Last week, I read Elon Musk was trying to pull out of his 40+ billion-dollar deal with Twitter. It made me wonder if he did it for financial reasons and decided to see just how much this South African entrepreneur was worth. Well, it turns out he has a net worth of $237 billion. I guess things are going Ok for him.
The second richest person is Bernard Arnault, whoever he is. Actually, his fortune comes from owning LVMH, a cosmetic empire which owns Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Tiffany & Co and 68 other well-known brands. His net worth is $149 billion.
Next on the list is the fellow who started Amazon, Jeff Bezos. He founded e-commerce giant Amazon, in 1994, out of his garage in Seattle. Last year, he stepped down as CEO to become executive chairperson. Although he is only worth a mere $141 billion, he would have been number two had he not divorced his wife and given her $38 billion.
Then we have the Gates, Bill and Melinda. Unfortunately, this couple is also going through a divorce, which will deeply affect Bill’s pocketbook. After giving Melinda $60 billion, he will only be left with $124 billion. You are probably aware, Bill Gates began Microsoft in 1975. This couple is extremely generous, and after 27 years of marriage, they will continue to co-chair their foundation.
Our fifth richest person is Gautam Adani. You may not have heard of him, but he owns Munda Port, which you also may not have heard of. Munda Port is the largest shipping port in all of India. His annual revenue is $13 billion, so accumulating a net wealth of $105 billion would not have taken long. He recently purchased 74% of India’s second busiest airport, Mumbai International.
Larry Ellison, although only worth $99.9 billion, is on the list because he is so close to the $100 billion mark he may have crossed over as you read this article. Who is he, you ask? Larry is chairperson, chief technology officer and co-founder of software giant Oracle, of which he owns about 35%. He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014, after 37 years at the helm. I guess he wanted some free time to spend his money.
The last person on my list is also shy of the $100 billion mark, but he has to be mentioned. Known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time. Mr. Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.
The son of a U.S. congressional representative, Warren Buffett first bought a stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13. He has promised to donate over 99% of his wealth. So far, he has given more than $45 billion, mostly to the Gates Foundation and his kids’ foundations. In 2010, he and Bill Gates launched the Giving Pledge, asking billionaires to commit to donating at least half of their wealth to charitable causes. Many of them have.
If you are on this list and I have missed your name, I apologize. Send me a note, and I will become your best friend.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.