richest people in the world

Top 10 Richest People in the World

There are rich people in the world and then there are VERY rich people in the world. In fact, there are around 2,700 billionaires in the world now. These absolute richest people in the world represent the top 0.1% of the world in terms of wealth and own approximately 20% of the world’s total wealth. Most of the richest people in the world got rich by founding an innovative company that grew to become a globally known market leader in their respective fields of business.

The 10 richest people currently are, as has usually been the case throughout history, all men. 7 of the 10 richest men are also American. And the leaders in the updated Top 10 ranking of the richest people in the world in 2023 managed to crack the $100 billion dollar mark in net worth. The ranking is based on the approximated net worth of each individual in U.S. dollars.

Note: Only private citizens are listed in the Top 10 richest people in the world ranking. Nation leaders (presidents, prime ministers, kings, dictators, etc.) are not counted in this ranking since their wealth is not measurable in a reliable way.

Click the following, for the Top 10 of the richest women in the world.

The 10 Richest People in the World 2023


1. Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault

Net worth: ~ $237.6 billion

Born: March 5, 1949 in Roubaix, Hauts-de-France, France
Nationality:
French

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Co-Founder, Principal Shareholder & CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (luxury goods company)

Bernard Arnault is the richest man in the world. He is the co-founder and CEO of French company LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods company and conglomerate, owning several of the biggest luxury brands in the world.

Arnault was born into a wealthy family as his father owned the now-defunct real estate company Ferret-Savinel. After graduating from École Polytechnique in Paris with a degree in Engineering in 1971, Arnault entered the family business. In 1978, he took charge of the company and moved it from his hometown of Roubaix in Northeastern France to the capital of Paris. In 1984, he left his family’s real estate business to enter the luxury industry instead. He acquired Financière Agache, a struggling French luxury goods company, and then Boussac Saint-Frères, a bankrupt French textile and clothing retail company, which owned the Christian Dior luxury fashion house.

In order to revitalize the struggling French luxury industry, Arnault convinced Henry Racamier, CEO of the Louis Vuitton luxury fashion house, and Alain Chevalier, CEO of the luxury champagne and cognac company Moët Hennessy to form a large unified conglomerate that would serve as an umbrella for multiple luxury brands. LVMH was thus founded in 1987. After a dispute with Racamier, Arnault ousted him from his board position in 1989 while he himself became the company’s biggest shareholder.

In the following decades, Arnault expanded his luxury empire to include 75 luxury alcohol, fashion, and cosmetics brands, including Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Guerlain. In 2022, he made history by acquiring American luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion, the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever. Under his leadership, LVMH became the by far largest and most influential luxury goods company in the world.

Bernard Arnault was first married to his high school sweetheart Anne Dewavrin. They have two children together and their marriage lasted from 1973 to 1990. After divorcing his first wife, in 1991 Arnault then married Helene Mercier, a Canadian pianist. They have three children together. All of Arnault’s five children actively work at LVMH and hold equal stakes in his company. Arnault is also known as one of the world’s biggest art collectors. Each year, he sponsors a fashion design competition for fine arts schools in France and financially backs the creation of a fashion label for the winner. Politically, Arnault is an open supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron and his centrist Renaissance party.


2. Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Net worth: ~ $179.3 billion

Born: June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa
Nationality:
Canadian-American

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Principal Shareholder & CEO of Tesla, Inc. (car company);
Founder, Owner & CEO of SpaceX Corporation (spacecraft and satellite company);
Founder & Owner of The Boring Company (tunnel construction company)

Elon Musk comes second among the richest people in the world. Musk is the CEO of leading electric car company Tesla, the founder, owner, and CEO of SpaceX, the world’s largest private spacecraft and satellite company, founder and owner of The Boring Company, a tunnel construction company, neurotechnology company Neuralink as well as the founder, owner, and CEO of X Holdings Corp., through which he owns social media platform Twitter and artificial intelligence company X.AI. Musk’s vast portfolio of these American companies, as well as his outspoken nature on various topics, makes him one of the most influential people in the world.

Musk was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. His father owned an electromechanical business and possibly also co-owned an emerald mine in Zambia. Musk’s mother is a Canadian model and dietician. In 1989, Musk moved to Canada and obtained Canadian citizenship through his mother’s ancestry. In 1990, he started studying at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada but then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA after four semesters, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and additionally a Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1997.

In 1995, Musk alongside his brother Kimbal and friend Greg Kouri founded Zip2, an internet company that provided online city guides. In 1999, the company was sold to the now-defunct American tech company Compaq for $307 million. From his share of the sale, Musk then went on to found X.com in 1999, an online bank. One year later the company merged with Confinity, a money-transfer company. Shortly afterward, Musk was replaced as the CEO of the new company by Confinity founder Peter Thiel, who renamed the company PayPal. In 2002, PayPal was acquired by American e-commerce company eBay for $1.5 billion, and Musk received around $175 million from it, making him a net millionaire.

In 2002, Musk then went on to found SpaceX, a spacecraft and satellite communications company. Musk’s plan for SpaceX was to make space travel more affordable, make rockets reusable, and ultimately build a rocket that can reach Mars, turning humanity into an interplanetary species. SpaceX closely worked with NASA, the American governmental space agency, and received an increasing number of government contracts from the agency over the years. In 2020, SpaceX succeeded in becoming the first private spacecraft company in history to launch a crewed flight into orbit, where it successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Under its Starlink brand, SpaceX also provides satellites for satellite-based internet and other civilian and military communications networks.

In 2004, Musk first invested in Tesla, an emerging American electric car company that was founded one year prior. Musk eventually increased his investments and became the company’s majority shareholder. After almost facing bankruptcy during the 2007-2008 world financial crisis, Musk took charge of the company himself and became the CEO of Tesla. Under his leadership, Tesla has managed to become profitable and the leading electric car company in the world.

In 2016, Elon Musk then co-founded Neuralink, a neurotechnology company that develops implantable brain-computer interfaces and neuroprosthetics. The company, however, has not yet received clearance for human trials. In 2018, Musk also founded The Boring Company, which he spun off SpaceX. The company builds underground tunnels, designed for the creation of an underground transit network. The company completed two projects so far: The Test Tunnel at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and a tunnel underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Further planned projects are seeking to connect several casino hotels in Las Vegas to the Convention Center tunnel.

In 2022, Elon Musk additionally acquired Twitter, the world’s tenth-largest social media platform, for a record-breaking $44 billion. Musk plans to turn Twitter into a “public market square” with a high degree of free speech and little censorship and also turn the platform into an “everything app”. In 2023, he then founded X.AI., an artificial intelligence company. Both Twitter and X.Ai., are subsidiaries of Musk’s 2023 newly created holding company X Holding.

Elon Musk was married twice. In 2000, he married Justine Wilson, a Canadian author whom he met while studying at Queen’s University in Canada. They had six children together (including two twins and three triplets), one of whom died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome aged only 10 weeks. Musk divorced his first wife in 2008 and two years later married English actress Talulah Riley. The couple divorced in 2012, but then remarried in 2013, but divorced again in 2016.

In 2017, Musk briefly dated American actress Amber Heard. In 2018, he then started dating Canadian singer Claire Boucher a.k.a. “Grimes”. The couple had two children together but ultimately broke up in 2022. Musk additionally has two twins, born in 2021, with Shivon Zilis, a Canadian tech specialist who works as the director of operations and special projects at Neuralink, the neurotechnology company owned by Musk.

Elon Musk was born with Asperger’s Syndrome, a light form of autism. In 2002, he and his brother founded the Musk Foundation, which seeks to give financial grants for the purpose of the advancement of renewable energies, pediatric medicine, space exploration, and science and engineering education. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, he provided the Ukrainian military with around 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals for free. Since 2015, he’s been an honorary member of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), since 2018 a member of the British Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS), and since 2022, also a member of the American National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

In addition to his Canadian citizenship, he’s also been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2002. While having supported U.S. Democratic party presidential candidates Hillary Clinton in 2016 and both Andrew Yang and Joe Biden in 2020, Musk shifted his political alignment in 2022 and has become a supporter of the U.S. Republican party ever since.


3. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Net worth: ~ $128.9 billion

Born: January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Nationality: American

Source of Wealth:
Founder & Chairman of Amazon.com, Inc. (online retail & e-commerce company);
Founder & Owner of Blue Origin (spacecraft company);
Owner of The Washington Post (newspaper)

Jeff Bezos is the third richest person in the world. Bezos’ wealth mostly stems from being the founder of Amazon.com, the largest e-commerce and online retailer in the world. He’s also the founder and owner of Blue Origin, a spacecraft and space exploration company, and the owner The Washington Post, the fourth-largest newspaper in the world.

Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. His biological father was Ted Jorgensen, a unicycle hockey player, and circus artist. Due to his father’s drinking problem, Bezos’ mother left his father and filed for divorce when Bezos was one year old. His mother then went on to marry Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant, in 1968. Jeff Bezos was adopted by Miguel Bezos whom he considers to be his real father. Miguel Bezos is a petroleum engineer and the family moved around a lot, before finally settling in Miami, Florida.

After graduating high school in Miami as a valedictorian, Bezos went on to Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1986. Afterward, he moved to New York City and worked at Fitel, a former fintech start-up, then at Bankers Trust, a now-defunct investment bank, and then at D. E. Shaw & Co., an investment management company. Bezos managed to become the company’s vice president at only 30 years of age.

Despite his success at D. E. Shaw & Co., Bezos quit his job there in 1994 and instead moved to Seattle, Washington, inspired by Microsoft which is also based in the area, to found his own company, Amazon, after reading a report that internet usage in the world was growing by 2,300% every year. Bezos correctly predicted that the internet would play an increasingly major role in the everyday life of humanity. Bezos managed to attract many investors with his vision, including his parents, who invested $300,000 in his company. While originally only selling books through the internet, Bezos managed to gradually turn Amazon into an “everything shop” over the years.

The company became profitable in 2003 and by 2013, Amazon became the world’s largest online store and e-commerce company, a position it has held ever since. In 2018, Bezos became the first human in history to become a (non-inflation-adjusted) centi-billionaire. Jeff Bezos gave up his position as CEO at Amazon in 2021 to focus on some of his other endeavors, but he is still the company’s chairman.

Already in 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a private spacecraft company, to fulfill his lifelong dream of allowing humanity to one day leave Earth and become a multi-planetary species. In 2021, the company managed to successfully launch its first crewed flight. The crew included Jeff Bezos himself, alongside his half-brother Mark Bezos and two others. In 2013, Jeff Bezos acquired The Washington Post for $250 million, one of America’s oldest newspapers and one of the most-read newspapers in the world. While Bezos owns the newspaper through his investment company Nash Holdings, he, by his own account, does not intervene in the editorial process of the paper.

Bezos is also one of America’s leading philanthropists, having donated tens of billions of dollars to various causes over the years. He is especially passionate about environmental issues and has pledged over $10 billion to combat climate change. Furthermore, he has also given money to fight homelessness and hunger in the United States and granted scholarships to underprivileged children in the U.S. Bezos also gave money to cancer research over the years.

Jeff Bezos married MacKenzie Scott in 1993, whom he met while working at D. E. Shaw & Co. Scott later became one of Bezos’ first employees at Amazon. They have four children together. They divorced in 2019 and the divorce settlement became the most expensive one in human history, making Scott one of the richest women in the world. Since 2018, he has been dating Lauren Sanchez, a news anchor who used to work for a local TV station in Los Angeles.

Jeff Bezos is also one of the world’s largest private owners of real estate, owning several properties in, among others, the Seattle area, New York City, and Los Angeles. He also owns a big ranch in Cotulla, Texas that used to belong to his maternal grandfather. Bezos also owns the second-largest yacht in the world. Politically, he is known to support both U.S. Democrats and Republicans, depending on the candidate and race.


4. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

Net worth: ~ $120.8 billion

Born: August 17, 1944 in New York City, New York, USA
Nationality:
American

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Co-Founder, Principal Shareholder & Chairman of Oracle Corporation (software company)

Larry Ellison is the fourth-richest person in the world. He is the co-founder and chairman of Oracle, the second-largest software company in the world.

Ellison was born in New York City, USA. His biological father was an Italian-American military pilot and a World War II veteran in the U.S. Air Corps, while his mother was Jewish. His parents never married or maintained a relationship. When he was nine months old, he suffered from pneumonia and his overwhelmed young single mother gave him away to her aunt, Lilian Ellison, who was living in Chicago. His aunt and her husband adopted Larry Ellison and raised him as their son.

After completing high school in Chicago, Ellison enrolled as a medical student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However, after his adoptive mother died, Ellison dropped out in his second year without graduating. Afterward, he enrolled at the University of Chicago to study Physics and Mathematics but dropped out after one semester without graduating again.

After dropping out of University, Ellison moved to Northern California to find a job in the emerging computer and semiconductor industry in the region. In the early 1970s, he worked for the American electronics company Ampex. While there, he read a research paper on Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) by Edgar Codd, an English computer scientist who worked for IBM at the time. This inspired him, alongside his Ampex co-worker Edward Oates and Ampex supervisor Robert Miner, to leave Ampex in 1977 and instead co-found their own company focusing on database software.

They first named the company ‘Software Development Laboratories’, then renamed it ‘Relational Software’, and eventually named the company Oracle in 1983, after the company’s flagship database system of the same name. Oracle’s first major client was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which needed Oracle to build its digital database. Ellison took charge of the company as its CEO. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Oracle gradually emerged as the market leader in the highly competitive database software market.

In the following years, Ellison also expanded the company’s portfolio to include many other software fields, such as Cloud software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, Customer Relationship Management (CRP) software, Supply Chain Management (SCM) software, and others. In 2010, Ellison managed to acquire Sun Microsystems, the company behind the Java programming language and the MySQL relational database management system, a direct competitor of Oracle, for $7.4 billion. This further elevated Oracle to one of the biggest software companies in the world. Ellison stepped down as CEO of Oracle in 2014 but remains the company’s chairman and principal shareholder.

Ellison funded the opening of the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center in Sacramento, California in 1998, a medical center named after Ellison’s adoptive father. Through his charitable foundation, he also supports multiple other issues, with a particular focus on environmental causes.

Larry Ellison was married four times. In 1967, he married his college sweetheart Adda Quinn. They divorced in 1974. From 1977 to 1978, he was then briefly married to film producer Nancy Jenkins. In 1983, he then married Barbara Boothe, who worked as a receptionist at Oracle. They have two children together but divorced in 1986. From 2003 to 2010, Ellison was then married to Melanie Craft, a novelist.

Ellison was raised Jewish but considers himself to be non-religious. He is an avid supporter of Israel and a major donor to the U.S. Republican party. Aside from his business endeavors, Elisson is also active in competitive yachting, and his ‘Oracle Team USA’ won the 2010 and 2013 America’s Cup, respectively. Elison is a licensed pilot and one of the world’s biggest private aircraft owners, owning several planes, including two military jets. He is also an avid collector of luxury sports cars, owning more than a hundred of them. He is also among the biggest real estate owners in the USA, owning properties in California, Florida, Rhode Island, and most of Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth-largest island.


5. Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett

Net worth: ~ $114.0 billion

Born: August 30, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Nationality:
American

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Principal Shareholder & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (investment company)

Warren Buffett completes the top five of the richest people in the world. Known as the world’s biggest “investment icon”, he’s been the CEO of investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway since 1970, the longest-running CEO of any major company in the world.

Buffet was born in Omaha, Nebraska, as the second son of businessman and politician Howard Buffett, who as a Republican represented Nebraska’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943 to 1949 and from 1951 to 1953. After graduating high school in Washington, D.C., Buffet earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1949 and then a Master’s degree in Economics at Columbia University in New York City in 1951.

After university, he entered his father’s co-owned investment firm Buffett-Falk & Co., where he worked as an investment salesman. In 1954, he then left the firm to instead work for the Wall Street-based investment firm Graham-Newman Corp. as an analyst. He left the firm in 1956 and returned to his hometown of Omaha to found his own investment company, Buffett Partnership, Ltd. Through his company, Buffett started to invest in Berkshire Hathaway in 1962, a textile manufacturing company based in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. After a dispute with Seabury Stanton, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO at the time, Buffett increased his stock ownership in the company until he became the majority owner by 1965 and was then able to fire the CEO.

Buffett put himself in charge of the company. Realizing that the American textile industry was largely outsourcing to Asia, he correctly predicted that the industry wouldn’t have much of a future in the United States. In 1969, he closed down Buffett Partnership to fully focus on Berkshire Hathaway and in 1970 transformed the company into an investment holding company, shifting away from the textile business. Over the years, he moved the company to his hometown of Omaha and started to amass a diverse portfolio of investments in various companies.

Buffett particularly focuses on investing in insurance companies. He is also a leading proponent of the value investing concept, which seeks to identify underpriced stocks of companies, based on thorough fundamental analyses.

Since taking over the company, Berkshire Hathaway saw an average value increase of around 20% under Buffett’s leadership. While a public company, he is still its major principal shareowner and CEO. Among others, Berkshire Hathaway currently wholly owns GEICO, the second-largest car insurance company in the U.S., and General Reinsurance Corporation (Gen Re), a major reinsurance company. The company is also the majority owner of Pilot Flying J, a truck stop chain operating in the United States and Canada. Additionally, Berkshire Hathaway is also a principal shareholder in major American companies such as food company Kraft Heinz, payment card company American Express, and Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the world.

Aside from being perhaps the most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffet also belongs to the most charitable private people in the world. In 2010, Buffett alongside Microsoft founder Bill Gates, pledged to give away at least half of his net wealth to charitable causes before he dies. This has corresponded to tens of billions of dollars that Buffett has given to charities so far.

Warren Buffet married his first wife, Susan Thompson, in 1952. They met through mutual friends in Omaha and remained married until Thompson’s death from a stroke in 2004, although had already lived separately since 1977. They had three children together. In 2006, Buffett then married his current wife Astrid Menks, a Latvian immigrant who was introduced to Buffett by his first wife after they separated.

Despite being the son of a Republican politician, Buffett is a huge supporter and major donor to the U.S. Democratic Party and has supported most Democratic presidential candidates over the last few decades. Despite his massive wealth, Buffett is also known to live a relatively modest life. He still lives in the same house in Omaha that he bought in 1958, before becoming a billionaire and one of the richest people in the world.


6. Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Net worth: ~ $113.8 billion

Born: October 29, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, USA
Nationality:
American

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation (software company);
Founder & Owner of Cascade Investment LLC (investment company);
Founder & Owner of BEN Group, Inc. (advertising company)

Bill Gates is the sixth richest man in the world. Most of his wealth stems from Microsoft, the largest software company in the world and the second-largest video game company in the world, which Gates co-founded. Gates is also the founder and owner of BEN Group, branded as BENlabs, one of the major advertising and influencer marketing companies in the world. He also owns Cascade Investment, through which he owns stocks in various companies and other entities.

Bill Gates was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a bank executive. When he was 13, Gates wrote his first software program and remained fascinated by the emerging computer industry of the 1960s. After high school, Gates enrolled at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but dropped out after two years without graduating. He and his childhood friend Paul Allen instead managed to reach an agreement with Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), a company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which produced the Altair 8800, widely considered the world’s first commercial microcomputer.

In 1975, MITS hired both of them to write software for the Altair 8800, based on the programming language BASIC. Gates and Allen founded their own company for the partnership and called it “Micro-Soft” as a combination of “microcomputer” and “software”. Their first product, Altair BASIC, became hugely popular, but Micro-Soft wasn’t able to profit much from it, as around 90% of Altair BASIC users managed to get a leaked pre-market version of the program and thus were able to use it for free. In 1976, Gates and Allen renamed their company Microsoft and became independent of MITS, which enabled them to write software for other computer systems.

In 1979, the company then moved to Bellevue, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, where both founders were from. Microsoft’s first real commercial breakthrough came in 1980 when the company reached an agreement with American tech company IBM. IBM commissioned Microsoft to develop an operating system for IBM’s first personal computer, the IBM PC, which was released in 1981 and became a global success, establishing the personal computer in private households around the world. While Microsoft only received $50,000 from IBM for the operating system, Gates and Allen were then able to use the popularity of the IBM PC to sell their now highly popular operating system, named MS-DOS, to other computer manufacturers.

Bill Gates took full charge of Microsoft in 1983 when Allen left the company due to a blood cancer diagnosis. In 1985, Microsoft then released the first version of “Microsoft Windows”, which to this day is the most popular and most used computer operating system in the world. In 1986, Gates moved the company to Redmond, Washington, and built one of the largest company headquarters in the world there. In 1990, Microsoft developed “Microsoft Office”, a collection of productivity software programs that remain the most popular and used productivity programs in offices and households around the world to this day.

In 2000, Gates stepped down as CEO of his company and handed over control to his friend Steve Ballmer, whom he met while at Harvard. Gates, however, remained active in the company and remained the company’s principal shareholder and member of the board until 2020, when he stepped down from his board position and sold most of his stocks in the company, to focus on his other endeavors.

In 1989, he founded Interactive Home Systems, later renamed Corbis and eventually BEN Group, a company that was originally supposed to sell digital artwork displays for private homes but has since become a major company in the advertising and influencer marketing industry. Gates is the sole owner of the private company. Through his private investment firm Cascade Investment, Gates is invested in various companies. Through it, he has also bought large quantities of farmland across the United States and has become the biggest private owner of farmland in U.S. history.

Through the Gates Foundation, he has also pursued many philanthropic endeavors, particularly in health and environmental causes. He is a fierce supporter of vaccinations and led several vaccination campaigns, especially in poor countries that are unable to afford their own vaccines for their populations. He also established Breakthrough Energy, a fund aimed at investing in companies working on technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alongside fellow billionaire Warren Buffet, in 2010 he pledged to give at least half of his net wealth to charitable causes in his lifetime and has thus given away billions of dollars over the years.

Bill Gates married Melinda French, a Microsoft employee, in 1994. They have three children but divorced in 2021. He is color-blind and led the implementation of color-blind modes in many of Microsoft’s products. Politically, Gates avoids open partisanship and has donated to both major American political parties over the years. While being raised Protestant, Gates raised his own children Catholic, his ex-wife’s religion.


7. Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: ~ $94.5 billion

Born: February 14, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Nationality:
American

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Co-Founder, Majority Owner & CEO of Bloomberg L.P. (financial technology and media company)

Michael Bloomberg comes seventh among the richest people in the world. He is the co-founder, owner, and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., a financial technology, and data as well as a media company, which has established itself as one of the globally leading companies in the overall financial tech and media industry.

Bloomberg was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Brookline and Medford, both suburbs of Boston. He was born into a middle-class family, his father having been a bookkeeper and his mother an office manager. After high school, Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1964 and then went on to Harvard University, where he earned a Master of Business Administration in 1966.

After graduating, he moved to New York City, where started working at the now-defunct Salomon Brothers, one of the biggest Wall Street investment banks at the time. Bloomberg managed to become a general partner at the firm in 1973, while only being 31. He pushed and oversaw the modernization of the company and started implementing the new emerging computer technology systems of the 1970s within the company. In 1981, Salomon Brothers was then acquired by the Phibro Corporation and the new owners decided to fire Salomon’s entire executive team, including Bloomberg.

As part of the firing, Bloomberg received a $10 million payout for the equity he owned at the company, which he then used to found his own company in 1981, alongside three of his former co-workers at Salomon, who each held a minority stake. The company was first named ‘Innovative Market Systems’. It developed computer terminals, which delivered real-time data and analytics from the stock market. The company quickly grew in popularity and became a new standard among Wall Street firms. In 1986, the company was then renamed to its current name Bloomberg L.P., to underline Bloomberg’s majority ownership of the company.

In the following decades, Bloomberg managed to expand globally and sell his terminals and other stock market and financial equipment and software to investment businesses around the world. In 1990, he then also founded Bloomberg News, a dedicated stock market and business news channel. The news channel grew to become one of the major dedicated business news channels in the world. Bloomberg additionally founded Bloomberg Radio in 1992, which is now a leading dedicated business news radio channel in the USA and UK.

In addition to his business success, Bloomberg is also known for his political career. Having previously been a member of the U.S. Democratic party, Bloomberg joined the U.S. Republican party in 2001 and successfully ran as mayor of New York City in the same year and was then reelected in 2005 and then in 2009 as a registered Independent. He thus served as the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013, overseeing a period of significant growth and development in America’s largest city. Bloomberg managed to turn New York City’s budget deficit into a surplus and also significantly reduced crime rates in the city during his tenure.

After leaving office as the mayor of New York City, Bloomberg continued to lead his company. In 2018, he rejoined the Democratic Party and ran for President in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but failed to win the candidacy in the Democratic primaries. He remains a fierce critic and opponent of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg has also been very active philanthropically over the years, having given close to $10 billion to charitable causes. He has given over $3 billion to John Hopkins University, his former university, which enabled the university to build a children’s hospital, a biomedical research facility, a school of public health, and a new physics building. He is also heavily involved in giving money to causes relating to the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change.

Michael Bloomberg was married to Susan Brown, a British immigrant, from 1975 to 1994. They have two daughters together and remain friends after their divorce. Since 2000, he has been living with his girlfriend Diana Taylor, a business executive and former superintendent of the New York State Banking Department. Bloomberg is Jewish and his paternal grandfather was a Polish Jewish rabbi who immigrated to the USA in the early 20th Century. Bloomberg belongs to the Reform Jewish congregation of Emanu-El in New York City.


8. Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim

Net worth: ~ $93.0 billion

Born: January 28, 1940 in Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality: Mexican

(Main) Source of Wealth:
Founder, Owner & CEO of Grupo Carso (construction, industrial & retail conglomerate);
Principal Shareholder & CEO of America Movil (telecommunications company)

Carlos Slim is the eighth richest person in the world and the richest person outside Europe and North America. He is the principal shareholder and CEO of America Movil, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and the largest one in Latin America. Slim also founded and owns Grupo Carso, a large conglomerate involved in the construction, industrial manufacturing and retail business.

Slim was born and raised in Mexico City. He is the son of Lebanese immigrants and his father was a wealthy businessman. His father taught him about business and investments from an early age. At 11, he bought his first government-issued saving bond, and at 12, he first invested in the stock market. At 17, Slim then started working for his father’s company while still going to school. After high school, he enrolled at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering in 1961.

After university, Slim decided against working in the family business and instead became a full-time professional stock trader. In 1965, he founded his own investment and stock brokerage company, ‘Inversora Bursátil’. Through it, Slim amassed a diverse portfolio of many different Mexican companies in various different industries, acquiring full ownership in many of those. In 1980, he consolidated his many businesses under one holding conglomerate, Grupo Carso. Slim then profited from the economic crisis Mexico experienced in the 1980s, which allowed him to buy many companies in the country at decreased prices. Once the economy recovered in the 1990s, the value of those companies started to rise again.

In the early 1990s, the Mexican government started to privatize its state-owned telecommunications industry. Carlos Slim entered a partnership with French telecommunications company France Telecom (now known as Orange) and American telecommunications company Southwestern Bell (now known as AT&T) and thus managed to acquire Telmex, Mexico’s largest landline operator at the time, from the Mexican government.

In 2001, Slim then created America Movil by spinning it off Telmex. Through America Movil, he started buying multiple telecommunications companies all over Latin America, eventually making America Movil the dominant telecommunications company in Latin America. He then managed to wholly acquire Telmex and integrate it into America Movil. The company has recently expanded beyond the American continent and is now also involved in the European telecommunications market.

Slim also still leads the Carso Group, a conglomerate of owned companies that currently includes companies in the Mexican industrial manufacturing industry, the Mexican construction industry, and Grupo Sanborns, a chain of retail stores in Mexico. He has also invested in various companies outside of Mexico over the years.

He is also known as one of Mexico’s and Latin America’s biggest philanthropists. In 1986, he founded the Carlos Slim Foundation through which he has supported various charitable causes. In total, he has given more than 5% of his total net worth to charities. In 2011, he built and sponsored the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, named after his late wife. It is the biggest art museum and Mexico and displays Mexican and European art.

Carlos Slim married Soumaya Domit in 1967, who like himself was Mexican of Lebanese descent. They had six children together. In 1999, Domit died from a rare kidney disease. Slim is a devout Catholic and one of the biggest backers of the ‘Legion of Christ’, a Roman Catholic religious order based in Rome, Italy.


9. Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: ~ $83.4 billion

Born: April 19, 1957 in Aden, Aden Colony, UK
Nationality:
Indian

(Main) Source of Wealth:

Heir of Dhirubhai Ambani;
Principal Shareholder & CEO of Reliance Industries Ltd. (petrochemicals, energy, telecommunications, clothing, retail, sports & media conglomerate; inherited by his father)

Mukesh Ambani places ninth on the list of the richest people in the world, which also makes him the richest man in Asia. He is the heir of Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries, a large conglomerate involved in the petrochemical, energy, telecommunications, clothing, retail, sports, and media industries, which today constitutes India’s by far largest company. After his father’s death in 2002, he and his brother inherited Reliance Industries and Mukesh Ambani ultimately took charge of the company and significantly expanded it.

Ambani was born in the British colony of Aden (modern-day Yemen) to Indian parents. When he was just one year old, his parents moved back to India with him. Ambani’s father, Dhirubhai Ambani, was a businessman and started trading with textiles and other commodities after returning to India, founding his own company originally named “Reliance Commercial Corporation” in Mumbai in 1958. The company quickly managed to enter several partnerships with companies in Europe and was particularly focused on manufacturing polyester textiles. In 1975, the company then established its own clothing brand, Vimal.

After completing high school, Mukesh Ambani first enrolled at the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1979. He then enrolled at Stanford University in the USA for a Master of Business Administration degree but dropped out after only one year to instead enter his father’s business. In 1986, his father suffered a stroke and while remaining in charge of his company, he handed over more responsibilities to his two sons.

By the late 1980s, Reliance grew to become one of the largest producers of polyesters in the world, while greatly profiting from the rapidly increasing popularity of the materials around the globe at the time. In 1985 the company was renamed to its current name, Reliance Industries. In the 1990s, Mukesh Ambani was particularly tasked to oversee the company’s subsequent further expansion into the petrochemical business. In 2000, he oversaw the construction of the world’s largest oil refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, which to this day remains the largest refinery in the world and is still owned by Reliance Industries.

Following his father’s death from another stroke in 2002, Mukesh Ambani inherited and assumed control of half of Reliance Industries, while his brother inherited the other half of the assets of the company, which he spun off into a separate company in 2006, the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. Under Mukesh Ambani’s ownership and leadership, Reliance Industries managed to further expand into several other business segments, such as the energy, telecommunications, clothing, retail, sports, and media industries. It is now the by far biggest and most influential company in India and one of the widest-spanning conglomerates in the world.

Through his company’s continued success, Mukesh Ambani has become the first rupee trillionaire and the richest Indian in history. Ambani is also known as one of India’s biggest philanthropists, having given billions of dollars to charitable causes over the years. In 2019, he also bailed out his younger brother, when he was unable to repay a debt owed to Swedish tech company Ericsson and was facing jail time over it.

Ambani was introduced to his wife, Nita Ambani, by his father and they married in 1985. They have three children together, including two twins. Mukesh Ambani primarily lives in the Antilia building of Mumbai, which is one of the largest residential houses in the world. He additionally owns several residences and real estate in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. The Ambani family also owns three large private passenger jets for their many travels. Ambani is a fan of cricket and football/soccer. Through Reliance Industries, he’s the owner of the Mumbai Indians, a professional cricket team. He is vegetarian and doesn’t drink alcohol.


10. Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer

Net worth: ~ $80.7 billion

Born: March 24, 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Nationality: American

(Main) Source of Wealth:
Former CEO of Microsoft Corporation (software company);
Owner of the Los Angeles Clippers (basketball franchise);
Various investments

Steve Ballmer completes the top ten of the richest people in the world. Most of Ballmer’s wealth stems from his time as CEO and shareholder of Microsoft, the largest software company in the world. Ballmer is also the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, an NBA franchise, and has also made several successful investments over the years.

Ballmer was born in Detroit, Michigan, and mostly grew up in Farmington Hills, a suburb of Detroit, while also spending three years in Brussels, Belgium, where his father worked temporarily. His father was an executive manager at Ford Motor Company. After high school, Ballmer enrolled at Harvard University, where he met and befriended Bill Gates, who would later co-found Microsoft. While Gates dropped out of Harvard to found his company, Ballmer remained at the university and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics in 1977.

After graduating, Ballmer first started working for the American consumer goods company Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio as an assistant product manager, but quit after two years and instead enrolled at Stanford University in California to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree. Bill Gates then convinced him to drop out of Stanford and join Microsoft instead. In 1980, Ballmer did so and became Microsoft’s 30th employee.

Ballmer worked in various positions in his first twenty years at Microsoft. In 2000, Bill Gates then stepped down as the CEO of his company and named Ballmer as his successor. Under Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft’s revenue tripled and the company also entered several other business areas, such as the hardware, video game, cloud computing, and video communication industries. In 2014, Ballmer stepped down as CEO of Microsoft after fourteen years in this position. Despite no longer being actively involved in the company, Ballmer still owns stocks in Microsoft.

After his 34-year tenure at Microsoft, Ballmer focused on various other endeavors. As an avid basketball fan, he bought the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 and has been the franchise’s owner ever since. He has also invested in various other companies, especially young start-ups in the American tech industry, and most of those investments proved to be quite profitable for him.

Steve Ballmer is only the second person in the world (after Roberto Goizueta, former CEO of the Coca-Cola Company), who managed to become a U.S. dollar billionaire without inheriting his wealth or founding a company himself.

Besides his business ventures, Ballmer is also known for his philanthropic work through the Ballmer Group, a philanthropy organization he founded with his wife. The group is particularly focused on helping black people succeed in business in the United States and improving the economic mobility of African Americans. He also founded USAFacts, a non-profit that compiles government data, seeking to bring more transparency into government spending.

Steve Ballmer has been married since 1990. He met his wife, Connie Snyder, in the 1980s when they both worked for Microsoft. They have three sons together. Through his mother’s ancestry, Ballmer is Jewish and serves on the council of the Jewish National Fund, which is based in Jerusalem, Israel. He mainly lives in Hunts Point, Washington, a suburb of Seattle near the Microsoft headquarters, and also owns property in Los Angeles, California.


The 10 Richest People in the World 2023

Top 10 Richest People in the World:
1. BERNARD ARNAULT
Net worth: ~ $237.6 billion
2. ELON MUSK
Net worth: ~ $179.3 billion
3. JEFF BEZOS
Net worth: ~ $128.9 billion
4. LARRY ELLISON
Net worth: ~ $120.8 billion
5. WARREN BUFFETT
Net worth: ~ $114.0 billion
6. BILL GATES
Net worth: ~ $113.8 billion
7. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
Net worth: ~ $94.5 billion
8. CARLOS SLIM
Net worth: ~ $93.0 billion
9. MUKESH AMBANI
Net worth: ~ $83.4 billion
10. STEVE BALLMER
Net worth: ~ $80.7 billion
The Top 10 richest people in the world by approximated net worth. Only private citizens are eligible for the ranking. Members of royal families or political leaders of countries are not counted here. All net worths are displayed in U.S. Dollars. Updated as of 2023.

Source for the ranking: Forbes.


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