top richest man in the world

Despite the challenges of 2020, the number of billionaires of Forbes‘ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest ‘exploded’ to an unprecedented 2,755, up 660 from last year. According to Forbes, the combined wealth of all the billionaires on the list amounts to a whopping USD$13.1 trillion, up from USD$8 trillion last year. That incredible figure comes off the back of surging cryptocurrencies and stock prices along with a series of public offerings.

The list of the world’s richest persons can vary from year to year, depending on their latest net worth and financial performance. Here is the latest list of the top richest man in the world, based on Forbes 35th annual list and some interesting facts about each of them.

Jeff Bezos

Age: 57

Residence: Seattle, Washington

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $177 billion

Source of Wealth: Amazon (AMZN)

Industry: Technology

 

  • Jeff Bezos founded e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. He stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman on July 5, 2021.
  • Amazon thrived during the pandemic; revenues in 2020 grew 38% to $386 billion as people stayed home and made online purchases.
  • In April 2020, Bezos said he would give $100 million to Feed America, a nonprofit that operates food banks and food pantries across the country.
  • Amazon has faced criticism from U.S. senators and the general public for its treatment of warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • He and his wife MacKenzie divorced in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and he transferred a quarter of his 16% Amazon stake to her.
  • Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin, an aerospace company that is developing rockets for commercial use.

 

Elon Musk

Age: 50

Residence: Austin, Texas

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $151 billion

Source of Wealth: Tesla, SpaceX

Industry: Automotive

 

  • Elon Musk is working to revolutionize transportation both on Earth, through electric car maker Tesla — and in space, via rocket producer SpaceX.
  • He owns 21% of Tesla but has pledged more than half his stake as collateral for loans; Forbes has discounted his stake to take the loans into account.
  • He stepped down as chairman in 2018, after making alleged “false statements” about a plan to take Tesla private, triggering an SEC probe.
  • SpaceX, Musk’s rocket company, is now valued at $74 billion after its latest funding round in February 2021.
  • He grew up in South Africa, then immigrated to Canada at age 17. He landed in the U.S. as a transfer student to the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Bernard Arnault & family

Age: 72

Residence: Paris, France

Country / Territory : France

Net Worth: $150 billion

Source of Wealth: LVMH

Industry : Fashion & Retail

 

  • One of the world’s ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
  • In January 2021, LVMH completed a deal for American jeweler Tiffany & Co for $15.8 billion, believed to be the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever.
  • LVMH spent $3.2 billion in 2019 for luxury hospitality group, Belmond, which owns or manages 46 hotels, trains and river cruises.
  • His father made a small fortune in construction; Arnault got his start by putting up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
  • Four of Arnault’s five children work in corners of the LVMH empire: Frédéric, Delphine, Antoine and Alexandre.

 

Bill Gates

Age: 65

Residence: Medina, Washington

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $124 billion

Source of Wealth: Microsoft

Industry: Technology

 

  • Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, now divorcing, chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation.
  • On May 3, 2021, Bill and Melinda each announced on Twitter they were ending their marriage after 27 years. They will still co-chair the foundation.
  • Gates, who co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen (d. 2018) in 1975, has transferred at least $3 billion worth of shares in public companies to Melinda.
  • As of March 2020, when Gates stepped down from the Microsoft board, he owned about 1% of the software and computing company’s shares.
  • He has invested in dozens of companies including Canadian National Railway and AutoNation and is one of the largest owners of farmland in the U.S.
  • To date, Gates has donated $35.8 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation.

 

Mark Zuckerberg

Age: 37

Residence: Palo Alto, California

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $97 billion

Source of Wealth: Facebook

Industry: Technology

 

  • Facebook, the social network Zuckerberg runs, has become a go-to communications tool during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
  • More than 1,000 advertisers joined the boycott in June to protest Facebook’s lax policing of hate speech and misleading posts from politicians.
  • Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard in 2004 at the age of 19 for students to match names with photos of classmates.
  • He took Facebook public in May 2012 and still owns about 15% of the stock.
  • In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.

 

Warren Buffett

Age: 96

Residence: Omaha, Nebraska

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $90 billion

Source of Wealth: Berkshire Hathaway

Industry: Finance & Investment

 

  • Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.
  • Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
  • The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought a stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.
  • He has promised to donate over 99% of his wealth. So far he has given more than $41 billion, mostly to the Gates Foundation and his kids’ foundations.
  • In 2010, he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit to donating at least half of their wealth to charitable causes.

 

Larry Ellison

Age: 76

Residence: Lanai, Hawaii

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $93 billion

Source of Wealth: Software

Industry: Technology

 

  • Larry Ellison is chairman, chief technology officer, and co-founder of software giant Oracle, of which he owns about 35%.
  • He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 after 37 years at the helm.
  • Oracle has grown in part through steady acquisitions of software companies, the biggest of which was $9.3 billion for NetSuite in 2016.
  • In May 2016, Ellison pledged $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment center.
  • In 2012, Ellison spent $300 million to buy nearly all of Hawaiian island Lanai; so far, he has built a hydroponic farm and a luxury spa there.
  • Ellison joined Tesla’s board in December 2018, after purchasing 3 million Tesla shares earlier that year.

 

Larry Page

Age: 48

Residence: Los Altos, California

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $91.5 billion

Source of Wealth: Google

Industry: Technology

 

  • Larry Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, the parent of Google, in December 2019 but remains a board member and a controlling shareholder.
  • He cofounded Google in 1998 with fellow Stanford Ph.D. student Sergey Brin.
  • With Brin, Page invented Google’s PageRank algorithm, which powers the search engine.
  • Page was CEO until 2001, when Eric Schmidt took over, and then from 2011 until 2015 when he became CEO of Google’s new parent company Alphabet.
  • He is a founding investor in space exploration company Planetary Resources and is also funding “flying car” startups Kitty Hawk and Opener.

 

Sergey Brin

Age: 47

Residence: Palo Alto, California

Country / Territory : United States

Net Worth: $89 billion

Source of Wealth: Facebook

Industry: Technology

 

  • Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in December 2019 but remains a controller shareholder and a board member.
  • He co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998 after the two met at Stanford University while studying for advanced degrees in computer science.
  • Google went public in 2004 and changed its name to Alphabet in 2015.
  • Brin was absent from public Alphabet events for much of 2019; he spent his time on Alphabet’s moonshot research lab X.
  • Brin is reportedly funding a high-tech airship project.

 

Mukesh Ambani

Age: 63

Residence: Mumbai, India

Country / Territory : India

Net Worth: $84.5 billion

Source of Wealth: Reliance

Industry: Infrastructure

 

  • Mukesh Ambani chairs and runs $74 billion (revenue) Reliance Industries, which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom, and retail.
  • Reliance was founded by his late father Dhirubhai Ambani, a yarn trader, in 1966 as a small textile manufacturer.
  • After his father’s death in 2002, Ambani and his younger sibling, Anil divvied up the family empire.
  • In 2016, Reliance sparked a price war in India’s hyper-competitive telecom market with the launch of 4G phone service Jio.
  • During the Covid-19 lockdown, Ambani raised more than $20 billion selling a third of Jio to a string of investors, such as Facebook and Google.

 

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