Top 10 richest people that have ever lived

Have you ever wondered who the top 10 richest people that have ever lived were or are? Let me take you through the list of people who controlled the world in their time.  These are people who changed the course of history. Thier net worth has been adjusted to 2018 totals.

 

Number 10 – Cornelius Vanderbilt – $196 Billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Cornelius Vanderbilt

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Cornelius Vanderbilt

  • Born: May 27, 1794  Staten Island, New York, US
  • Died: January 4, 1877 (age of 82)
  • Wealth from: Railroads, Water Transport

Cornelius Vanderbilt was a self made multi-millionare he went on to become one of the richest Americans of the 19th century. He began by working for his father who owned a boat that moved cargo between Staten Island, New York and Manhattan.  He went into business for himself in the late 1820s.  Eventually he went on to become one of the largest steamship operators.  In the 1860s he moved his focus into the railways, where he built a second empire making railroads more efficient in the process.

 

Number 9 – Henry Ford – $211 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Henry Ford

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Henry Ford

  • Born: July 30, 1863  Greenfield, Michigan, US
  • Died: April 7, 1947 (age of 83)
  • Wealth from: Automobiles (Founder of Ford)

It was during his time working for Edison Illuminating Company that Henry Ford built his first gasoline powered horseless carriage, the Quadricycle, in his garden shed.  He established the Ford Motor Company in 1903, five years later the first Model T rolled of the production line.  To keep up with the substantial demand for this vehicle he introduced many revolutionary manufacturing techniques, large production plants, standardised and interchangeable parts. In 1913 he introduced the first moving production line for the Model T.

 

Number 8 – Muammar Gaddafi – $212 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Muammar Gaddafi

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Muammar Gaddafi

  • Born: 1940
  • Died: 2011
  • Wealth from: Politics / Oil

Gaddafi was able to build his wealth due to his control over Libya’s natural resources.  More specifically the rich oil fields in the country.  Libya has the one of the largest oil reserves in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world.  He controlled this oil money for nearly 40 years. He spread the money around the globe into Swiss bank accounts, real estate and investments.

 

Number 7 – William The Conqueror – $244 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - William The Conqueror

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – William The Conqueror

  • Born: ~1028
  • Died: ~1087 (age of 59)
  • Wealth from: Monarch

During his teen years he was knighted by the King.  In 1064, he conquered Brittany and Maine.  When Edward the Confessor died and a rival Harold Goodwin was named King rather than himself, he invaded England to claim the throne.  On 14th October 1066 the two armies met at what would be known as the Battle of Hastings. During the battle, King Harold along with his two brothers were killed. William was then crowned King.  He was know for grabbing land from enemies and giving it to his Norman followers.

 

Number 6 – Mir Osman Ali Kha – $244 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Mir Osman Ali Kha

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Mir Osman Ali Kha

  • Born: 1886
  • Died: 1967
  • Wealth from: Monarch

Mir Osman Ali Kha was the last Nizam (or ruler) of Hyderabad and Berar.  He was so wealthy that he used the Jacob Diamond as a paperweight on his desk.  At the time his wealth was equal to 2% of the U.S. GDP  He remained the richest person in South Asia until his death in 1967. 97% of his wealth including jewellery belonging to his family members was taken away by the Indian government.

 

Number 5 – Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov – $318 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov

  • Born: May 18, 1868
  • Died: July 17, 1918 (age of 50)
  • Wealth from: Monarch

Nikolai Romanov was the last emperor of Russia.  He had the nickname of Nicholas the Bloodthirsty from his enemies due to the massive amount of Russian lives lost under his leadership.  He abdicated the throne, but was later killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

 

Number 4 – Andrew Carnegie – $329 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Andrew Carnegie

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Andrew Carnegie

  • Born: November 25, 1835  Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
  • Died: August 11, 1919 (age of 83)
  • Wealth from: Steel

Carnegie started out by working in a Pittsburgh as a boy.  By 1859 he had risen to a superintendent of a railroad company.  While he was working for the railroad company he invested in various ventures such as oil and and iron.  By the time he reached his early 30s he was already rich after these investments.  He entered the steel business in the early 1870s.  Over the next twenty years he grew to become a dominant force in the industry.  In 1901 he sold his steel business to a banker called John Pierpoint Morgan (of JP Morgan fame) for $480 million. Carnegie moved into philanthropy after the sale.

Number 3 – John Davison Rockefeller – $361 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - John D Rockefeller

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – John D Rockefeller

  • Born: July 8, 1839  Richford, New York, US
  • Died: May 23, 1937 (age of 97)
  • Wealth from: Oil

Rockefeller begin his career in the oil industry in 1863 when he invested in a refinery in Cleveland, Ohio.  He created Standard Oil in 1870. In the following ten years he grew this company so that by the early 1880s it controlled 90% of the oil refineries and pipelines in the U.S.  Critics at the time accused him of predatory pricing practices and colluding with the railways in an effort to remove his competitors and create a monopoly.  In 1911, the U.S. supreme court found Standard Oil guilty of violating newly created anti-trust laws and ordered it to dissolve. Standard Oil was split into thirty smaller companies.

 

Number 2 – The Rothschild Family – $371 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Rothschild

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Rothschild

  • Began in 1577
  • Wealth from: Banking

The Rothschild family begin in Germany where they established their first bank in the 1760’s.  The family is very secretive as to how rich they are. Some estimates put there wealth at over $1 trillion. A conservative estimate taking into account what is publicly know about them puts the wealth at around $371 billion.

 

Number 1 – Mansa Musa I – $424 billion

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived - Mansa Musa I

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived – Mansa Musa I

  • Born: ~1280
  • Died: ~1337
  • Wealth from: Monarch

Mansa Musa I was a ruler of the Milan empire. An empire which at its peak covered 500000 square miles of Africa.  The Milan empire was the worlds main supplier of salt and gold at the time of his reign. It accounted for half of the worlds supply of those two commodities.

During his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 his entourage held 60,000 people.  12,000 of who were slaves. Each slave carried a 1.8kg gold bar. Musa gave away the gold he travel with to people he met on the route.  An unexpected side effect of all this generosity was it devalued gold in the region for the next decade, in effect making people poorer.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this list of top 10 richest people that have ever lived. Who they were and how they made their fortunes.

Top 10 richest people that have ever lived

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