1- Mansa Musa
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’s west African Kingdom was likely the largest producer of gold in the world – at a time which gold was in especially high demand.
Just how rich was Musa ? There’s really no way to put an accurate number on his wealth. Records are scarce, of non-existent, and contemporary source describe the king’s riches in terms that are impossible for the time.
Some tales of his famous pilgrimage to mecca – during which Musa’s spending was so lavish that it caused a currency crisis in Egypt – mention dozens of camels each carrying hundreds of pounds of gold. ( Smith says one year of Malian gold production probably generated about a ton. ) Others said Musa’s army consisted of 200,000 men, including 40,000 archers – troop numbers even modern superpowers would have a difficult time bringing to the field.
But to get caught up in the King’s exact wealth is to miss the point. As Rudolph ware, an associate professor of history at the University of Michigan, explains, Musa’s riches were so immense that people struggled to describe them.
‘’ This is the richest guy anyone has ever seen, that’s the point, ‘’ says Ware ‘’They’re trying to find words to explain that. There are pictures of him holding a scepter of gold on a throne of gold holding a cup of gold with a golden crown on his head. Imagine as much gold as you think a human being could possess and double it, that’s what all the accounts are trying to communicate. ‘’
When no one can even comprehend your wealth, that means you’re pretty darned rich.
2- Akbar I
The greatest emperor of India’s Mughal dynasty, Akbar controlled an empire that accounted for about one-fourth of global economic output. Fortune’s Cris Mathews cites the economic historian Angus Maddison, who speculates Indian’s GDP per capita Under Akbar was Comparable to Elizabethan England, but with “ a ruling class whose extravagant lifestyle surpassed that of the European society. ‘’
That assertion that Indian’s elite class was wealthier than their counterparts to the west is backed up by data from economists Branko Milanovic, whose research shows the Mughal Dynasty was one of the most effective Empires of all time at extracting wealth from the population.
3- Andrew Carnegie
Rockefeller gets all the press, but Andrew Carnegie May be the richest American of all time. The Scottish immigrant sold his company, U.S Steel, to J.P. Morgan for $480 million in 1901. That sum equates to about slightly over 2.1% of U.S GDP at the time, giving Carnegie economic power equivalent to $372 billion in 2014.
4- Jakob Fugger
Despite being worth an estimated $400 to $500 billion, most people haven’t learned about Catholic, German, Renaisssance – era mogul in their history lessons. He had a tight grip on the copper and textile industries in merchant based Italy and even dealt out loans to the famous royals of the House of Habsburg. He started what many think of as the first European welfare housing program, the Fuggerei. (Only Catholics were allowed entry, though. )
5- John D. Rockefeller
Now, we’ve reached some modern rich people, starting with oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. Net worth figures for him are a bit skewed, but his $1.4 billion in olden day money would be worth several hundred billion now. Some scholars estimate that he would be worth $400 billion today. For scale, that’s three times more than today’s richest person, Jeff Bezos.
6- Augustus Caesar
Potentially the richest man of all time, he was the first emperor of the Roman Empire and valued at a rough estimate of $4.6 trillion in today’s money. He personally owned a fifth of the wealth of an empire that accounted for about 30% of the gross domestic product of the whole world.
7- king Solomon of Israel
If you take the bible as fact, the famous King Solomon’s net worth would have been valued in the trillions, since every year, he demanded about 25 tons of gold from his subjects, eventually leading to his tragic downfall.
8- Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos is the founder of Amazon, one of the biggest and most popular companies on the internet. Amazon started as a simple online bookshop in Jeff’s bedroom, and the initial sales were slow.
In 2020, Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world, after adding a whopping $40 billion to his net worth last couple of years! Amazon is making major moves, recently acquiring wholesale foods, lunching drone shipping and a bunch of other strong ideas.
Bezos recently divorced his wife Mackenzie, After which she received 4% of Amazon, which is worth billions, and yet it still hasn’t knocked him off the top spot.
Jeff Bezos is the first man ever to reach not just $100 billion mark, but briefly the $200 billion mark, which is just insane. Many believe he’ll become the world’s first trillionaire.