to be one of the most innovative textile companies in the world.
Although he is quiet about his money, it is known that Ortega has recently made a fortune in the real estate business. His property portfolio is worth a combined 8 billion. Zara is very low profile and private with his personal life, and no official photos of Ortega were released until 1999. He did however make a donation of 20 million euros to relief organization Caritas in 2012., so he certainly isn’t keeping it all to himself.
1.Bill Gates – 75 billion
Programmer, entrepreneur, business, investor, philanthropist and thinker Bill Gates founded the largest software company in the world, Microsoft in 1975. Until 2014, he was the largest shareholder in the company. He was the CEO of Microsoft until 2000, when he stepped down to be the Chief Software Architect instead.
Although he was originally on track to become a lawyer, Gates found himself fascinated by computers at an early age. He enrolled in Harvard in 1973. He did not have a concrete study plan, but often found himself spending time around the school’s computers.
In June 2006, Gates announced he would be working part-time at Microsoft, and full-time at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his and wife Melinda’s personal charity. The charity has an endowment of over 40 billion dollars.