Aliko Dangote Makes 50 Richest People On Earth List

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Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, made it to the recently released Wealth-X’s ranking of the world’s billionaires. This ranking reveals that 29 of the top 50 hail from the US and nearly a quarter made their fortunes in tech. Dangote’s $14.3bn net worth was just enough to put him on the list as he is the 50th richest person in the world according to Wealth-X.

From tech moguls and retail giants to heirs and heiresses, here are the billionaires with the deepest pockets around the globe:

  1. TIE: Aliko Dangote

Net worth: $14.3 billion

Age: 58

Country: Nigeria

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dangote Group

In 1981, Dangote formed Dangote Group, an international conglomerate that now holds diversified interests that include food and beverages, plastics manufacturing, real estate, logistics, telecommunications, steel, oil, and gas. The majority of Dangote’s wealth stems from his stake in Dangote Cement, which is publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It is worthy of note that his $14.3bn net worth is equal to 2.5% of Nigeria’s GDP.

49. TIE: James Simons

Net worth: $14.3 billion

Age: 77

Country: US

Industry: Hedge funds

Source of wealth: Self-made; Renaissance Technologies

Simons has always dreamed big. He quit his job as the chairman of math department at Stony Brook University in 1978 to start a quantitative-trading firm. That firm, now called Renaissance Technologies, has more than $65 billion in assets under management among its many funds.

  1. TIE: Laurene Powell Jobs

Net worth: $14.4 billion

Age: 52

Country: US

Industry: Media

Source of wealth: Inheritance; Disney

The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Though she’s best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991.

47. TIE: Lei Jun

Net worth: $14.4 billion

Age: 45

Country: China

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Xiaomi

Like several of his fellow 21st-century Chinese billionaires, Lei Jun earned his $14.4 billion fortune in tech. His smartphone maker, Xiaomi, became the fourth-largest smartphone vendor in the world, and the largest in China, within about three years of its founding. Xiaomi, often referred to as “the Apple of China,” is now the second most valuable private-tech company in the world, with a $46 billion valuation.

46. Charlie Ergen

Net worth: $14.5 billion

Age: 62

Country: US

Industry: Media

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dish Network

Ergen founded satellite TV provider, Dish Network, in 1980. The company recently launched Sling TV, a streaming service that allows subscribers to watch their favorite channels, such as ESPN and Food Network, online for only $20 per month.

45. Ray Dalio

Net worth: $16.3 billion

Age: 66

Country: US

Industry: Hedge funds

Source of wealth: Self-made; Bridgewater Associates

Ray Dalio’s hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, is the biggest in the world, managing a portfolio of around $154 billion in global investments. At the top of his industry and having amassed an enormous fortune, Dalio has more recently focused on giving away money and advice.

44. Dilip Shanghvi

Net worth: $16.4 billion

Age: 60

Country: India

Industry: Pharmaceuticals

Source of wealth: Self-made; Sun Pharmaceutical Industries

Shangvi founded Sun Pharmaceuticals in 1983 with a $1,000 investment from his father. In its first year of business, Sun Pharma generated more than $100,000 in sales, and in 1994 the company, which generates $4.5 billion in sales, went public on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

43. Azim Premji

Net worth: $16.5 billion

Age: 70

Country: India

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Wipro

In 1966, 21-year-old Azim Premji dropped out of Stanford in the wake of his father’s death to take the helm of his father’s company Western India Vegetable Products — later renamed Wipro. It was under Premji’s leadership that the company diversified into toiletries and bath products and, eventually, IT, and the company grew exponentially. Now India’s third-largest IT giant, Wipro generated revenues of $7.6 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

42. Len Blavatnik

Net worth: $16.7 billion

Age: 58

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Access Industries

After earning degrees at Columbia University and Harvard Business School, Len Blavatnik — a Ukraine-born American — founded Access Industries, a privately held industrial company, in 1986. The company began with only Russian investments, but it now boasts a diverse portfolio that includes natural resources, chemicals, media and telecommunications, and real estate.

41. Donald Bren

Net worth: $17 billion

Age: 83

Country: US

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Irvine Company

Donald Bren, the wealthiest real-estate mogul in America, is the sole owner of The Irvine Co., a private real-estate developer with properties primarily in Orange County and along the California coast. After serving three years as an officer in the US Marine Corps, the then 26-year-old founded Bren Co. in 1958 and built his first property in Newport Beach, California, with a $10,000 bank loan.

40. Ma Huateng

Net worth: $17.1 billion

Age: 44

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

Softward engineer Ma Huateng founded China’s largest internet portal, Tencent Holdings, in 1998. He was 26. Ma’s company has a number of successful and widely used platforms in its portfolio, including QQ, its instant-messaging service, which is one of the world’s 10 largest websites; a mobile-texting service (WeChat) with 600 million users; a mobile-commerce product (WeChat Wallet); and an online-gaming community (Tencent Games), the largest in China.

 

39. Paul Allen

Net worth: $18.3 billion

Age: 62

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

Alongside his cofounder Bill Gates, Paul Allen credits Microsoft for his fortune. Although Allen left the company before it went public in 1986, he remained a board member until 2000 and today holds a less than 5% stake. The self-made billionaire also counts an extravagant lineup of cars, World War II fighter jets, real estate, and two sports teams — the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trailblazers — among his luxurious array of assets.

38. Lee Shau Kee

Net worth: $18.5 billion

Age: 87

Country: Hong Kong

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Henderson Land Development

Lee Shau Kee fled China for Hong Kong before the Communist takeover in 1948, working in commodities like gold and currency exchange before founding Henderson Land Development in 1973. Over the last 43 years, Henderson has become a top real-estate developer in Hong Kong and China, generating annual sales of more than $3 billion and making Lee one of the richest men in Asia.

37. Carl Icahn

Net worth: $18.7 billion

Age: 79

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Icahn Enterprises

Carl Icahn has made a lifelong habit and lucrative career out of agitating undervalued and poorly managed companies to change their ways. Since founding his own investment firm in 1968, Icahn has become one of the most powerful people in finance, investing in scores of high-profile companies, including RJR Nabisco, Philips Petroleum, Viacom, Marvel, Time Warner, Netflix, and Herbalife.

36. Michael Dell

Net worth: $18.9 billion

Age: 50

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dell

While he was a premed student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, Michael Dell started a company called PC Ltd., the predecessor to Dell Inc., with a seed fund of $1,000. Dell soon dropped out of college to build computers full-time and found himself at the helm of one of the fastest-growing companies in the country, with $6 million in sales in its first year of business.

35. Li Ka-shing

Net worth: $19.5 billion

Age: 87

Country: Hong Kong

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchison Holdings

Despite humble beginnings, business magnate Li Ka-shing has become the wealthiest man in Hong Kong. After his father died of tuberculosis, Li dropped out of school at 16 to support his family, working in a factory making plastic flowers. Six years later, he opened his own factory, the predecessor to what’s known today as CK Hutchison Holdings, a vast business empire with interests in real estate, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, and technology. A savvy investor, Li and his venture-capital fund Horizon Ventures have backed companies like Facebook, Skype, Spotify, and the egg-replacement food startup Hampton Creek.

34. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Net worth: $19.7 billion

Age: 80

Country: Italy

Industry: Eyewear

Source of wealth: Self-made; Luxottica Group

Even at 80, Leonardo Del Vecchio still chairs Luxottica, the nearly $30 billion company he founded in 1961. The largest eyewear company on the planet, Luxottica not only owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, and Oakley, but manufacturers glasses for nearly every luxury brand out there, including Burberry, Chanel, Prada, and Versace.

33. Dieter Schwarz

Net worth: $20.9 billion

Age: 76

Country: Germany

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Schwarz Gruppe

Dieter Schwarz joined his father’s food-wholesaling business in 1973 and opened the company’s first discount supermarket shortly thereafter. He took over as CEO when his father died in 1977 and rapidly expanded the business outside Germany, rebranding the company as Schwarz Gruppe.

32. George Soros

Net worth: $21.7 billion

Age: 85

Country: US

Industry: Hedge funds

Source of wealth: Self-made; Soros Fund Management

Born in Budapest, George Soros lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary during WWII before fleeing to the UK and later settling in the US. Touted as “the man who broke the bank of England,” he’s best known for the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he launched in 1973 under his Soros Fund Management company. In 1992 he shorted the British pound, a risky move that ended up earning the fund $1 billion in a single day and solidifying Soros’ place in the finance world.

31. Georg Schaeffler

Net worth: $22.2 billion

Age: 51

Country: Germany

Industry: Manufacturing

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Schaeffler Group

Georg Schaeffler served in the German military and held a short career in corporate law in the US before jumping aboard his father’s company, Schaeffler Group, the nearly $11 billion (in sales) ball bearings and auto-parts maker that Schaeffler now co-owns with his mother.

30. Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud

Net worth: $22.5 billion

Age: 60

Country: Saudi Arabia

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Kingdom Holding Company

Prince Alwaleed — grandson of Abdul Aziz al Saud, the first ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — built his fortune with savvy investments in a range of companies across the US and the Middle East. He founded Kingdom Holding Co. in 1980 and has since invested in everything from real estate to entertainment to education, with stakes in companies like Twitter, The Four Seasons, Time Warner, and Motorola. In 2013, he sued Forbes for allegedly underestimating his wealth. But last summer he announced plans to donate his entire fortune to charity anyway.

29. Sheldon Adelson

Net worth: $23 billion

Age: 82

Country: US

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Las Vegas Sands

The “King of Las Vegas” first hit the jackpot in 1995 when he was 61 and running Computer Dealers’ Exhibition (COMDEX), one of the largest trade shows in Las Vegas. That year, Adelson sold the company to Japan’s Softbank for $860 million and used the cash to finance his purchase of the Sands Casino. He quickly demolished it and in its place built the Venetian Casino Resort and the Sands Expo Convention Center. After further expansion, he took his gambling conglomerate, Las Vegas Sands, public in 2004.

28. Carlos Slim Helú

Net worth: $23.5 billion

Age: 75

Country: Mexico

Industry: Telecom

Source of wealth: Self-made; Grupo Carso

The richest man in Mexico owns more than 200 companies in his home country through a conglomerate called Grupo Carso — also known as Slimlandia. The son of Lebanese-Mexican entrepreneurs, Carlos Slim Helú gained control of his father’s retail and real-estate businesses upon his death. After earning a civil-engineering degree, Slim built a diversified portfolio throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s that now dominates the Mexican economy.

27. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $24.8 billion

Age: 58

Country: India

Industry: Petrochemicals, oil, and gas

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani took over as chairman of Reliance Industries when his father, the company’s founder, died in 2002. The enormous industrial conglomerate generates $62 billion in annual revenue from its interests in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and, more recently, telecommunications.

26. Jorge Lemann

Net worth: $25 billion

Age: 76

Country: Brazil

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; 3G Capital

Once dubbed “the world’s most interesting billionaire” by Bloomberg, Jorge Lemann had previous lives as a journalist and professional tennis champion before turning to finance in 1971 with the purchase of a small Brazilian brokerage firm. He later went on to cofound investment company 3G Capital in 2004, through which Lemann has become best known for his affinity for mergers and acquisitions — especially with frequent deal partner Warren Buffett.

25. Phil Knight

Net worth: $25.7 billion

Age: 77

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Nike

After a stint in the US Army, and with a Stanford MBA under his belt, Phil Knight convinced Tiger-brand shoemaker Onitsuka in the early 1960s to allow him to distribute Tiger shoes under the name Blue Ribbon Sports — the name Knight picked that predated his swoosh-logo-clad company Nike. Though Knight announced plans in June to step down as chairman of Nike, he’s leaving the $30.6 billion (in sales) company in better shape than ever, with the stock and revenues at all-time highs.

24. Steve Ballmer

Net worth: $26.3 billion

Age: 59

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

Steve Ballmer dropped out of business school at Stanford in 1980 to join Harvard friend Bill Gates at Microsoft as the company’s first business manager, earning a $50,000 salary and a stake in the company. He became CEO of the company in 2000. After stepping down as CEO, Ballmer fulfilled his dream of owning an NBA franchise, paying $2 billion in a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, now his main venture. And last fall Ballmer revealed that he purchased a 4% stake in Twitter.

23. Jack Ma

Net worth: $26.5 billion

Age: 51

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Alibaba

The second-richest person in China, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma reportedly started China’s first internet company in 1988: China Yellowpages. He lost control of that company to a state-owned telecom in 1996 and started Alibaba three years later with just $60,000. Fifteen years after its inception, the e-commerce company broke records with a $25 billion initial public offering — the world’s largest ever.

22. Stefan Persson

Net worth: $26.7 billion

Age: 68

Country: Sweden

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; H&M

Over the past three decades, H&M has expanded its operations globally, now boasting nearly 4,000 stores in places like Hong Kong, China, Tokyo, Japan, Russia, and the US. In 2009, Stefan stepped down as CEO and the third generation — his son, Karl-Johan — took over the company, which had sales of $22.4 billion in 2014.

19. to 21. Forrest, Jacqueline, and John Mars

Net worth: $28.6 billion each

Age: 84, 76, and 80

Country: US

Industry: Candy

Source of wealth: Inheritance; Mars Inc.

Siblings Forrest, Jacqueline, and John Mars inherited a stake in the iconic candymaker Mars Inc. when their father, Forrest Sr., died in 1999. The notoriously private trio co-own but don’t actively manage the maker of M&M’s and Milky Way bars, which their grandfather started in 1931 as a confectionary business in his kitchen in Tacoma, Washington.

18. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $28.9 billion

Age: 66

Country: France

Industry: Luxury goods

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; LVMH

Bernard Arnault’s LVMH houses 70 luxury brands from Louis Vuitton to Hennessy to Dom Perignon, all controlled by family parent company Groupe Arnault. By the 1980s and ’90s, Arnault, who started out as a civil engineer, had assumed control of the family business and proceeded to buy high-end fashion house Christian Dior, reviving it from the brink of bankruptcy. Like most LVMH brands today, Dior once again thrives as an industry standard bearer, helping the firm haul in a record $33 billion in revenue in 2014.

17. Liliane Bettencourt

Net worth: $29 billion

Age: 93

Country: France

Industry: Cosmetics

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; L’Oreal Group

The heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune and the company’s largest shareholder, Liliane Bettencourt is the richest woman in Europe and the second-richest woman in the world, with a net worth of $29 billion. She no longer has a hand in business operations, but L’Oreal and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation she cofounded with her late husband continue to prosper. She’s an avid art collector, owning pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Munch.

16. Wang Jianlin

Net worth: $29.2 billion

Age: 61

Country: China

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dalian Wanda Group

Wang Jianlin is the richest man in Asia, the largest and most populous continent on earth. The real-estate mogul, who served in the Chinese military from 1970 to 1986 before going into business, has his hands in dozens of sectors and his name on hundreds of companies through his conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, including British yacht maker Sunseeker and US-based AMC Entertainment. Some of Wang’s largest investments are overseas, including upscale real-estate development projects in Sydney and Madrid.

15. Alice Walton

Net worth: $33.2 billion

Age: 66

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inheritance; Walmart

The daughter of late Walmart founder Sam Walton, Alice Walton holds a major piece of the company fortune, making her the richest woman on earth. Though she never took an active role in running the superstore like her brothers, she’s become the target of pushback from minimum-wage Walmart employees who view her highfalutin lifestyle as insensitive and ignorant to the plights of many workers.

14. Rob Walton

Net worth: $33.5 billion

Age: 71

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inheritance; Walmart

Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton is the oldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He started working at the iconic retail behemoth in 1969, holding positions from senior vice president to general counsel to chairman, a role he stepped down from in June after 23 years on the job. His son-in-law was named as his successor.

13. Jim Walton

Net worth: $34.8 billion

Age: 67

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inheritance; Walmart

James “Jim” Walton’s parents, Helen and Sam Walton, purchased a controlling stake in Arkansas’ Bank of Bentonville the year before opening the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 — when Jim was just 14. Within five years, the family owned 24 of the retail stores and in 1972 listed Walmart on the New York Stock Exchange.

12. Sergey Brin

Net worth: $37 billion

Age: 42

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google

Along with cofounder Larry Page, Sergey Brin helped facilitate Google’s massive restructuring, which the company announced in August. The move put Google under the auspices of a new holding company called Alphabet, run by Brin as president and Page as CEO. Google’s other ventures, such as Nest and Google X, are now separate companies also under the Alphabet umbrella. The tech giant generated $66 billion in sales in 2014, up more than $10 billion from the year before.

11. Larry Page

Net worth: $38.5 billion

Age: 42

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google

As a Stanford PhD student in 1998, Larry Page teamed up with classmate Sergey Brin to create BackRub, an early search engine. The project eventually morphed into Google — now called Alphabet — one of the largest and farthest-reaching companies in the world, worth more than $500 billion.

10. Ingvar Kamprad

Net worth: $39.3 billion

Age: 89

Country: Sweden

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; IKEA

At 17, Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA, now the world’s largest furniture retailer with sales exceeding $33 billion. Kamprad’s plan from the beginning was to set up “eternal life” for IKEA, which meant keeping it off the stock market and securing it within a complex corporate structure that includes a charitable arm and a retail and franchise arm, collectively known as Stichting INGKA Foundation. While the Swedish business magnate is no longer directly involved in day-to-day decision-making operations, he still sits in on meetings as senior adviser to the supervisory board.

9. Michael Bloomberg

Net worth: $42.1 billion

Age: 73

Country: US

Industry: Financial services

Source of wealth: Self-made; Bloomberg LP

Michael Bloomberg founded his financial-data firm in 1981 following a lucrative career at investment bank Salomon Brothers, which he joined in 1966 after earning his MBA from Harvard Business School. He added a news and media subsidiary to his company in 1990, but even today the bulk of Bloomberg LP’s $9 billion in revenues still comes from the sale of terminals that Wall Street traders rely on for the most up-to-date financial and market information.

8. Mark Zuckerberg

Net worth: $42.8 billion

Age: 31

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Facebook

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, then a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard, launched TheFacebook.com, a rudimentary version of the now ubiquitous social network known as Facebook. Zuckerberg dropped out of college to work full-time as Facebook’s CEO, and the site quickly exploded in popularity. Today, it attracts more than a billion users daily and is worth more than $275 billion, hitting all-time stock highs in November after beating earnings expectations. At 31, Zuckerberg is by far the youngest of the 50 richest people in the world.

7. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $45.3 billion

Age: 71

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Oracle

In 1977, Larry Ellison teamed up with two colleagues from an electronics company to start their own programming firm, which landed a contract not long after to build a relational database-management system for the CIA under the project code Oracle. The project grew into what is known today as Oracle Corp., the second-largest software maker behind Microsoft. In 2010, Ellison reduced his annual salary from $1 million to $1, but he still takes in more than $60 million in total compensation thanks to generous stock awards. Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 after 38 years on the job and took on the role of chief technology officer.

6. Charles Koch

Net worth: $46.8 billion

Age: 80

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Koch Industries

Charles Koch is chairman and CEO of multifaceted conglomerate Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in America. His younger brother David is the executive vice president. The company employs 100,000 people and generates $115 billion in sales from its diverse company, which makes everything from petrochemicals and Dixie Cups to raw clothing materials.

5. David Koch

Net worth: $47.4 billion

Age: 75

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Koch Industries

Along with his brother Charles, David Koch runs Koch Industries as executive vice president. The second-largest private company, $115 billion (in sales) Koch Industries manufactures everything from fertilizer and Dixie Cups to asphalt and biodiesel.

4. Jeff Bezos

Net worth: $56.6 billion

Age: 51

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Amazon.com

Jeff Bezos earned his massive fortune by introducing e-commerce to the world. After spending time in finance on Wall Street, Bezos founded Amazon.com in the garage of his Seattle home in 1994 and operated it exclusively as an online book retailer. The company went public three years later and has since grown to include everything from furniture to food to Amazon’s own consumer-electronics products, generating $89 billion in sales in 2014.

3. Warren Buffett

Net worth: $60.7 billion

Age: 85

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett started his prodigious investing career at a young age. As a child he delivered newspapers on his bike, and by 11 the precocious Nebraska native had purchased his first shares in the stock market — Cities Service Preferred at $38 apiece — and sold them for a $5 profit. He was rejected from Harvard Business School, so Buffett went to Columbia Business School instead and learned under iconic value investor Benjamin Graham, who would become a mentor to the budding financier. Buffett worked as a securities analyst in the early-1950s before starting his own investment firm. He bought textile company Berkshire Hathaway in 1969, transforming it into a holding company that would house the many lucrative investments that helped build his massive fortune and earn the nickname “The Oracle of Omaha.”

2. Amancio Ortega

Net worth: $66.8 billion

Age: 79

Country: Spain

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Inditex

With a net worth in excess of $66 billion, Amancio Ortega is the second-richest man in the world thanks to his control of the Spanish fashion behemoth Inditex, which Ortega — who started out as a delivery boy for a local clothing store at 14 — turned from a small-town dress shop into one of the largest fashion empires on the planet.

1. Bill Gates

Net worth: $87.4 billion

Age: 60

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

At just 20, Bill Gates cofounded Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Months before his 31st birthday, the company went public, making Gates a billionaire. He served as CEO of the software titan until 2000 and was its chairman and largest shareholder until 2014. Though he still sits on the company’s board, Gates — whose net worth sits a league above the rest at $87.4 billion — is no longer actively involved in Microsoft.

 

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