Have you ever wondered who were the richest people of all time? The online magazine Celebrity Net Worth did the math for you, taking into account inflation over time. As surprising as it may seem, Bill Gates, the richest man in the world in 2017, didn’t make it to the list of top 10 richest person of all time. As for the richest person of all time, she is African.
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt: 185 billion dollars (175 billion euros)
Born May 27, 1794 and died January 4, 1877 in New York, he built his fortune in shipbuilding and railways, which earned him the nickname Commodore. At his death, his fortune equals 1.15% of the US GNP! It is to him that New York owes the immense station of Grand Central. Side anecdote, Cornelius would be one of the actors of the invention of chips!
9. Henry Ford: 199 billion dollars (188 billion euros)
Born July 30, 1863 and died April 7, 1947 in Dearborn, United States, Henry Ford is the founder of the car manufacturer Ford.
Its name is particularly attached to Fordism, an industrial method combining a mass production mode based on the assembly line principle and a high-wage economic model. The introduction of this method in the early 1910s revolutionized the American industry by promoting mass consumption and allows it to produce more than 15 million copies of the Ford T; Henry Ford becomes one of the richest and best known people in the world.
8. Muammar Gaddafi: 200 billion dollars (189 billion euros)
Gaddafi led Libya for nearly 42 years. Died in 2011, he was one of the richest men in the world. His fortune, from oil and gas extraction, was estimated at 144 billion euros, or 200 billion US dollars at the time, he would have left Libya during the thirty years before its fall. According to the financial blog Celebrity Networth, he would be the eighth richest man of all time.
The US administration has discovered that the Libyan regime has nearly 27 billion euros in accounts and investments in the United States; they have since been frozen. In Europe, nearly 22 billion euros have been seized by the French, Italian, British and German governments. Gaddafi invested in companies such as Total, Alsthom, Fiat, in the sectors of media (Financial Time) or sports (7.5% of Juventus). In France, he owned, for example, the Parisian building that houses the Fnac des Ternes in the 17th arrondissement of Paris.
7. William the Conqueror: 229 billion dollars (216 billion euros)
Also known as William the Bastard, William II of Normandy and finally William I of England, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 to his death and King of England from 1066 until his death in 1087. In addition to taxes, the possessions of King William the Conqueror are augmented by the great estates he possesses throughout England. As heir to King Edward, he controls all of the royal domains, and adds much of Harold’s land and his family, making him the kingdom’s largest owner (by far): the end of his reign, his land in England is four times larger than his half-brother Odon, the most important owner after him, and seven times more than Roger de Montgommery’s. A recent study makes Guillaume the 7th richest man ever to live.
6. Fateh Jang
Othman Ali Khân Asaf Jâh VII: 230 billion dollars (217 billion euros)
Born on April 6, 1886 in Hyderabad, a former state of central India, and died on February 24, 1967 in the same city, he is the last reigning ruler of the Nizam dynasty of Hyderabad and Berar (the one of the five sultanates of the time). He has the reputation of being the richest man in the world at his time. Despite this he led a rather simple and frugal life.
5. Nicholas II of Russia: 300 billion dollars (283 billion euros)
Nicholas II was “tsar of all the Russias”, from 1894 to 1917. Under his reign and under that of his father, Russia experienced unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural development. The personal fortune of Nicholas II was colossal.
4. Andrew Carnegie: 310 billion dollars (293 billion euros)
Scottish industrialist and naturalized philanthropist, he was one of the major players in the development of the steel industry in the United States in the late nineteenth century. The success of his company, Carnegie Steel, is primarily related to its ability to produce high-volume, low-cost railroads, which were in high demand at the time. He founded in 1865 the Keystone Bridge Company which is at the origin of the bridge Eads. He is also involved in the manufacture of railway equipment with the Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works. In 1901, for $ 480 million, he sold his industrial properties to a group of financiers led by JP Morgan, which at the time was a record for a commercial assignment.
3. John Rockefeller: 340 billion dollars (321 billion euros)
Industrialist and American philanthropist, and obviously founder of the legendary Rockefeller family. His family was at the head of an empire for nearly two centuries, creating Standard Oil, which became Esso (initials SO) and then ExxonMobil. John Rockefeller retired in 1896 as the richest man in the United States and one of the most powerful in the world. His son takes over the business.
2. The Rothschild family: 350 billion dollars (331 billion euros)
The Rothschilds have become known since the eighteenth century in the fields of banking and finance. The fortune of this family is colossal. According to the financial blog Celebrity Networth, it would be the second largest fortune of all time with 350 billion US dollars.
1. Mansa Moussa: 400 billion dollars (378 billion euros)
Mansa Moussa (or Kankou Moussa) was king of the Mali Empire in the 14th century. He brought the Mali Empire to its peak, from Fouta-Djalon to Agadez and the lands of the ancient Empire of Ghana. He has established diplomatic relations with Portugal, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. His reign corresponds to the golden age of the Malian empire.
His fortune he built by exploiting gold and copper mines across the Sahara. He also makes a fortune in the salt trade. In 1324, he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a trip that made him famous in North Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, he leaves with 60,000 men and 12,000 slaves. In the caravan are also, according to some accounts, 80 camels carrying between 50 and 300 pounds of powdered gold each (Mali ignored the currency). In every city he crosses, Moussa offers his wealth. It is also said that he builds a new mosque every Friday, regardless of where he stops that day.
He is responsible for the Djingareyber Mosque, which is still in existence.