There's rich and then there's Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos rich. The two billionaires are currently neck-and-neck for the title of "world's richest man." Microsoft founder Gates, who previously held the title, was briefly surpassed by Amazon CEO Bezos when the latter's fortune topped $90 billion on Thursday, July 27. However, by the time the markets closed, Gates was back in the number one spot. Gates ended the day with an $89.8 billion fortune to Bezos' $88.7 billion. Close call! While Bezos may have to settle for second place for now, analysts predict that he will once again beat out Gates. Amazon’s market cap, which is the total value of all its shares, broke the $500 billion mark recently. Only a few companies have surpassed this benchmark, including Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple. Since Bezos owns 17 percent of Amazon's stock, his personal wealth is largely dependent on the company's ongoing success. One reason Bezos' was able to eclipse Gates in the first place is because of the large amounts of his wealth that Gates has donated to charity. Through the end of 2016, Gates has given away $31.1 billion to philanthropic causes, while Forbes estimates that Bezos had given approximately $100 million to charity through the end of 2015. Gates has dominated the field, laying claim to the title of world's richest man for 18 of the past 23 years. The only exceptions were a Mexican tycoon, who held the prestigious title from 2010 and 2012, and Warren Buffet, who was the richest in 2008. While Bezos and Gates are the top of the tops when it comes to personal wealth, the number of billionaires worldwide is growing. In 1987, according to Forbes, there were 140 billionaires with a combined net worth of $295 million. Today, the number of billionaires is over 2,000, with a combined net worth of $7.7 trillion. And the vast majority of those uber-rich are men. As of 2016, women made up just 11% of the world's richest billionaires.
Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 13:51:22-04