Ever wondered who are the richest men in history? Where did they hail from? Or what could be the estimation of their wealth in contemporary monetary terms? Here’s a list of 10 of the richest people to ever live and a little bit about their backgrounds. These ‘Richie-Riches’ of all times hailed from different parts of the world. They belonged to different eras, and an estimation of their net wealth has been approximately calculated to make a comparative study.
Mansa Musa: The richest man ever
Hailing from Mali, Mansa Musa was known as the ‘golden king’ in the 14th Century in West Africa. It has been an impossible task to pen down the net worth of Mansa Musa’s wealth by anyone in history. Musa’s kingdoms in West Africa were the highest producers of gold in the 14th Century when gold was in high demand, globally.
There are hardly any records to trace the exact worth of his wealth. His alms and handouts were so generous that it has said to have wreaked havoc in the economy of an entire country. Legends say that he traveled to Mecca with a bandwagon of 60,000 men and 12,000 slaves. He also had hundreds of camels carrying thousand pounds of gold on their backs each. There are pictures of Musa on a gold throne, wearing a gold crown, holding a gold scepter, and a gold cup. There have hardly been any documented accounts of his wealth, but there is a popular and unanimous opinion of historians stating that he was the richest man of all time.
The Roman king Augustus Caesar hailed from the time Before Christ. 20-30% of the global economic output was from his empire alone. One-fifth of his empire’s economy was his wealth which had a valuation of approximately $4.6 trillion in 2019, which makes him one of the richest men in history.
The Chinese emperor from the famous Song dynasty held 25-30% of the global economic output during his reign. The emperor gathered wealth primarily from various technical innovations and skillful tax collection methods. Emperor Shenzong had great control over the economy of his empire, making him the richest man ever.
The Mughal Emperor of India, Akbar-I reigned on an empire that accounted for one-fourth of the world’s economic output during the 15th Century. His lifestyle and personal wealth were more lavish than the lifestyle of an average European society. Akbar also had very skillful tax collection techniques which made him the richest man of all time. noble act than to help the fighting COVID-19 patients with plasma donation? But, at the same time, you can enjoy rewards from donating plasma as well.
He is regarded as one of the wealthiest people of all time. He lived between 1878 and 1953. Joseph Stalin belonged to the previous day USSR or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which is now known as Russia. At one point in time, he had absolute control over the financial scenario of a country accounting for 9.6% of the global GDP.
According to George O. Liber, a professor of history, associated with the University of Alabama, Birmingham, “He had enormous power, and through his power, he could have anything he wanted. He controlled 1/6th of the land surface of the planet without any checks or balances”.
Although, this is not what we are talking about his personal wealth. According to the professor, “I suppose if you want to stretch the definition of wealth, but it was not his wealth. He controlled the wealth of the country”.
He lived between 1835 and 1919. He belonged to the United States of America and had wealth worth $372 billion. Andrew Carnegie is one of the wealthiest historical figures. In the year, 1901 Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant sold U.S Steel, his company to J.P Morgan pocketing as much as $480 million. The value was equal to approximately 2.1% of the GDP of the United States at that point in time. As a result, his “economic power” soared to $372 billion as of 2019.
Aside from being one of the richest man of all time, he is also known as “one of the world’s foremost philanthropists”.
He is a well-known name in the history of America and one of the richest men in history. Cornelius Vanderbilt is known to have built shipping lines and railroads during the 1800s. He founded Vanderbilt University. When his career was at its peak, his wealth reached a whopping $185 billion. Following the Civil War, most of the wealth was accumulated when he continued building railroads and expand his empire.
He was born in the year 1863. He is the founder of the much-acclaimed Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford is a pioneer in revolutionizing manufacturing vehicles. He is known to have sold millions of vehicles as long as he lived. By the period 1940s, he had become to be one of the members of the wealthiest families in history. He breathed his last in 1947. In 2018, his net worth was recorded as $200 billion.
John D. Rockefeller
He lived between 1839 and 1937. His wealth recorded is $341 billion. Having invested in the petroleum industry during the period 1863 through 1880, by 1880, his much-renowned company called Standard Oil exercised 90% control of America’s oil production.
His obituary in the New York Times states that Rockefeller was valued at $1.5 billion. This was on the basis of a federal income tax return that he had filed, thereby assessing an approximate value of his wealth and net worth. As of 2019, his wealth would be at a value of $341 billion. Thus, he’s one of the richest men in history.
He lived during the period between 1162 and 1227. His wealth comprised mainly of plenty of lands. He belonged to the Mongolian Empire. He is known to have controlled the “largest contiguous empire in history”. Genghis Khan led the Mongol Empire that extended from China through Europe.
However, the most surprising aspect of his wealthy title was that he never built anything for himself. He was known for his generous nature. According to Jack Weatherford, who is the author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World, states that all his wealth was for the needy, and it was his instruction/order that none of his army members were allowed to enjoy “personal loot”.
Remember, we have talked about the richest people to ever live. However, it may be mentioned here that not all of them had the largest net worth ever. While the socio-economic and political scenarios evolve constantly, these factors do influence the economic condition and stability of people.
The list mentioned here is a glimpse of the richest historical figures and the richest people ever. Over the years, the wealth of these people has changed. While some did maintain their ranks at all times, few lost theirs with time. However, the order of the names does not indicate recent times. In fact, it is a pot-pouri or a melange of wealthiest people in history belonging to the yesteryears and also modern times.