According to Forbes’ 2022 world billionaires list, Elon Musk is the richest person in the world with a fortune of 219 billion dollars. Jeff Bezos with 171 billion dollars, Bernard Arnault with 158 billion dollars and Bill Gates with 129 billion dollars follow Musk. While Musk, Bezos, Arnault, and Gates are wealthy, they are unfortunately not among the richest people of all time. For example, Mansa Musa, who was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mali in the 14th century, is estimated to have a huge fortune of 400 billion dollars. We have brought together the 10 richest people in history for you. Here are the richest people in history, from Mansa Musa to John D. Rockefeller…
We start the list of the richest people in history with Mansa Musa. The lands of Mansa Musa, who ruled a vast kingdom on the African continent, were home to the world’s largest gold mines. At the same time, the kingdom controlled important trade routes. Rumor has it that Mansa Musa astonished people when he went to Mecca for the pilgrimage. Because Mansa Musa; With his golden staff, his slaves carrying gold bullion, and his camels decorated with gold, he made a very glittering entrance to Mecca. Some scholars claim that Mansa Musa has a fortune of $400 billion in today’s value. It is impossible to know how much these claims reflect the truth. However, considering historical and contemporary standards, we can say that Mansa Musa had an enormous fortune.
There is no one who does not know the wealth and power of the Rockefeller family. At its height, the family owned a company that produced 90 to 95 percent of U.S. oil. John D. Rockefeller, founder and major shareholder of Standard Oil, became America’s first billionaire after the success of his first refinery in Ohio. In the following periods, he enriched his fortune with his clever and, of course, unethical investments. Rockefeller’s fortune had reached such a point that he donated $540 million to charities alone before he died.
3. Andrew Carnegie (1935 – 1919)
Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-born American businessman, was one of the wealthiest people in 19th century America. It had established a monopoly in the iron and steel industry, just as Rockefeller did in the oil industry. Carnegie, who came to the fore with his philanthropy, built more than 2500 libraries and opened many universities. In 1901, he sold his company to JP Morgan for a record $480 million. Considering historical standards, this price was more than ordinary people could even imagine.
4. Marcus Licinius Crassus (115 – 53 BC)
Crassus is remembered as the general who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Empire. Crassus made a great fortune by confiscating the goods of the Roman consul Gaius Marius’ men and selling these goods at cheap prices to his surroundings. On the other hand, he was selling the properties he bought cheaply at very high prices. Because of this, he was known as the richest man in Rome. Crassus’ total fortune is estimated at 200 million sestertius.
5. II. Nicholas (1868 – 1918)
Inheriting the wealth of the Romanov dynasty in 1894, II. Nicholas was the last tsar of Russia’s glittering era. The tsar’s treasury contained millions of dollars in jewellery, gold bars, and important works of art. He also owned many immovable properties. He was murdered after the Bolshevik revolution of 1918 and all his assets were seized by the revolutionaries.
6. Mir Osman Ali Khan (1886 – 1967)
Mir Osman Ali Khan was the last ruler of Hyderabad, the largest state in British India. The state had the most productive diamond mine in the world within its borders. On the other hand, Hyderabad was also a highly developed region in the pearl industry. Historians say that the monarch had a private treasury containing £100m of gold and £400m of jewellery. Apart from all these, real estate, hundreds of carats of jewelery he used privately, and cash were among Ali Khan’s wealth. The monarch was so wealthy that he was described as the richest person in the world on the cover of Time magazine in 1937.
7. William I (1028 – 1087)
King of England from 1066 to 87, William I was one of the richest people in history. Born in Normandy, France, William suppressed the English uprisings and ensured the conquest of England by the Normans. He amassed a great fortune through inherited lands and marriage. According to contemporary valuation, William is estimated to have a fortune of $229.5 billion.
Fugger, also known as the wealthy Jacob Fugger, was Europe’s greatest entrepreneur, merchant, and banker. Fugger was running the family textile business in his 30s. He became so successful in the commercial and banking sectors that he used his financial power to support the Habsburg monarchy. So much so that it gave the monarchy significant political influence.
9. Henry Ford (1863 – 1947)
Henry Ford, developer of mass-production assembly line technique and founder of Ford Motor Company, revolutionized transportation by building the first automobile available to middle-class Americans. After launching the Model T, he became one of the richest and most well-known people in the world. At contemporary valuation, Ford is estimated to have a net worth of $199 billion.
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 – 1877)
We end our list of the richest people in history with Cornelius Vanderbilt, known by the nickname “Comodore”. Vanderbilt made most of his fortune in the rail and shipping business. During his lifetime, the railroad industry was advancing rapidly. Seeing this as an opportunity, Vanderbilt invested heavily in the growing rail industry and completely transformed the United States’ transportation network. Vanderbilt, who increased his wealth with railway constructions as well as transoceanic ferry lines, started to be mentioned among the richest people in the world with his fortune of 185 billion dollars.