The Richest People on the Planet

Who cares how much somebody is worth? How much influence they have? How much power they wield? We all do.

These are the people that offer a critical barometer of how well the nation — and, to a degree, the world — is doing. They help shape financial trends as well as shifts in leadership and policy. They provide the spark for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, for philanthropic giving and more. And their stories may serve as powerful examples offering lessons and inspiration to others to achieve success themselves. That’s why Forbes has been tracking the wealthy, the powerful, and the influential chronicling their ups and downs as a central part of our mission all these years.

This Article Content:

  • Part 1. Top 10 Billionaires (2011)
  • Part 2. The Richest People of All (modern) Time
  • Part 3. The 13 Richest Americans of All Time

Part 1. Top 10 Billionaires (2011)

This year’s (2011) list broke records in size (1,210 billionaires) and total net worth ($4.5 trillion). China doubled its number of 10-figure fortunes, and Moscow now has more billionaires than any other city. Mexico’s Carlos Slim widened his lead at No. 1.

1. Carlos Slim Helu & family

Net Worth    $63.3 B As of November 2011
Title: Chairman, Telmex
Age: 71
Source: telecom, self-made
Residence: Mexico City, Mexico
Country of Citizenship: Mexico
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Marital Status: Widow
Children: 6

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim listens at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. The seven-year-old Global Initiative founded by former U.S. President Bill Clinton matches businesses and philanthropists with nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations to solve problems. Photographer: Ramin Talie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

2. Bill Gates

Net Worth    $59 B As of November 2011
Title: Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Age: 56
Source: Microsoft, self-made
Residence: Medina, WA
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Drop Out, Harvard University
Marital Status: Married
Children: 3

 

 The founder of the Microsoft Company, Bill Gates, smiles after he and German Development Minister Dirk Niebel met in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

3. Warren Buffett

Net Worth    $39 B As of November 2011
Title: CEO, Berkshire Hathaway
Age: 81
Source: Berkshire Hathaway, self-made
Residence: Omaha, NE
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Master of Science, Columbia University; Bachelor of Arts / Science, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Marital Status: Widowed, Remarried
Children: 3

NEW DELHI, INDIA – MARCH 24: Warren Buffet, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc during a press conference in New Delhi, Thursday, March 24, 2011. Billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett urged India’s business tycoons on Thursday to give up some of their newfound wealth to help the country’s hundreds of millions of impoverished people. (Photo by Subir Halder/India Today Group/Getty Images)

4. Bernard Arnault

Net Worth    $41 B As of November 2011
Title: Chairman, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH)
Age: 62
Source: LVMH
Residence: Paris, France
Country of Citizenship: France
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, Ecole Polytechnique de Paris
Marital Status: Married
Children: 5

 

Global Luxury retailer LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault arrives to attend the 2010 Full Year presentation on February 4, 2011 in Paris.  AFP PHOTO  ERIC PIERMONT (Photo credit should read ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

 5. Larry Ellison

Net Worth    $33 B As of September 2011
Age: 67
Source: Oracle, self-made
Residence: Woodside, CA
Country of Citizenship: United States
Education: Drop Out, University of Illinois at Urbana; Drop Out, University of Chicago
Marital Status: Divorced
Children: 2

 

SAN FRANCISCO – SEPTEMBER 22:  Oracle CEO Larry Ellison delivers a keynote address during the 2010 Oracle Open World conference on September 22, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Ellison delivered the final keynote of the week-long conference that runs through September 23.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Larry Ellison

6. Lakshmi Mittal

Net Worth    $31.1 B (as of March 2011) — 19.2 B As of November 2011
Title: Chairman, ArcelorMittal
Age: 61
Source: steel
Residence: London, United Kingdom
Country of Citizenship: India
Hometown: India
Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, St Xavier”s College Calcutta
Marital Status: Married
Children: 2

Lakshmi Mittal, Indian billionaire industrialist

7. Amancio Ortega

Net Worth    $31 B As of November 2011
Age: 75
Source: Zara, self-made
Residence: La Coruna, Spain
Country of Citizenship: Spain
Marital Status: Married
Children: 3

 

 

LA CORUNA, (SPAIN) 10/07/2010.- Spanish Inditex chairman Amancio Ortega is seen during the second journey of the International Jump Competition of Casas Novas, held in Arteixo, Galicia, northeastern of Spain on 10 July 2010. EFE/ Cabalar  (Newscom TagID: efephotos054380)     [Photo via Newscom]

8. Eike Batista

Net Worth  $30 B As of March 2011
Age: 54
Source: mining, oil, self-made
Residence: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Country of Citizenship: Brazil
Education: Drop Out, RWTH Aachen University
Marital Status: Divorced
Children: 2

 

Eike Batista, richest man in Brasil.

9. Mukesh Ambani

Net Worth    $22.6 B As of November 2011
Title: Chairman, Reliance Industries
Age: 54
Source: petrochemicals, oil & gas
Residence: Mumbai, India
Country of Citizenship: India
Hometown: India
Education: Drop Out, Stanford University; Bachelor of Science in Engineering, University of Bombay
Marital Status: Married
Children: 3

This file picture taken on June 18, 2010 shows chairman of India’s Reliance Industries (RIL) Mukesh Ambani at the company’s 36th annual general share holders meeting in Mumbai. On March 1, 2011 India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani said the country needed equitable growth at all levels to include millions of Indians residing in slums or villages in the mainstream of progress. He spoke of the two narratives of India, one that sees the country from the “stratosphere, rhapsodizes about its growth and romanticizes its democracy. The other narrative, he said, “Imagines the growth engine as a heartless monster that leaves large numbers of Indians behind” AFP PHOTO/ Punit PARANJPE  (Newscom TagID: afplivethree783002) [Photo via Newscom]

10. Christy Walton

Net Worth    $24.5 B As of November 2011
Age: 56
Source: Wal-Mart
Residence: Jackson, WY
Country of Citizenship: United States
Marital Status: Widow
Children: 1

 

 

The world’s richest woman, Wal-Mart widow Christy Walton inherited her wealth when husband John Walton, a former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic, died in an airplane accident near his home in Wyoming in 2005. Her late husband’s investment in First Solar also boosts her total net worth by nearly $2.7 billion.  

Article Source: http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires

The List of 2011 World’s Billionaires

Click to enlarge. Courtesy: Wikipedia/Forbes

Sources/Links:

  • http://www.forbes.com/wealth/billionaires/list
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes_list_of_billionaires_%282011%29

Part 2. The Richest People of All (modern) Time

Top 20

1. John D. Rockefeller Fortune: $336 billion

Source of wealth: He founded Standard Oil in 1870, at the age of 31, and bought up most of the oil refineries in the United States, eventually controlling about 90% of the American oil business.

2. Andrew Carnegie Fortune: $309 billion

Source of wealth: Carnegie invested in the steel business when the market was booming, eventually ending up at the head of the U.S. Steel empire.

3. William the Conquer Peak fortune: $209 billion

Source of wealth: Was called William the Bastard until he led the last successful foreign invasion of England in 1066. Although he became a monarch, we’re counting the spoils of war before he took the throne, based on what he gave out to his sons Odo and Robert.

4. Cornelius Vanderbilt Fortune: $185 billion

Source of wealth: In 1862, he began to buy railroad lines. Although already 70 years old, his wealth mostly comes from this business of the 19th century. Prior to that, he was known as a cold-blooded steam-boat entrepreneur.

5. Alan Rufus Fortune: $149 billion

Source of wealth: A Norman who joined William The Conqueror in the invasion of Britain in the 11th century, Alan “The Red” had 250,000 acres of land from Yorkshire to London. He also owned Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire, which, for the time, was considered very comfortable.

6. Bill Gates Peak fortune: $136 billion

Source of wealth: Founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. He held onto shares as Microsoft dominated the age of computers, peaking in personal wealth at the top of the Dot Com Bubble.

7. William de Warenne Peak fortune: $134 billion

Source of wealth: Originally from Normandy, William I de Warenne participated in the battle of Hastings and was rewarded with properties in Sussex, Northfolk and Yorkshire. He became the first Earl of Surrey.

8. John Jacob Aster Peak fortune: $121 billion

Source of wealth: A successful fur trader, he established a near monopoly within the U.S. by around 1800. He subsequently switched trades and went on to investing in real estate, focusing on New York City.

9. Richard Fitzalan 10th Earl of ArundelPeak fortune: $108 billion

Source of wealth: The Earl of Arundel and quite the military leader. He fought in the Scottish Independence wars and in the Hundred Years’ War. Subsequent Earls of Arundel — his sons — would make this list, but we’re only counting that money once.

10. Stephen Girard Peak fortune: $105 billion

Source of wealth: Successful in the shipping trade, he was a French-born American merchant who went into the banking business later in his life, owning a bank that was called “Girard’s Bank”.

11. John of Gaunt Peak fortune: $101 billion

Source of wealth: Richard II’s regent during much of the latter’s rule and the father of Henry Bolingbroke (who would eventually come back from exile to depose Richard and take the English throne into his hands). One of Shakespeare’s meekest characters.

12. A.T. Stewart Peak fortune: $88.9 billion

Source of wealth: An American entrepreneur, he founded the first department store in lower Manhattan and subsequently expanded his retail business.

13. Frederick Weyerhaeuser Peak fortune: $79.4 billion

Source of wealth: He founded Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the biggest timber companies in the United States, after he arrived to America from Germany in the 19th century.

14. Henry Duke of Lancaster Peak fortune: $77.5 billion

Source of wealth: English diplomat, noble, soldier, and founding member of the Order of the Garter.. He is remembered today for his peace talks with France and for being a patron of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

15. Carlos Slim Peak fortune: $74.5 billion

Source of wealth: Many. He is most famous, however, for having big holdings in major telecom companies, especially America Movil, one of the largest corporations in Latin America.

16. Jay Gould Peak fortune: $71.2

Source of wealth: Railroad baron and gold speculator, Jay Gould masterminded the 19th century transportation boom in America. He and financier James Fisk also bought up a dominating share of the gold market at the time – enough to directly affect market movements during Gould’s lifetime.

17. Stephen Van Rensselaer Peak fortune: $68.5

Source of wealth: Major of the US Militia and member of the New York State Assembly, Rensselaer was also heir to one of the most well-endowed estates in the US. He founded the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a portion of his wealth.

18. Marshall Field Peak fortune: $66.1 billion

Source of wealth: He started the retail store chain Marshall Field and Co. in Chicago during the Civil War.

19. Sam Walton Peak fortune: $64.5 billion

Source of wealth: Founded Walmart in 1962 and lived a famously humble life. As Walmart keeps growing, Walton’s four children have individual fortunes around $20 billion each.

20. Warren Buffett Peak fortune: $63.9 billion

Source of wealth: Investments. The Oracle of Omaha joined Berkshire Hathaway as chairman in 1970 and hasn’t looked back. He has pledged to give away 99 percent of his money.

Article Source:

  • http://stocksonwallstreet.net/featured/the-richest-people-of-all-time-1-10.php
  • http://stocksonwallstreet.net/featured/the-richest-people-of-all-time-11-20.php

Part 3. The 13 Richest Americans of All Time

The richest Americans in history come primarily from several eras of extreme inequality. One group of robber barons, like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, lived between the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties. Then there are the tech mavens and investors who made a fortune in the past twenty years. We identified peak net worth for historical figures based on scholarly estimates. All figures are adjusted for inflation.

#13 Warren Buffett
Peak fortune: $63.9 billion
Born: 1930
Source of wealth: Investments. The Oracle of Omaha joined Berkshire Hathaway as chairman in 1970 and hasn’t looked back. He has pledged to give away 99 percent of his money.
Estimate from 2008 Forbes list of billionaires, adjusted for inflation.

#12 Sam Walton
Peak fortune: $64.5 billion
Born: 1918
Source of wealth: Founded Walmart in 1962 and lived a famously humble life. As Walmart keeps growing, Walton’s four children have individual fortunes around $20 billion each.Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

#11 Marshall Field
Peak fortune: $66.1 billion
Born: 1834

Source of wealth: He started the retail store chain Marshall Field and Co. in Chicago during the Civil War.

Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.
 

 

 

#10 Stephen Van Rensselaer
Peak fortune: $68.5
Born: 1764
Source of wealth: Major of the US Militia and member of the New York State Assembly, Rensselaer was also heir to one of the most well-endowed estates in the US. He founded the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a portion of his wealth.  Estimate comes from NYT, adjusted for inflation.

#9 Jay Gould
Peak fortune: $71.2
Born: 1836
Source of wealth: Railroad baron and gold speculator, Jay Gould masterminded the 19th century transportation boom in America. He and financier James Fisk also bought up a dominating share of the gold market at the time – enough to directly affect market movements during Gould’s lifetime.
Estimate comes from NYT, adjusted for inflation.

#8 Frederick Weyerhaeuser
Peak fortune: $79.4 billion
Born: 1834

Source of wealth:  He founded Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the biggest timber companies in the United States, after he arrived to America from Germany in the 19th century.
Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

 

 

#7 A.T. Stewart
Peak fortune: $88.9 billion
Born: 1803
Source of wealth:  An American entrepreneur, he founded the first department store in lower Manhattan and subsequently expanded his retail business.
Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.
 

#6 Stephen Girard
Peak fortune: $105 billion
Born: 1750
Source of wealth: Successful in the shipping trade, he was a French-born American merchant who went into the banking business later in his life, owning a bank that was called “Girard’s Bank”.
Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

#5 John Jacob Astor
Peak fortune: $121 billion
Born: 1763
Source of wealth: A successful fur trader, he established a near monopoly within the U.S. by around 1800. He subsequently switched trades and went on to investing in real estate, focusing on New York City.
Estimate from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

#4 Bill Gates
Peak fortune: $136 billion
Born: 1955
Source of wealth: Founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. He held onto shares as Microsoft dominated the age of computers, peaking in personal wealth at the top of the Dot Com Bubble. Estimate from wide-spread reports of a $101 billion net worth for a period in 1999, adjusted for inflation.

#3 Cornelius Vanderbilt
Fortune: $185 billion
Born: 1794
Source of wealth: In 1862, he began to buy railroad lines. Although already 70 years old, his wealth mostly comes from this business of the 19th century. Prior to that, he was known as a cold-blooded steam-boat entrepreneur.
Estimate comes from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

#2 Andrew Carnegie
Fortune: $309 billion
Born: 1835

Source of wealth: Carnegie invested in the steel business when the market was booming, eventually ending up at the head of the U.S. Steel empire.
Estimate comes from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

 

#1 John D. Rockefeller
Fortune: $336 billion
Born: 1835
Source of wealth: He founded Standard Oil in 1870, at the age of 31, and bought up most of the oil refineries in the United States, eventually controlling about 90% of the American oil business. Estimate comes from economist Peter Bernstein via Forbes, adjusted for inflation.

Article Source: Business Insider  http://www.businessinsider.com/richest-americans-ever-2011-4?op=1#ixzz1hHeoCBt8

Image Sources: Wikipedia

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