Do you want to know who are the richest people of all time? Here they are!
- Bill Gates (1955-present)
On our 9th place is Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Gates is the richest living person in the world with a net worth of $78.9 billion.
- Alan “Alan the Red” Rufus (1040-1093)
Alan Rufus of England is the Nephew of William the Conqueror. Based on the account written by Bill Rubinstein and Philip Beresford, Rufus died with 11,000 euros – which is about 7% of England’s GDP at the time! Today, it would amount to about $194 billion!
- John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)
Rockefeller was known for this investments in the petroleum industry. His company, Standard Oil, controlled 90% of the America’s oil by 1880. The New York Times estimated his overall fortune to be $1.5 billion. That is about $341 billion today!
- Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
In 1901, this Scottish immigrant sold his company, U.S. Steel, to J.P. Morgan for $480 million. According to compiled data, this amount of money corresponds to about 2.1% of United States’ GDP at that time, which in today’s dollars, equates to about $372 billion.
- Joseph Stalin (1878-1953)
No surprise here. Stalin is the dictator who controlled one of the largest economies in the world. Many argue that Stalin’s fortune doesn’t belong to him. But as the absolute dictator, it’s important to remember that he has the power to leverage Soviet’s economic wealth in any way he wanted. Here’s an estimate of Stalin’s fortune:
In 1950, the USSR made up about 9.5% of the world’s total economic output. Translating that into dollars would give us about $7.5 trillion! That’s the amount of money Stalin has direct control over in 1950 alone!
- Akbar I (1542-1605)
Akbar I of India ruled an empire with 25% of the world’s GDP. Akbar I is the greatest emperor of the Mughal Dynasty in India. According to historian Angus Madison, India’s GDP per capita under Akbar I’s rule is comparable to that of England’s during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
- Emperor Shenzong (1048-1085)
China’s Song Dynasty which reigned from 960-1279 was one of the world’s most powerful economies of all time. During this period, the empire accounted for about 30% of the world’s total economic output. The Song Dynasty amassed its wealth through highly efficient tax collection systems and technological innovations which were centuries ahead of their European counterparts.
- Augustus Caesar
According to historian Ian Morris of Stanford, Augustus Caesar, at one point of his life, amassed a personal wealth equal to one-fifth of his empire’s economic output. That’s about $4.6 trillion today! No surprise here though — because at one time, Augustus Caesar personally owned the entire empire of Egypt!
- Mansa Musa (1280-1337)
Mansa Musa of is the king of Timbuktu (Mali). He is often regarded as the wealthiest person in history! So how rich was he? Thanks to scarce records, we can’t put an exact number. But there are tales singing praises to his wealth.
On one occasion, Musa went on a pilgrimage to Mecca. He was so lavish in his expenses that entire Egypt suffered a currency crisis! Another tale says that Musa’s army is made up of 40,000 archers and 200,000 footmen — the upkeep of such army is too high even for modern superpowers. But hey, this guy Musa can afford it!
Even the brightest minds of our generation cannot comprehend Musa’s wealth. So this guy is darned rich!