If someone would ask you to quickly name the richest people who have ever lived, your most common guesses would be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, right? But we are here to tell you that there is a list of the personalities that comparing their fortune, with the fortune the modern people nowadays have, it makes them look like nothing. The personalities we are referring to date back in history: Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, King Solomon, many Roman emperors, and the pharaohs of Egypt (as there is no exact information about their riches).
With the data below, we can travel back in time and take a look at the 10 richest people of the last millennium and their journey.
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt, $185 billion
Cornelius Vanderbilt was one of the most famous businessmen in the history of the US. He became rich by building the railroads and shipping line in the 1800s. In his most successful years, his fortune approximated $185 billion. He made most of his money after the Civil War, during the time of the expansion of his railroad empire.
9. Henry Ford, $199 billion
Henry’s Ford fortune was short of $200 billion. He is a business magnate in the American business. Ford not only started his own Ford Motor Company but he revolutionized the approach to car production. He was considered a pioneer in industry and business. Ford gave higher salaries for his employees than the average salary and he was a sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique. This allowed him to create not very expensive cars for them to be affordable for a bigger number of people.
8. Muammar Gaddafi, $200 billion
Muammar Gaddafi is a famous name in the world. It is believed he made a fortune around $200 billion during his 42 years reign in Lybia.
Gaddafi is considered a controversial ruler and politician, but he did a lot for this country. He built the Great Man-Made River which now supplies Lybia in its deserted areas. As some experts have evaluated it, this is the biggest irrigation project in the history of humanity, with 6.5 cubic meters of drinking water being supplied on a daily basis. He was overthrown during the Civil War, in 2011.
7. William I the Conqueror, $209–229 billion
William I the Conqueror estimated fortune is about $209-229 billion. He was the first King of England, in 1066, after the Norman invasion. William had a big impact on his country: he set up the united English Kingdom, he ordered to do the Domesday Book and built the stone fortresses, from which one was a tower built-in 1078.
6. Jakob Fugger, $221 billion
Jakob Fugger may not sound like a familiar name as the other people on this list, but same like them, he had a big fortune too. He had great banking and trading skills, from which he made about $221 billion. Jakob made his fortune mostly by selling textiles in Italy and mining gold and silver in Bohemia and Hungary.
5. Mir Osman Ali Khan, $230 billion
You might not have heard of Mir Osman Ali Khan but while a ruler of the Hyderabad State in India, he made his fortune around $230 billion. After his father died in 1911 he became the Nizam of Hyderabad where he ruled for 37 years. His contribution was in developing electricity, railroads and the level of education.
4. Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsesarevich of Russia, $300 billion
Nicholas Alexandrovich, Tsesarevich of Rusia, is estimated to have a fortune of $300 billion. His income was from the lands he owned and assets in trade and the industrial sector. As the Russian Orthodox Church canonizes Nicholas II he may be called “the richest saint in history”.
3. Andrew Carnegie, $310 billion
Andrew Carnegie was a powerful and very rich businessman. He was born in Scotland in a very poor family who moved to the US at the end of the 1840s. Andrew made some successful investments into different companies and set up his company ‘U.S. Steel’, which made his biggest part of fortune, of $310 billion. From his riches he spent most of it giving donations, so he is one of most famous well-known in the world.
2. John Rockefeller, $340 billion
Now, this is a name you could not have missed. The name of John Rockefeller means a lot in US history and his fortune is estimated to be $340 billion. Until today, this is the biggest fortune ever made. He was born in New York, in 1839, and became one of the founders of Standard Oil. John was also a philanthropist, as he founded 2 colleges: the Chicago University and the Rockefeller University. He died at 97 of age, in 1937.
1. Mansa Musa, $400 billion
The richest person to have ever lived was Mansa Musa, or Musa I from Mali. While he was Mali reigning emperor, he had a fortune that today would be estimated at $400 billion. Musa, I was born in 1280 and before 1337 he lived like a very regular religious Muslim. He built a lot of mosques and educational centers in Africa.
To compare: the richest person currently is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, worth about $131 billion and Bill Gates, worth about $96.5, is the second person on the list of the richest people.
More fun stuffFor many of us would be difficult to even imagine the amounts of money to be billions of dollars. For the ease of understanding and visualizing how rich the people we talked about earlier are, we will compare their fortune with the things and people we know.
As currently, we have the Microsoft owner as one of the richest people in the world now, to compare him with Mansa Musa, he is 4 times poorer, that legendary king of Mali that many people have never heard of.