These are the 20 Richest Humans to Ever Exist

richest people to ever exist

The wallets of the following folks are so crammed with cash, even their accountants get vertigo. From ancient rulers to modern business tycoons, these people have amassed fortunes that could put Scrooge McDuck’s money bin to shame. So, put your penny-pinching thoughts aside and brace yourself for a ride through history‘s glitziest, ritziest money bags:

1. Mansa Musa I (c. 1280–c. 1337)

Mansa Musa I
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

As the ruler of Mali Empire, Mansa Musa’s wealth was inconceivable. His lavish pilgrimage to Mecca and rampant spending reportedly disrupted Egypt’s economy for a decade.

2. Augustus Caesar (63 BC-14 AD)

Rome’s first emperor had a personal wealth equivalent to 20% of the empire’s economy. This would equate to about $4.6 trillion today.

Augustus Caesar wealth
Louvre Museum via Wikimedia Commons

3. John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

An oil tycoon, Rockefeller was America’s first billionaire and is often considered the richest American in history, with an estimated worth of nearly $400 billion in today’s dollars.

John D. Rockefeller
Published by Scientific American Compiling Dep’t, New York. 1907., Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

4. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)

Born into a poor family, Carnegie became one of the wealthiest Americans ever, amassing a fortune through the steel industry before becoming a major philanthropist.

Andrew Carnegie
Theodore C. Marceau, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

5. Jakob Fugger (1459-1525)

A German merchant, mining entrepreneur, and banker, Fugger’s net worth adjusted for inflation would be a staggering $400 billion today.

Jakob Fugger
Albrecht Dürer, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

6. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918)

The last Tsar of Russia was worth $300 billion at the time of his death.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

7. Jeff Bezos (1964-present)

Founder of Amazon, Bezos’s wealth has continued to grow and he became the first person to amass a $200 billion fortune.

Jeff Bezos
U.S. Space Force image by Van Ha, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

8. King Solomon (c.990-931 BC)

Known for his wisdom, the biblical King Solomon was also incredibly rich. The wealth he amassed from tributes and trade would be worth over $2 trillion today.

King Solomon
Yitzilitt via Wikimedia Commons

9. Akbar I (1542-1605)

As the emperor of India’s Mughal dynasty, Akbar I controlled a nation that produced about a quarter of global economic output.

Akbar I
Govardhan, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877)

The shipping and railroad tycoon amassed a fortune of about $185 billion in today’s dollars.

Cornelius Vanderbilt

11. Henry Ford (1863-1947)

The automobile magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company amassed a fortune worth $200 billion today.

Henry Ford

12. Genghis Khan (c.1162-1227)

The infamous Mongol ruler didn’t hoard wealth but controlled a vast empire, making his relative worth immeasurable.

Genghis Khan
National Palace Museum, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

13. Bill Gates (1955-present)

The co-founder of Microsoft, Gates has consistently been one of the world’s wealthiest individuals with an estimated net worth of over $100 billion.

Bill Gates
Kuhlmann /MSC via Wikimedia Commons

14. Alan Rufus (1040-1093)

A companion of William the Conqueror, Rufus used his wealth from the Norman conquest to become one of the richest men in history.

Alan Rufus
MS. Lyell 22, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

15. Warren Buffett (1930-present)

The “Oracle of Omaha” built his fortune through savvy investments, amassing a net worth over $100 billion.

Warren Buffett
USA International Trade Administration, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

16. Carlos Slim (1940-present)

This Mexican business magnate held the title of the world’s richest person from 2010 to 2013 with a net worth of nearly $70 billion.

Carlos Slim
Secretaría de Cultura Ciudad de México from México via Wikimedia Commons

17. Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII (1886-1967)

The last Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad, in India, was declared the world’s richest man in the 1930s by Time magazine.

Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII
Farhang Nizam, first edition, 1926, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

18. Andrew Mellon (1855-1937)

Mellon made his fortune in banking and oil, and served as U.S. Treasury secretary. At his death, he was worth the equivalent of about $50.5 billion.

Andrew Mellon
Trinity Court Studio, a photography studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

19. Stephen Girard (1750-1831)

Girard was a French-born banker and a shipping and real estate magnate who was once the richest man in America with a fortune of about $105 billion today.

Stephen Girard
Newsam, Albert, 1809-1864, lithographer, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

20. Elon Musk (1971-present)

Twitter’s newest owner is worth an estimated $238.4 billion.

Elon Musk
(U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor cokley), Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

And there you have it, folks – a peek into the pockets of the wealthiest individuals in recorded history. One can only dream of having such vast fortunes!

Written by Editorial Team

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