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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Is Now the Richest Man in the World
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Jeff Bezos. Photo courtesy of QZ.

Summary: For the first time, Jeff Bezos is richer than Microsoft’s Bill Gates. 

Amazon appears to be conquering the world, and now its founder is the richest man on Earth.


Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is now the richest man in the world, surpassing Bill Gates. According to Forbes, he has a fortune over $90 billion, thanks to his pricey Amazon stock. On Wednesday night, Amazon’s share price jumped by over $15/a share, and this increase moved Bezos net worth up by $800 million.

According to NBC News, Jeff Bezos’ net worth before the share hike was $89 billion while Gates’ was 90 billion.

Bezos is the first man to usurp the rich man crown from Gates in seven years, and according to Forbes, he is the sixth man to hold the “richest person” title in the past 30 years.

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Twenty-two years ago, Bezos formed Amazon from his garage, and the company first sold books only online. Flash forward two decades later, and Amazon sells everything from clothing to appliances, and the company owns other properties such as Createspace and Whole Foods. Bezos also owns the Washington Post. 

He and Gates share a similar origin story but a differing philosophy on what to do with their wealth. Like Bezos, Gates took his computer startup and made it into the business juggernaut it is today, but Gates has donated millions of his fortune to philanthropy. Bezos, on the other hand, is “skeptical of philanthropy,” NBC News said.

Bezos owns 17% of Amazon with 79.9 million shares. He has been a billionaire for 20 years. He first appeared on Forbes list in 1998 when he had $1.6 billion after Amazon went public. In 2007, his net worth grew to $4.4 billion, and in 2012, he had $18.4 billion.

Over the past five years, however, Amazon’s value has soared, thanks to its acquisitions of non-book selling companies, its technology such as Amazon Echo, and its branching off into other industries such as Amazon Studios. In the past two years, Bezos’ portfolio has surged by $45 billion, and NBC News said that this hike is “possibly the largest wealth-creation surge in history.”

After today, Bezos may become the richest man ever according to NBC News. At Bill Gates’ highest value, he had $90 billion, but Bezos is on track to one day be in the 12 digits with $100 billion or more. Amazon may become the world’s first trillion-dollar company with its stock said to be valued at $2,000.

According to Forbes, there are 2,043 billionaires in the world, and they have a combined net worth of $7.7 trillion. In 2016, 233 new billionaires joined the elusive club.

Bezos is notoriously press-shy, but he did tell the media after he first became a billionaire that his life hadn’t changed with all the extra money. After all, he is known to still drive an older Honda Accord, despite his wealth.

“Personally, it hasn’t changed at all. The big difference is that we now have $50 million in the bank, which is huge,” Bezos said decades ago.

What do you think of Amazon and Jeff Bezos? Let us know in the comments below.


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