The world billionaires are a ranking of the world richest people compiled. The richest people are an attempt to gather and compare the net worth and fortunes of historical figures against one other it does not include living billionaires. The richest people are in the world right now but their net worth often pale in comparison to the richest people of all time. Many of the people who have achieved the greatest wealth in our world history were not inventors or salesmen but instead came from royalty.
Our list of the twenty richest people of all time includes entrepreneur’s warriors and robber barons. We did not include monarchs whose wealth could be considered public. One important thing to note is that there are likely figures missing as numbers do tend to get lost or disappear as time goes one. There are likely many historical figures like Alexander the great, King Solomon who have controlled huge fortunes and there is no real way to put a dollar figure on those fortunes. Here is the list of top 20 richest people of all time in the world.
- Mansa Musa I $400 Billion:
There is really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth. Mansa Musa the king of Timbuktu is often referred to as the wealthiest person in history. According to Ferrum College history Professor Richard smith Musa West African kingdom was likely the largest producer of gold in the world at a time which gold was in especially high demand. Musa army consisted of 200,000 men including 40,000 archers’ troop numbers even modern superpowers would have a difficult time bringing to the field. Musa I constructed an empire and in turn made himself the wealthiest man to ever live.
2. The Rothschild Family $350 Billion:
The family went on hiatus for nearly 90 years and started business back up in 1989. Many of the Rothschild’s became so successful that they became Austrian nobles. Banks started popping up left and right under the Rothschild name and at one point Lord Nathan Rothschild had more power than even the royals in Great Britain.
3. John D. Rockefeller $340 Billion:
John D. Rockefeller was born 1839 in New York he grew to prominence over his lifetime as the co founder of Standard Oil. As one of the revolutionaries of the energy and petroleum industries, Rockefeller is also well known for his philanthropy, funding to colleges during his lifetime the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University. He did in 1937 at the age of 97. John D. Rockefeller $340 billion fortune still stands today as nearly the largest the world has ever seen.
4. Andrew Carnegie $310 billion:
Bright and scholarly Andrew worked as a telegraph operator in Railroad Company where he acquired fresh business acumen in iron works. He founded the keystone bridge company and later the Carnegie steel company. Andrew was the lord of the steel industry in the 19th century. At 13 Andrew had begun to earn his weekly $1.20 wage in a textile mill. He constantly gave a startling amount of his wealth to charity.
5. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov $300 Billion:
Nicholas II earned the titles of Grand Duke of Finland and king of Poland. He was not really the nicest guy in the world either. Nicholas II was forced out of office in 1917 after Russia went from the world most thriving empire to a complete train wreck in their economy and military. He also was quite fond of war which could no longer be supported after losing money.
6. Mir Osman Ali Khan $230 Billion:
He had mining royalties and in the 1940 he had become the world richest man. He supported the British with aircrafts during the First World War. His assets were not basically land holdings like others. He widely knew as a generous king who valued education.
7. William the Conqueror $229.6 Billion:
The William ruler of the Hyderabad state in India he grew his riches to a total of $230 billion. He was without a doubt one of the wealthiest people the world has ever known. He died in 1967 survived by his reported 149 children. He became Nizam of Hyderabad after his father died in 1911 and reigned for 37 years overseeing the expansion of education, electricity and railroads in the region.
8. Muammar Gaddafi $200 Billion:
He held the title for 41 years after taking the power for him in a coup detat until the bloody Libyan civil war of 2011. Gaddafi had a lot of money at the time of his death but since it was blood money it probably should not count of that much. Muammar Gaddafi from a few years ago as the highly controversial leader of Libya.
9. Henry Ford $119 Billion:
Henry Ford was born 30 July 1863 an American industrialist the founder the Ford Motor Company and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War 1 and also for being the publisher of anti-Semitic texts such as the book the international Jew. Ford left most of his wealth to the Ford foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt $185 Billion:
He would go on to create one of the largest shipping and railroad empires the world had ever seen. Vanderbilt $100 loan from his parents purchased a periauger and started a ferry service between Staten Island and Manhattan. After loan one year later and having generated a profit of $1,000 Vanderbilt expanded his service that would come to be known as the Staten Island Ferry which is still in operation today.
11. Alan Rufus $178.65 Billion:
He was in England in September 1066 or had left being dispossessed Alan may have joined William household and was probably present at the Battle of Hastings. Alan already held some property in Rouen the capital of Normandy and was lord of Richmond in upper Normandy. He also built the original house of Costessey hall Alan caput at costessey in Norfolk on the north side of the River Tud in Costessey Park.
12. Bill Gates $136 Billion:
Bill Gates was born 28 October 1955 is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, and computer programmer. In 1975 Gates and Paul Allen co founded Microsoft which became the world largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft Gates held the positions of chairman CEO and chief software architect and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full time work at Microsoft to part time work and full time work at the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
13. William de Warenne $147.13 Billion:
William had land holdings all over Europe which only gained value throughout his life. It certainly did not hurt hat he came from nobility but you have to start somewhere. It would not very long as William was killed during the first Siege of Pevensey castle later that year. In terms of his liquid assets these real estate sports were enough to make him one of the richest men of all time. Before the real estate became big business William de Warenne perfected the trade.
14. John Jacob Astor $121 Billion:
John Jacob Astor was born 17 July 1763 a German American businessman, merchant, fur trader and investor who the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi millionaire in the united state. He was the creator of the first trust in the United States. He emigrated to England as a teenager and worked as a musical instrument manufacturer. He opened his own fur goods shop in New York in the late 1780 and also served as the New York agent of his uncle musical instrument business.
15. Richard FitzAlan 10th Earl of Arundel $118.6 Billion:
He almost lost out on a lot of his money as he married into the Dispenser family who also had a lot of pull. Richard was another noble in a long line and also the leader of the English military. Richard was the son of Edmund who was obviously the 9th Earl of Arundel. He Dispenser family ended up being rebelled against and Richard’s father was executed as a result. A good bulk of his wealth came from family ties and the military but it was ultimately his decision to become The Earl of Surrey that increased his wealth.
16. John of Gaunt $110 Billion:
John of Gaunt 6 March 1340 was a member of the House of Plantagenet the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called John of Gaunt because he was born in Ghent then rendered in English as Gaunt. When he became unpopular later in life scurrilous rumors and lampoons circulated that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher perhaps because Edward III was not present at the birth. This story always drove him to fury. As a younger brother of Edward Prince of Wales John exercised great influence over the English throne during the minority of his nephew, Richard II, and during the ensuing periods of political strife but was not thought to have been among the opponents of the king.
17. Stephen Girard $105 Billion:
Stephen Girard was born 20 May 1750 naturalized American Philanthropist and banker. He personally saved the U.S government form financial collapse during the War of 1812 and became one f the wealthiest people in America estimated to have been the fourth richest American of all time based on the ratio of his fortune to contemporary GDP. His legacy is still felt in his adopted home of Philadelphia.
18. A.T. Stewart $90 Billion:
A.T. Stewart was born 12 October 1803 a successful Irish entrepreneur who made his multimillion dollar fortune in what was at the time the most extensive and lucrative dry goods business in the world. Stewart had extraordinary skill in business and by 1848 he had built a large marble fronted store on Broadway between chambers street and read street which was devoted to the wholesale branch of his business and the largest retail store in the world at that time.
19. Henry Duke Of Lancaster $85.1 Billion:
Henry Duke of Lancaster was a member of the English nobility in the 14th century and a prominent English diplomat, politician and soldier. The younger Henry was now Lancaster the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm. After participating in the Siege of Calais in 1347 the king honored Lancaster by including him as a founding knight of the order of the Garter in 1348. A few years later in 1351 Edward bestowed an even greater honour on Lancaster when he created him Duke of Lancaster.
20. Friedrich Weyerhaeuser $80 Billion:
Friedrich was born 21 November 1834 a German American timber mogul and founder of the Weyerhaeuser Company which owns saw mils paper factories and other business enterprises and large areas of forested land. He is richest American of all time with a net worth of $80 billion in 2006 dollars. Weyerhaeuser was buried in the family mausoleum in Chippiannock cemetery in Rock Island, Illinois. Weyerhaeuser was inducted into the U.S business hall of Fame in 1987.