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ON TOP OF THE WORLD
With an estimated total net worth of $8 trillion, there were reportedly 2,095 billionaires on Earth in 2020. Of this amount, the top 10 wealthiest people in the world account for $1,153 billion, or roughly 14.41%, which is impressive when you consider that they represent around 0.48% of billionaires. We profile the top 10 richest people on earth.
Bernard Arnault & Family $186.3 billion (LVMH)
French investor, art collector and businessman Bernard Arnault is the chairman and chief executive of world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE. Born on March 5, 1949, Bernard was educated at the Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix, and the Lycée Faidherbe in Lille. After graduating from France’s leading engineering school, École Polytechnique, in 1971, Bernard worked for his father’s company. His art collection includes works by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol. Bernard became the richest person in the world of fashion in April 2018 and briefly surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world in December 2019 and then again in January 2020. However, the pandemic ironically proved costly as the sales of luxury goods dipped and his wealth shrunk by $ 30 billion but he managed to pull himself up and on May 24, 2021, he became the wealthiest man.
JEFF BEZOS $186 billion, Amazon
American business magnate, media proprietor and investor, Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of the multinational technology company, Amazon. Born on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Jeff was first raised in Houston and then in Miami. After graduating from Princeton University (1986), Jeff holds a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. Between 1986 and early 1994, he worked on Wall Street in a variety of related fields. It was on a cross-country road trip from New York City to Seattle in late 1994 that Jeff founded Amazon, as an online bookstore. Ever since, it has expanded to a wide variety of other e-commerce products and services, including video and audio streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. At present, Amazon is the world’s largest online sales company, the largest Internet company by revenue, and the world’s largest provider of virtual assistants and cloud infrastructure services through its Amazon Web Services branch.
ELON MUSK $147.3 billion (Tesla/ SpaceX)
Entrepreneur and business magnate Elon Musk is the CEO, founder and chief engineer at SpaceX; an early stage investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc and the founder of The Boring Company as well as the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAl. Born to a Canadian mother and South African father on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, Elon went to University of Pretoria briefly. At 17, he moved to Canada and attended the Queen’s University after which he took transfer to University of Pennsylvania from where he received a bachelor’s in physics and economics. In 1995, he co-founded web software company, Zip2 which was acquired by Compaq four years later. The same year, he co-founded X.com, an online bank which merged with Confinity to form PayPal in 2000. Two years later, he founded SpaceX. In 2004, he joined Tesla Inc (then Tesla Motors Inc) as chairman and product architect and became his CEO in 2008. In 2016, he co-founded neurotechnology company, Neuralink
BILL GATES $125.5 billion (Microsoft, but diversified )
American business magnate, investor, software developer, philanthropist and author Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. Born on October 25, 1955, Bill was raised in Seattle, Washington, Bill was just 20 when he formed Microsoft Corporation with childhood friend Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bill remained the chairman and CEO until January 2000 when he stepped down as CEO, but still remained the chairman of the board of directors and became the chief software architect. Gates switched over to a part-time role at Microsoft in June 2008 and dedicated himself at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation he and his wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000 on a full-time basis. Since 1987, Bill Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. He held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world every year between 1995 and 2017, except from 2010 to 2013.
MARK ZUCKERBERG $114.7 billion (Facebook/Instagram )
American internet entrepreneur, media magnate and philanthropist, Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder of Facebook Inc and works as the chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder. Also the co-founder of Breakthrough Starshot, the solar sail spacecraft development project, Mark was born in White Plains, New York on May 14, 1984. He went to Harvard University where, from his dormitory room, he launched Facebook social networking service in February 2004 with his college roommates – Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.Though the website was launched at only a few college campuses, it went beyond colleges in no time. And in four years, it had over a billion users. Mark has been named as one of the 100 most influential people globally as part of the Person of the Year award by the Time magazine since 2008. In fact, he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 23, in 2007
WARREN BUFFETT $108.7 billion (Berkshire Hathaway)
The Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathway and one of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffett is an American business magnate and philanthropist. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Warren started taking interest in business and investments in his youth. Before he took transfer and graduated from the University of Nebraska at 19, he entered the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947. After graduating from Columbia Business School, he attended New York Institute of Finance to concentrate on his economics background and soon after began various business partnerships. It was in 1956 that Warren started Buffett Partnership Ltd. Over time, his company acquired Berkshire Hathaway, a textile manufacturing firm. Often referred to as the “Oracle” or “Sage” of Omaha by global media, Warren is a notable philanthropist and has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
LARRY ELLISON $102.3 billion (Oracle
The co-founder, executive chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison is a business magnate and investor who owns Lanai in the Hawaiian Islands, the 41st largest island in the USA. Born in New York City on August 17, 1944, he was given to his mother’s uncle and aunt for adoption when nine months old. After attending South Shore High School in Chicago, he got admission to University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign as a premed student. He then attended the University of Chicago for one term, studying physics and mathematics. At Chicago, he encountered computer design for the first time. He moved to Berkeley, California in 1966 as a 22-year-old. He got influenced by Edgar F Codd’s research on relational database design for IBM while working with Ampex. This was the beginning of what later became Oracle, a successful database vendor to mid- and low-range systems.
LARRY PAGE $100.2 billion (Google)
Best known as one of the cofounders of Google, Lawrence Edward Page is an American computer scientist, internet entrepreneur and business magnate. Between 1997 and August 2001, he was the CEO of Google and again between April 2011 and July 2015. Thereafter, he became the CEO of Alphabet Inc, a post on which he remained till December 2019. Larry is also the co-creator and namesake of search ranking algorithms for Google, PageRank.
SERGEY BRIN $97.1 billion (Google)
Together with Larry Page, Sergey Brin co-founded Google. An internet entrepreneur, computer scientist and business magnate, Sergey was born in Moscow in the Soviet Union on August 2, 1973 but his parents – father, Mikhail, a retired mathematics professor and mother, Eugenia Brin, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre – immigrated to USA when he was six. After attending elementary school at Paint Branch Montessori School in Adelphi, Maryland, Sergey received further education at home.
AMANCIO ORTEGA $89 billion (Inditex )
The wealthiest clothing merchant and the richest person in Europe, Amancio Ortega co-founded Inditex, an organisation popular for the Zara Fashion chain. Ortega owns 60% stakes in Inditex that has eight different brands including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear. It runs around 7,500 stores across the world. The Spanish businessman was born in Leon on March 28, 1936. At the age of 14, he left school and shortly after that found a job at a local shirtmaker. He founded Confecciones Goa to sell quilted bathrobes in 1972 and three years later, opened the first Zara store with his wife in 1975. Zara was part of the Inditex group in 2009, of which Ortega owned 59.29%. Apart from over 6,000 stores included Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Kiddy’s Class, Tempe, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear and Bershka. He prefers keeping a low profile and until 1999, no photograph of Ortega was ever published. Ortega doesn’t like wearing formals and shuns the necktie.