Last Updated: March 23, 2024
Richest PoliticiansPresidents
Net Worth:
$200 Billion
Jun 7, 1942 - Oct 20, 2011 (69 years old)
Qasr Abu Hadi
6 ft (1.83 m)
Politician, Military Officer, Soldier
đź’° Compare Muammar Gaddafi's Net Worth

What Was Muammar Gaddafi's Net Worth?

Muammar Gaddafi was a Libyan dictator who had a net worth of at least $70 billion at the peak of his life. Muammar Gaddafi was the longest-serving ruler of Libya since the Ottoman Empire, and the longest non-royal ruler still living at the time of his death. His forty-two-year reign has been the subject of much controversy and internal unrest. In February 2011, political unrest within the country boiled over into full-scale violence, largely perpetrated by the military against civilian protesters.

Gaddafi was forced out of office and onto the run from rebel forces. Both the United States government and NATO encouraged Gaddafi to turn himself in and liberate his country from continued violence. On October 20th, 2011, after several months on the run, Muammar Gaddafi was captured by rebel forces and executed.


At a certain point in his life, it is believed that Muammar Gaddafi possessed a net worth of $70 billion. If true, this would have made him one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Evidence is now pointing to Gaddafi having a vast hidden fortune of assets in bank accounts, real estate and investments around the world. His personal control over Libya's vast oil fields is believed to be the primary contributor to his wealth.

It's possible that Gaddafi was worth as much as $200 billion at the time of his death. This would have made him the richest person on the planet — by a long shot.

Early Life

It is believed that Gaddafi was born Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi circa 1942 near Sirte, Italian Libya. He was born into a poor Bedouin family, and he became an Arab nationalist while still attending school in Sabha. Later, he enrolled in the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi. While in the military, Gaddafi founded his own revolutionary group, which deposed the then Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris, which culminated in a coup that took place in 1969.


Gaddafi had a foundational education that was religious in nature and imparted by local Islamic educators.

Gaddafi was a prolific scholar, progressing through six grades in just four years. In his school years, Gaddafi was often bullied and picked on due to his Bedouin roots. However, he remained proud of his heritage and unshakeable in his beliefs, inspiring pride in other Bedouin learners/children. Gaddafi was early friends with Abdessalam Jalloud, who would go on to become Prime Minister of Libya from 1972-1977.

1969 Coup

During the middle part of 1969, The Monarchy of Idris became vulnerable as Idris traveled abroad. Gaddafi and his Free Officers recognized this as a prime opportunity to overthrow this monarchy, which incited "Operation Jerusalem."

After removing the monarchical government, Gaddafi announced the foundation of a new Libyan Arab Republic.

Economic Reform Efforts

Crude oil was his country's primary export at the time, and Gaddafi sought ways to enrich Libya's rich oil sector further. His efforts led to a global increase in crude oil prices, and measures he personally put in place ended up bringing Libya $1 billion in estimated additional oil revenues — just in the first year.

<> on August 29, 2010 in Rome, Italy.

Foreign Relations

Gaddafi was vocal and especially critical of US support of Israel. He sided with Palestinians in Israeli–Palestinian conflicts and opposed the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, viewing this himself as a Western colonial occupation influence that was forced upon the larger Arab world.

Gaddafi believed that Palestinian violence that was performed against Israeli and Western targets was justified and the response of a deeply oppressed people fighting against colonization of the people's sacred land.

US Conflicts

In the early to mid-1980s, there was a tremendously growing sense of economic trouble in Libya. The country's annual oil revenues had dropped from $21 billion to $5.4 billion, and Gaddafi was dead set on focusing on irrigation projects that would counteract this deeply detrimental effect.

In 1983, Libya commenced its largest (and most expensive) infrastructure project — the Great Man-Made River, which fell behind schedule and remained incomplete until the start of the 21st century.

In the early 80s, US President Ronald Reagan adopted a hardline approach when it came to Libya and claimed it to be a puppet regime of the Soviet Union, drawing on American fear of communism. As a response, Gaddafi played up his own relationship with the Soviet Union and threatened to join the Warsaw Pact. Soviets nevertheless were cautious of Gaddafi, many seeing him as an unpredictable extremist. During the spring season of 1986, the US Navy performed exercises and demonstrations in the Gulf of Sirte. The Libyan military met this act with retaliation, and the US responded by sinking several Libyan ships as a result.

When the 20th century ended, Gaddafi had grown increasingly frustrated by what he viewed as the failures of pan-Arab ideals. Gaddafi was beginning to reject his Arab nationalistic ideals and grew increasingly in favor of pan-Africanism, which highlighted and celebrated Libya's African identity.

In June 1999, Gaddafi visited Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The following month, he attended the OAU summit in Algiers, where he called for stronger political (and economic) integration, further championing and advocating the establishment of a United States of Africa. At this point, Gaddafi would become one of the founding members of the African Union (AU), which was established in July 2002, replacing the OAU.


During the 2011 Arab Spring, there were intense protests against what was believed to be widespread corruption, not to mention the fact that intense unemployment was rampant throughout eastern Libya. Civil war came as a result. NATO saw it fit to intervene militarily, siding with the anti-Gaddafist NTC (National Transitional Council). As a result, the government in power was overthrown. In response, Gaddafi retreated to Sirte, where he was captured and subsequently killed by NTC militants.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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