Last year, 101-year-old David Rockefeller, last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, passed away. And along with his life, Rockefeller lost the title of "world's oldest billionaire," a title that then and still now belongs to one Chang Yun Chung, a 100-year-old Singaporean shipping magnate who was recently the subject of a brief TIME magazine profile.
Chang was still active in the shipping business until "only recently," finally slowing down as head of his Pacific International Lines after nearly 70 years in the shipping business, but his reclusive nature means that little is known about him. His career in the shipping business began way back in 1949, when he worked for other shipping companies for some 18 years before striking out on his own, and since then he's been director of several shipping companies, including Tranpac Shipping Enterprises Limited in Hong Kong. In a rare TV interview, he summed up his approach to the business world like this:
"I'm hard-working, I'm very honest with everyone. Whatever I promise, I always fulfill my promise. That is my principle."
In 1967 Chang co-founded his Pacific International Lines with just two used ships in its fleet, but in the ensuing decades it's grown to 160 vessels strong. And as recently as 2016, the company partnered with Hong Kong's China Merchants Port with an eye towards expansion into new markets in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa.
This growth, as well as Pacific International Lines' entry into new tech fields like blockchain, have made Chang extremely rich, with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Despite his advanced age, it took him until this year to hand control of his company to one of his 14 children, as well as to step down as chairman of the company and from its board. He retains the title "chairman emeritus" in an advisory capacity, as well as the title of World's Oldest Billionaire.