By Ryan Velez
2018 is here, and it looks to be a good year already for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Celebrity Net Worth reports that at the current time, Jeff Bezos’ net worth is $105 billion, which would officially make him the richest person of all time—kind of.
How does Bezos’s wealth break down? For one, he owns 78.9 million shares of Amazon so at $1250 per share, his AMZN stake alone is worth $99 billion. Jeff also owns a $3 billion stake in the space exploration company, Blue Origin and has around $3 billion worth of cash, equities, real estate and other investments.
Where things start to get dicey is inflation. For example, “If you died in 1913 with a net worth of $10 million, that $10 million is the same as dying today with a net worth of $250 million. In other words, $10 million in 1913 had the same buying power as $250 million today. So when talking about the richest people of all time, we need to look at people who died with enormous fortunes decades and even centuries ago,” Celebrity Net Worth explains. If you adjust for inflation, 15 men have died with more net worth than $105 billion, including Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller. However, it was an African king who holds the all-time title.
Mansa Musa of Mali ruled from 1280 – 1337 and ruled the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu, and Mali in West Africa. At the time, his empire produced half the salt and gold known in the world, and accounting for inflation, his net worth was over $400 billion at its peak. Unfortunately, following his death, civil war and invaders were too much for his heirs, and that massive number eroded to nothing. Granted, this is mostly hypothetical, so while Musa will likely hold that record forever, Bezos’s milestone is a bit more concrete.
To put things in perspective, Jeff Bezos’ $105 billion fortune is the largest non-inflation-adjusted fortune in human history. However, there’s one other asterisk to add to this number. Bill Gates currently has $90 billion dollars as his net worth, but this is only because he has given away $3 billion in cash and 700 million shares of Microsoft to various charities. When you add it all up, Bill has given away roughly $62 billion of his personal fortune over the last 10 years.