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Top 10 billionaires: who is the richest person in the world today and of all time?

Amazon’s remarkable stock market rise over the past year has seen its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, leapfrog his rivals to become the richest person on Earth, and some argue of all time.

According to Bloomberg’s billionaire tracker, the Amazon boss is now worth an estimated $155bn.
This year’s Forbes rich list is dominated by tech entrepreneurs, who make up half of the world’s top ten billionaires. However, there is still space on the list for men, and they are all men, who made their money by more traditional means, including retail, telecommunications, fashion and investments.

Forbes has identified a record 2,208 billionaires from 72 countries and territories including the first ever from Hungary and Zimbabwe. This elite group is worth $9.1 trillion, up 18% since last year. Their average net worth is a record $4.1 billion. Americans lead the way with a record 585 billionaires, followed by mainland China with 373.
Here are the world’s top ten billionaires:

1. Jeff Bezos, $155bn
The first person to top $100bn, the former hedge fund manager turned online book seller started Amazon in his garage in 1994. He still owns 16% of the e-commerce colossus which has seen its share price rise nearly 500% in the past five years.
Bezos has invested heavily in space technology and also owns the Washington Post newspaper.

2. Bill Gates, $96.1bn
A pretty much permanent fixture at the top of Forbes’s list for the past 20 years, the Microsoft founder has sold or given away much of his stake in the company – he owns just 1% of Microsoft – and now focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.

3. Warren Buffet, $84.2bn

Now in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO, known as the ‘Oracle of Omagh’ is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Gates he has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.

4. Bernard Arnault, $72bn

Arnault this year regained his place as the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees an empire of over 60 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. Record results at his LVMH company and mega deal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior helped boost Arnault’s fortune by $30bn in one year.

5. Mark Zuckerberg, $71.2bn

Claims of data misuse, tax avoidance and calls for greater regulation, not to mention a Senate appearance, have made the past year one to forget for the Facebook CEO and founder. Last month, the social media giant lost $18bn in value in a single day, the biggest single loss in US stock market history.
6. Amancio Ortega, $69bn

The world's richest retailer stepped down as chairman of Inditex, known for its Zara brand, in 2011 but he still owns nearly 60% of its shares.

7. Carlos Slim Helu, $67bn
Mexico’s richest man, Slim Helu and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecommunications firm. He also owns a stake in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate, as well as 17% of the New York Times.

8 : Charles and David Koch, $60bn each


The secretive Koch brother hold majority control of Koch Industries, the US’s second largest private firm, which has revenues in excess of $100b and operates pipelines and produces fertiliser among other things. They are also among the biggest donors to the Republican party, despite recently falling out with US President Donald Trump.

David Koch ran as the Libertarian Part’s vice presidential candidate in 1980 winning 1% of the vote.

10. Larry Ellison, $58bn

Cofounder of software firm Oracle, Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.

What about Britain’s richest man?

Topping this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliff, has an estimated fortune of £21bn through his majority stake in petrochemicals giant Ineos.
The billionaire engineer has courted controversy, however, after it was announced he was to move to Monaco, despite being an outspoken supporter of Brexit.

Who is the richest person of all time?
Earlier this year, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos was named the wealthiest person of all time amid much media fanfare.
But while his estimated fortune is technically the largest ever accrued by one individual, this does not take into account inflation or a number of other factors, including how wealth is actually measured.
With a fortune of around $400 billion, Mansu Musa 1 of Mail, the first king of Timbuktu, may not be a household name, but by most estimates is the richest person who ever lived.
Deriving his wealth from his country’s vast salt and gold deposits, which at one time accounted for half the world’s supply, Musa ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire in the early 14th Century, constructing hundreds of mosques across the continent, many of which survive to this day.
With a fortune estimated at between $300-$400 billion in today’s money, Tsar Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (Nicolas II) of Russia was deposed and subsequently executed by the Bolsheviks in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.
The Independent notes that, following his canonisation by the Russian Orthodox Church, he is also the richest saint in history.
Excluding kings, princes and those who inherited their wealth, the list of the world’s richest-ever men - and they are always men - is dominated by the so-called robber barons of 19th and early 20th century America.
Often cited as the richest person who ever lived, oil tycoon John D. Rockefellerwas the first person to have a net worth of over $1 billion in the money of the time.
At the time of this death his estate was worth an estimated $340 billion in today’s money, almost 2% of total US economic output.
With an estimated fortune of $310 billion in today’s money, steel magnate and Rockefeller contemporary Andrew Carnegie sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million in 1901, and later made his name with his philanthropic donations.
Automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who perfected the production line and has become a by-word for American entrepreneurship, had a fortune of around $199 billion at the time of his death in 1947.

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