1.Bill Gates – $90 billion
Gates is a Harvard graduate and one of the co-founders of Microsoft, which became the world’s largest computer software company. He has been on Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people since 1987, and has claimed the top spot for seventeen of those years. In addition to his work at Microsoft, he has also been the author or the co-author of several books. He and his wife are also known for their philanthropic endeavors. They started the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Its aim is to combat extreme poverty and improve healthcare and education access globally.
2.Amancio Ortega – $79 billion
Amancia Ortega founded the company Zara and is the richest man in Europe as well as the wealthiest retailer in the world. He got his start manufacturing textiles with a small family company in the 1960s and established Zara in 1975 which quickly spread through Europe and eventually to the United States.
3.Jeff Bezos – $68.9 billion
Bezos is best known as the founder of Amazon.com which is the largest online retailer in the world. He is also a technology entrepreneur and investor, and was even one of the first investors of Google. He is also the owner of an aerospace company called Blue Origin which has plans for human spaceflight and he purchased The Washington Post in 2013. He has also contributed to philanthropic endeavors at Amazon, particularly regarding climate change and disaster relief.
4.Warren Buffett – $66.4 billion
Buffett is a well-known investor and philanthropist. His acute understanding of market trends has led to his nickname of the “Oracle of Omaha.” He is one of the most successful investors in the world and also serves as the chairman, CEO and is the largest shareholder of the investment firm Berkshire Hathaway. He is also known for living very frugally and has pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition to this, Buffett is also active in American politics and was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
5.Mark Zuckerberg – $54.5
At the age of 32, Zuckerberg is the youngest person on the list of richest people. He is a Harvard graduate who worked as a programmer and Internet entrepreneur, ultimately becoming the co-founder of the social networking site Facebook. Like Buffett, he has also pledged to donate 99 percent of his Facebook shares to charitable causes through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and he has also been listed as one of Time magazine’s most influential people.
6.Larry Ellison – $49.2 billion
Ellison is a businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is best known as a co-founder of the Oracle Corporation and served as its CEO until 2014. Prior to forming Oracle, he worked at Ampex Corporation with one of his projects being a database for the CIA. The initial release of the Oracle database was not successful, though after some initial failures, the company became hugely successful and Ellison peaked as the 3rd richest person in the world in 2014. Like many of the others on this list, he has pledged to donate much of his wealth to charity.
7.Carlos Slim Helu – $47.4 billion
Helu is a Mexican businessman and investor who found his fortune through his holdings in many Mexican companies by his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. He is also the chairman and CEO of the Telmex, a telecommunications company, and America Movil, which is Latin America’s largest cell phone company. Grupo Carso’s holdings touch many industries including: media, technology, retail, entertainment, hospitality, education, health care and real estate. He has devoted approximately $4 billion of his money toward his charity, the Carlos Slim Foundation.
8.Michael Bloomerg – $44.7 billion
Bloomberg is a John Hopkins graduate and is an American businessman, politician and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO and owner of Bloomberg L.P., which is a global financial data and media company. This company developed terminals that would provide high-qulity business information using technology. At the end of 2015, there were more than 325,000 of these terminal subscribers globally. He also served as the 108th mayor of New York City, from 2002 until 2013 and is frequently considered a potential Presidential candidate. His philanthropic endeavors have mostly focused on transitioning to clean energy and other environmental conservation efforts.
9. Charles Koch- $44.2 (tied with brother)
Charles Koch, along with his brother, owns 42% of Koch Industries. He is a co-owner, chairman of the board and CEO of the company. This is a family business that they inherited, though it has greatly expanded. Initially Koch Industries was focused on oil refining and chemical, although the company has diversified to include pollution control equipment, polymers, fibers, fertilizers, minerals, commodity training, consumer products and ranching. Some notable brands from Koch Industries include Stainmaster, Lycra, Quilted Northern and Dixie Cup. Koch has also authored two books on successful business practices. In addition to this, he supports several educational organizations, various charities and cultural institutions, and has given money for public policy research and social welfare.
10.David Koch – $44.2 (tied with brother)
David Koch is the other co-owner of Koch Industries though he serves as the executive vice president. In 1980 he also was a candidate for Vice President of the United States. He also contributes to charitable causes through the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.
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