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Who is the richest person in history?


Meet Mansa Musa I of Mali. In today’s dollars, he is the richest person in history. In the 14th century, Musa was the tenth sultan of the Malian Empire. At the time, the Malian Empire was one of the largest empires in Africa. It extended from modern-day Senegal to Niger and included parts of present-day Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria. In 1224, Musa embarked on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. Along the way, he distributed so much gold and gifts that he caused an inflationary crisis in Egypt and Morocco. When he returned home, Musa brought with him architects, masons, and other skilled workers from Egypt and Morocco to help build mosques, schools, and infrastructure in his empire. Under Musa’s rule, Mali became an intellectual and economic center of West Africa. If you adjust for inflation, Mansa Musa’s net worth was $400 billion at the time of his death in 1337. That’s more than Bill Gates’ net worth today!

Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa was the third ruler of the Malian Empire, and is widely considered to be the richest person in history. In 1224, he embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and his procession included 60,000 men and 12,000 slaves, all carrying gold bars. He gave away so much gold during his trip that the price of gold in Egypt plummeted for over a decade.

When Mansa Musa returned home, he brought with him architects and artisans from Cairo to help build Timbuktu into a thriving metropolis. He also built mosques and schools throughout the empire, and encouraged trade with Europe and North Africa. Thanks to Mansa Musa's vision and generosity, the Malian Empire flourished during his reign.

John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) was an American oil tycoon and philanthropist. He is widely considered the richest person in history, adjusted for inflation.

Rockefeller made his fortune as the founder of Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At its peak, Standard Oil controlled more than 90% of the world's production of crude oil.

Rockefeller was also a major philanthropist, donating billions of dollars to various charitable causes. He is estimated to have given away more than $550 million (adjusted for inflation) during his lifetime.

In addition to his massive wealth and philanthropy, Rockefeller is also known for his strict business practices, which earned him the nickname "the Robber Baron." He was often criticized for using unethical and illegal methods to gain an advantage over his competitors.

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was one of the most famous and richest people in history. He was born in Scotland in 1835 and came to America with his family when he was 12 years old. Carnegie started out working as a telegraph operator but quickly rose through the ranks to become a successful business owner and philanthropist. By the time of his death in 1919, he had amassed a fortune estimated at $310 billion (in today’s dollars).

Carnegie is best known for his steel empire, which he built from scratch into the largest steel company in the world. He also owned a major stake in U.S. Steel, which made him even richer. But Carnegie didn’t just make money; he gave much of it away to causes he believed in, such as education and world peace. He is considered one of the most generous billionaires of all time.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford was an American industrialist and business magnate who founded the Ford Motor Company. He is credited with helping to create the middle class by making affordable automobiles available to mass audiences. In his lifetime, he was one of the richest people in the world. Today, he would be worth an estimated $199 billion if he were alive (as of 2018).

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is an American business magnate, software developer, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. He has been consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people since 1987. As of March 2020, Gates had an estimated net worth of $106 billion, making him the second-richest person in the world behind Jeff Bezos.

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28, 1955. He showed an early interest in computers and began programming at age 13. Gates enrolled at Harvard University in 1973 but left two years later to devote himself full-time to Microsoft, a company he had started with his childhood friend Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The partnership proved immensely successful: In 1980 Microsoft launched its first major operating system, MS-DOS; three years later it introduced the world’s most popular PC software program, Microsoft Word; and in 1985 it released Microsoft Windows, which became the standard platform for running personal computer applications. During this period Gates oversaw Microsoft’s expansion from a tiny startup to a global technology leader with revenues exceeding $20 billion by the early 1990s.

In 2000 Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft but remained its chairman and chief software architect; he also became more actively involved in philanthropy through his private foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006 he and Allen jointly donated $30 billion—

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO, and president of, Inc. He is the richest person in the world with a net worth of over $100 billion as of March 2018.

Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and raised in Houston, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He worked on Wall Street for D. E. Shaw & Co., a investment firm, for two years before quitting to start Amazon in 1994. Amazon was originally a online bookstore but has expanded to sell a wide variety of consumer goods and digital services. The company has also developed the Amazon Kindle, a tablet device that allows direct eBook purchases and downloads.

Bezos has been active in philanthropy, donating $1 billion to The Giving Pledge in 2017. He also founded the spaceflight company Blue Origin in 2000 with the goal of providing low-cost access to space through reusable rockets.


There's no definitive answer to this question, as it largely depends on how you measure wealth. However, depending on which metrics you use, it's safe to say that either Mansa Musa or John D. Rockefeller are the richest people in history. Both men amassed enormous fortunes and had a profound impact on the world during their lifetimes. In the end, though, it's impossible to say definitively who is the richest person in history — but these two men are certainly contenders for the title.

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