Who Is the Richest Man in the World? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Who is the richest man in the world? Currently, the richest man in the world is Carlos Slim Helú, a entrepreneur from Mexico, known as "Carlos Slim".  The 70-year-old Slim has a net worth of 53.5 billion US dollars, which was gained largely in Mexico's telecom industry, where he was one of the first to reap the benefits of privatization.  The widowed father of 6 also has a group of construction companies that build roads and other infrastructure.  Helú has stock in a number of other ventures, including newspapers and media outlets, financial organizations and drilling companies.

Who Is the Richest Man in the World?

Until very recently, the title of "Richest Man in the World" belonged to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (William Henry Gates III). Gates current net worth of $53B was largely the result of the growth of Microsoft into world's largest software company.  However, Bill Gates keeps 60 percent of his fortune outside of Microsoft, in various investments.  Gates is married with 3 children and slipped to the number two position largely due to his philanthropy efforts exercised through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Interestingly, Gates dropped out of Harvard to work full-time at the fledgling Microsoft.

Warren Buffet, the billionaire investor, holds the number 3 spot.  Buffet started building his fortune by buying the Berkshire Hathaway textile company in 1965, and used it to leverage investments in numerous other companies.  Shrewd investments made during the 2008 economic downturn have yielded considerable profits.

Who Is the Richest Man in the World?

The richest men in the world are not just from developed countries, as evidenced by both Slim and the men next in the list.  The 4th and 5th spots in the "Richest Man in the World" list belong to Mukesh Ambani ($29B) and Laksmi Mittal ($27B), both of whom are from India.  Ambani, 52, inherited the majority of his wealth, although continues to increase it through investments.  Mittal, who is 59 and lives in London, is in charge of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel manufacturer.

Other notable people in the top 25 of the Richest Men in the World list:

  • Lawrence Ellison, $28B, founder of Oracle.
  • Christy ($22.5B), Jim ($20.7B), Alice ($20.6B) and S. Robson Walton ($19.8B) of WalMart fame.
  • Michael Bloomberg ($18B), founder of Bloomberg financial & current mayor of New York City.
  • Sergey Brin ($17.5B), co-founder of Google

While there are a number of sources for lists that answer the question, "Who is the richest man in the world", Forbes magazine is generally considered to be the authority on the subject.  Forbes spends nearly a year compiling the data and looks only at individuals, not generation-spanning families, such as the Du Pont and Rothschild families.  Their list is composed and released in early March.

We hope this has helped to answer the question, "Who is the Richest Man in the World?"