Jeff Bezos Is Now the Richest Person in Modern History
Jeff Bezos is not only the richest person in the world but also the richest person in modern history.
The 54-year-old Amazon founder and CEO
Jeff Bezos attends the premiere of The Post in Washington D.C., on December 14, 2017.
Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post and the aerospace company Blue Origin, has even beaten Gates in terms of net worth adjusted for inflation. Gates's wealth peaked at $100 billion during the height of the dot-com boom in 1999, according to Bloomberg, and that figure would be worth $149 billion today. Nobody on earth has been richer since Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking in 1982.
Last year, Bezos and Gates had been passing the title of Richest Man in the World back and forth like a hot potato. A year ago this month, Bezos surpassed Gates when his net worth hit; Gates was worth just $90 billion.
That very same day, Amazon's stock, which makes up a significant portion of Bezos's assets, fell two percent in after-hours trading, following the company's second-quarter earnings report. And so, just like that, Gates found himself at the top of the rankings once again.
But when Forbes published its 2018 list of the world's billionaires in March, Bezos was on top—with a reported net worth of $112 billion. Gates, the founder of Microsoft, came in at number two—with $90 billion.
Gates had been at the top of the Forbes ranking for 18 out of the past 24 years, but Bezos is a newer addition, first appearing on the list in 1998, one year after Amazon went public. At that time, the company was worth about $1.6 billion, only a fraction of Bezos's current personal wealth.
According to a filing report with securities regulators in April 2017, Bezos owns almost 17 percent of Amazon; the CEO reportedly sells about $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each quarter.
Bill Gates speaks at the Malaria Summit in London on April 18, 2018.
Gates obtained most of his wealth from Microsoft, and he owns just over 1 percent of the company’s stock. In August 2010, Gates, alongside Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, created the Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires to give at least half of their wealth to charitable donations. By the end of 2016, Forbes noted, Gates had given away more than $31.1 billion over the course of his lifetime.
Though Bezos has not signed the pledge, the Amazon founder had given approximately $100 million to charity by the end of 2015.
In September 2018, he also shared plans to launch the Bezos Day One Fund. His Instagram post announcing the initiative reads, in part, "[The fund] will begin with a commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities."
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*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors