As of this writing, a single share of Amazon is trading for $1831. That's an all-time high for the company which coincidentally launched its first website 23 years ago today. When 2017 ended, AMZN traded at $1100. At $1831, Amazon's current market cap is $888 billion which puts it within striking distance of Apple's $938 billion market cap. But perhaps most importantly, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos just crossed an absolutely stunning milestone. As of today he is officially the richest human in modern history without having to adjust for inflation.
Jeff Bezos' net worth just topped $150 billion. That's $150,000,000,000.
At that level, Jeff has officially topped Bill Gates' record net worth from 1999.
Back in 1999, at the peak of the dotcom bubble, Bill's net worth broke $100 billion. That's nearly 20 years ago. If you adjust that $100 billion to today's dollars, Bill Gates essentially had a net worth of $149 billion. So until today, Jeff has been the richest person on the planet but he had not yet broken the Gates record when inflation is taken into account.
And, as we mentioned in the opening paragraph, by total coincidence, Jeff broke the record 23 years to the day since Amazon uploaded its first version of a website. Here's what you would have seen for the first time if you went to Amazon.com 23 years ago today, back in 1995:
At $150 billion, Jeff Bezos still has quite a ways to go to be the richest human being of all time.
By our account (which is linked above in the previous sentence), $150 billion makes Jeff Bezos the 12th richest human being of all time when taking inflation into account. He's $25 billion away from the Cornelius Vanderbilt fortune, $44 billion from the Henry Ford fortune, $160 billion from the Andrew Carnegie fortune and $190 billion away from John D. Rockefeller. Below is our list of 11 richest people of all time, inflation adjusted:
#11 Bill Gates – $149 Billion
At the peak of the dotcom bubble, Gates' Microsoft stock soared, giving him a net worth equal to $136 billion in today's dollars. That's enough to make him the 12th richest human ever.
#10 Jeff Bezos – $150 Billion
Jeff Bezos is the founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Amazon.com. He single-handedly changed the way the world shops. He famously wrote the business plan for Amazon while driving across country with his wife to start the business. His net worth peaked in the summer of 2017, when he was briefly richer than Bill Gates, making him the richest person in the world for a few hours.
#9 Alan Rufus – $178.65 billion
Alan Rufus was the 11th century military companion of William The Conqueror. Going to war with William was a very profitable endeavor. Rufus was given 250,000 acres of land in England, which at the time was worth the equivalent to $178.65 billion.
#8 Cornelius Vanderbilt – $185 Billion
Cornelius Vanderbilt is the third richest American ever, the 10th richest person in history and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's great-great-great-grandfather. Cornelius Vanderbilt made his first fortune in the steamboat industry but didn't see his wealth really explode until he invested in railroads at the age of 70. When he died, his estate was worth the equivalent of $185 billion.
#7 Henry Ford – $199 Billion
Ford motor company founder Henry Ford built an iconic brand which we all still know and see today. At the time of death in 1947, he had accumulated a net worth equivalent to $199 billion modern dollars.
#6 William The Conqueror – $229.5 Billion
William The Conqueror lived from 1028-1087 and was most famous for invading and subsequently seizing England in 1066. When you spend a lifetime conquering other kingdoms, you tend to acquire quite a bit of money. In Williams case, when he died he left the equivalent of $229.5 billion to his sons.
#5 Mir Osman Ali Khan – $230 billion
Mir Osman Ali Khan, also known as The Nizam of Hyderabad, was the ruler of Hyderabad until the country was invaded by neighbor India. Mir Osman Ali Khan had a personal collection of gold that was worth more than $100 million and owned over $400 million worth of jewels including the famous Jacob Diamond which is worth $95 million today. Khan used the diamond as a paperweight in his office. He supposedly owned more than 50 Rolls Royces.
#4 Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov – $300 Billion
Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, also known as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, ruled the Russian empire from 1894 to 1917 when Bolshevik revolutionists overthrew and murdered him and his family. In 1916, Tsar Nicholas II's net worth was nearly $900 million which is the inflation adjusted equivalent to $300 billion in 2012 dollars. With $300 billion that makes him the fifth richest person in history and since the Russian Orthodox canonized him, he is the richest saint in human history.
#3 Andrew Carnegie – $310 Billion
Andrew Carnegie made his vast fortune when he sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million in 1901. That equates to a peak net worth equivalent to $310 billion in modern dollars. When he sold his company to JP Morgan, Carnegie took home $230 million worth of gold bonds and received a 5% annual coupon to top it off. The bonds sat in a bank in New Jersey which Carnegie never visited. After selling his company, Carnegie retired from business life and dedicated his time to charity. He gave away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime and his final $30 million was donated after his death. Many universities and foundations still bear his name today.
#2 John D. Rockefeller – $340 Billion
John D. Rockefeller is the richest American who ever lived. At the time of his death in 1937, Rockefeller was worth the equivalent of $340 billion in today's dollars. His company, Standard Oil, dominated American Oil production and was eventually broken up by the US Government for being a monopoly. Standard Oil was broken into smaller companies that you probably recognize today: Amoco, Chevron Conoco, and ExxonMobil. Rockefeller was the first American to ever have a net worth over $1 billion.
#1: Mansa Musa I – $400 Billion
Mansa Musa I of Mali is the richest human being in history with a personal net worth of $400 billion! Mansa Musa lived from 1280 – 1337 and ruled the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali in West Africa. Mansa Musa's shocking wealth came from his country's vast production of more than half the world's supply of salt and gold. Musa used his wealth to build immense mosques that still stand today, nearly 700 years later. His kingdom and wealth didn't last much longer after his death. His heirs were not able to fend off civil war and invading conquerors. Just two generations later, his world record net worth was gone.