Released a day before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a report by Oxfam shows that the richest people have seen an increase of $900 billion, or $2.5 billion a day, in their fortunes over the last year. With that said, here is a list of the ten richest people in the world.
10. Larry Ellison
With an estimated worth of $58.5 billion, Larry Ellison is the tenth richest person in the world. He’s the co-founder, CEO and chief technology officer of software company Oracle.
FUN FACT: Ellison is known for living large (Guess that’s why he comes in at number 10 and not number 1, LOL!). He owns a 288-ft yacht, a sailing team, a tennis tournament, several real estate properties–including a $70 million home in Woodside, California, and additional properties in Malibu, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Rhode Island, and Japan, and the Hawaiian island of Lanai!
9. and 8. The Koch Brothers
Not to be outdone by the other, David Koch and Charles Koch are tied for the ninth spot on this list. They both have an estimated worth of $60 billion. They both hold majority control in Koch Industries and own several other companies, including Georgia-Pacific, the makers of products like Quilted Northern toilet paper, Brawny paper towels and Dixie cups, Flint Hills Resources, Guardian Industries, and Matador Cattle Company.
The Koch brothers are also known for funding a right-wing political advocacy group known as Americans for Prosperity. According to the group’s website, “Americans for Prosperity exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate.”
7. Carlos Slim Helú
Carlos Slim Helú, or simply Carlos Slim, as he is known to some, is the seventh-richest person in the world and the richest man in Mexico. He controls America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecommunications firm, and owns a stake in Mexican companies in many fields, including insurance, construction, energy, retailing, publishing, consumer goods, mining, finance, and real estate. He also owns 17 percent of the New York Times. Helú has an estimated worth of $67.1 billion.
FUN FACT: Carlos Slim became a billionaire in the aftermath of the economic crash of 1982. At that time, the Mexican government “began nationalizing banks and scaring away business investors,” according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. As a result, Slim was able to purchase controlling interests in a variety of companies at bargain prices. Within a decade, their combined value increased dramatically.
6. Amancio Ortega
With an estimated net worth of $70 billion, Amancio Ortega is the second wealthiest man in Europe. He is best known as the founder of clothing and accessories brand Zara. Even though he stepped down as chairman of Inditex (Industria de Diseño Textil, SA), the Spanish clothing merchandiser that owns Zara, he still owns about 60 percent of its shares.
FUN FACT: Ortega’s first jobs in the fashion industry were as a delivery boy for a men’s shirt store and as an assistant in a tailor’s shop. He eventually went on to manage a clothing store that catered to the wealthy. After that, he founded a bathrobe business in 1963 called Confecciones Goa.
5. Mark Zuckerberg
Coming in at number five on the list is Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. He’s the youngest of the world’s top ten wealthiest people and has an estimated worth of $71 billion.
-Zuckerberg became the youngest self-made billionaire when Facebook’s value flew past the $1 billion mark. He was just 23 years old at the time.
-There’s a movie about Zuckerberg and Facebook. It’s called The Social Network and is about a Harvard student who comes up with an idea for a global social network, becomes the youngest billionaire in history, and is sued by two brothers (who claim he stole their idea) and the social network’s co-founder, who was later booted out of the company.
4. Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault is Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group. With an estimated worth of $72 billion, he’s now the wealthiest person in Europe. That’s due in part to record profits at LVMH and a deal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior. Those two things alone helped boost his fortune by $30 billion in just one year!
FUN FACT: Arnault is known in Europe as the man who revitalized French couture in 1995, and as such, has been referred to as the “Pope of Fashion.”
3. Warren Buffett
Coming in at number three on the list is Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a publicly traded investment firm. He has a net worth of $84 billion. Taking an interest in investing at an early age (He bought his first stocks at age 11–six shares of Cities Service, an oil service company, for $38 apiece), Buffet is considered one of the world’s greatest investors.
FUN FACT: Buffett, along with a few others on this list, has promised to give away his fortune as part of The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back.
Here’s an excerpt from his philanthropic pledge:
“In 2006, I made a commitment to gradually give all of my Berkshire Hathaway stock to philanthropic foundations. I couldn’t be happier with that decision… First, my pledge: More than 99% of my wealth will go to philanthropy during my lifetime or at death… Moreover, this pledge does not leave me contributing the most precious asset, which is time… I’ve done little of this. What I can do, however, is to take a pile of Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates—’claim checks’ that when converted to cash can command far-ranging resources—and commit them to benefit others who, through the luck of the draw, have received the short straws in life.”
2. Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is worth an estimated worth of $90 billion, making him the second wealthiest person in the world. He became America’s richest person in 1994, a title he held onto for 24 years. He became a millionaire at age 31 after Microsoft went public in 1986. Gates has since sold or given away much of his stake in the company–he owns just 1 percent of Microsoft–and has turned his attention to his philanthropic efforts via the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
1. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is the wealthiest man in the world. He has an estimated net worth of $112 billion. It almost didn’t turn out that way, though. That’s because Amazon came close to going bankrupt in the wake of the 2000 dot-com crash. But, Amazon’s CFO at the time made some stock market deals that provided Amazon a comfortable cushion against the failing economy.
FUN FACT: Bezos started Amazon out of his garage in Seattle in 1994.
Wanna know who the top wealthiest people in America are? Take a look at this article to find out. Thanks for reading!