28 August 2014

Richest Man In The World, 2014


We find out who is the Richest Man in the World!

Every year a list of the richest men in the world is published and the top 10 are listed below. It is interesting that the man at the top, Bill Gates, lost his crown to Carlos Slim Helu in 2013 but got it back again in 2014.

But that’s how it goes in business. There is no rivalry between the two of them and they are in fact joining forces to set up a non-profit making philanthropic cause — although the full details have not been released yet. A lot of these billionaires have had to work really hard for their money, as not all of them inherited fortunes from wealthy parents. Let’s look at the top ten richest men, counting down to number one.


10 STEFAN PERSSON

Net worth: $34.4billion
Stefan Persson arriving at an event. Image copyright Prolineserver used under CC license.

Persson, a 66 year-old Swedish business magnate, was always destined to be a billionaire through the family fashion company H&M. His father Erling founded the firm in 1947 and Stefan took over from him as Chief Executive and President in 1982, a role he handed over to his son Karl Johan in 2009. Stefan remains as Chairman and the main shareholder. He also owns a substantial share in the technology company Hexagon AB. He is very interested in fighting drug abuse in young people and he founded non-profit organization the Mentor Foundation to combat this. He also likes to buy English property and he bought an entire Hampshire village plus 2,000 acres of countryside for $40million in 2009. He also owns an 8,500 acre Wiltshire estate where he hosts shooting parties.

9 Jim Walton

Net worth: $34.7billion
Jim Walton and his siter Alice. Pic credit: Walmart CC BY 2.0

Jim Walton is the youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. His brother Rob, sister Alice and brother John’s widow Christy are also all among the world’s top 15 billionaires. If they were put together as one entry, they would be by far the richest family in the world with a combined wealth of $139.9billion. Christy is actually slightly richer than Jim, with a net worth of $36.7billion, which she inherited when his brother John died in 2005. After John passed away, Jim took his brother’s place on the Wal-Mart Board of Directors. He is now on the firm’s planning and finance committees and is CEO of the family-owned Arvest Bank, as well chairman and owner of media firm Community Puublishers Inc. Jim, who lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, is married to wife Lynn and has four children.

8 Sheldon Adelson

Net worth: $38billion
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Pic credit: East Coast Gambler CC BY 2.0

Adelson made his fortune through casinos. He is head of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which runs The Venetian and The Palazzo casinos and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, as well as casinos in Pennsylvania, China and Singapore. Adelson is also the owner of Israel HaYom, an Israeli daily newspaper. He used to be a Democrat, but switched political allegiances to the Republicans — to whom he now gives large sums of money. He has been married twice. He and his first wife Sandra divorced in 1988, and he has been with his second wife Mirian since 1991. He has five children. According to Forbes magazine, Adelson made $32million EVERY DAY in 2013. He is strongly against internet gambling, and has waged war on  the companies behind it.

6/7 Brothers CHARLES KOCH and DAVID KOCH

Net worth: $40billion each
The Koch brothers are controversial and subject to satire. Image copyright by DonkeyHotey and used under CC license.

Charles, 78, and David, 73, inherited multinational Koch Industries from their father Fred C. Koch. Charles is CEO of the company and David is Executive Vice President. Since they took over, the business has expanded to 2,600 times the size it was when they inherited it. Both Charles and David have suffered from prostrate cancer but this has not stopped them running the company hands-on. Koch Industries originally dealt in oil refining but now has expanded to include pollution control equipment and technologies, manufacturing, trading and investments. Charles and David are both Libertarians and David was the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 1980 Presidential election sharing the ticket with Presidential candidate Ed Clark. Both brothers are married and each have three children and contribute to many charitable causes.

5 LARRY ELLISON

Net worth: $48billion
Larry Ellison is head of tech giant Oracle. Image copyright Oracle PR and used under CC license.

Larry Ellison is a self-made billionaire — and he lives life appropriately. He races yachts, owns planes, and in June 2012 he bought his own Hawaiian Island, Lanai, where he plans to host an International Film Festival in 2015. Married and divorced four times, he made his fortune from his Oracle enterprise software company. His father was an Italian American US Airforce pilot but when Larry caught pneumonia at the age of nine months his mother gave him up to her aunt and uncle for adoption. His uncle made money in Chicago real estate but lost it all in the depression so Ellison had to work hard to achieve his success. He moved to California at the age of 22 and began working for the Ampex Corporation. Oracle was the name he gave to one of his projects — a database he built for the CIA.

4 WARREN BUFFET

Net worth: $58.2billion
Warren Buffet is one of the best known billionaires. His investments over the decades have netted him a fortune. Image copyright Aaron Friedman used under CC license.

The Octogenarian American business magnate has been named the most successful investor of the 20th century. He first became interested in making money as a child, going round selling chewing gum, coca cola and weekly magazines door to door.  Whilst at high school he successfully made money delivering newspapers, selling golf balls, stamps and other things he could find to  make him rich. Also at high school he and a friend bought a second-hand pinball machine for $25 and put it in a local barber’s shop. It was so successful that within months they had a range of machines in various barbers’ shops. He worked for a time in his father’s grocery store. But he became a millionaire in 1962 after entering various partnerships which he eventually merged into one,  before taking control of the textile manufacturing firm Berkshire Hathaway which made him a billionaire. Married twice, he has three children and in 1989 he bought a private jet. He has given away 99 per cent of his fortune to philanthropic causes through the Bill Gates Foundation.

3 AMANCIO ORTEGA

Net worth: $64billion
Amancio Ortega, founder and Board Member of Inditex. Image is copyright by Inditex from their press site and used under these terms.

The 77-year-old Spanish fashion executive is another self-made billionaire who was born in poverty to a railway worker and a housemaid. He made his money from founding the Inditex fashion group which produces the Zara range of clothing and accessories. A very private man, he refuses to give interviews and very little is known about his private life. He was married to Rosalia Mera from 1966 to 1986 and they had two children. In 2001 he married Flora Perez and they also have a child. In his very early teens he went to work for a local shirt maker in Corunna, where his father worked, and in 1972 he founded his own company, Confecciones Goa, which sold quilted bathrobes made by local women whom he formed into a sewing cooperative. He opened his first Zara store three years later and he still has lunch with his employees every day in the cafeteria.

2 CARLOS SLIM HELU

Net worth: $72billion
Carlos Slim Helu seen here making a speech. Image copyright by ITU Pictures and used under CC license.

Carlos Slim Helu is a 74 year-old widower from Mexico with six children. Helu is again a self-made billionaire, who was taught everything about business from his Lebanese parents. His father emigrated to Mexico at the age of 14 and ran a dry goods store. At the age of 12 Helu bought shares in a Mexican bank and at the age of 17 he earned 200 pesos working for his father. He has made his money from telecommunications and also owns mining, financial, industrial and real estate companies through his conglomorate Grupo Carso. He is the chairman and chief executive of Telmex and America Movil, the firm which accounts for the vast majority of his wealth. He was married to Soumaya Domit Gemayal for 32 years until her death in 1999. Like Gates, he also gives a lot of money to charity through his organisation Fundacion Carlos Slim. He is notoriously frugal, with his only luxuries being cigars and art. He still lives in the same six-bedroom house which he has owned for 30 years.

1 BILL GATES

Net worth: $76billion
Bill Gates made is fortune through the DOS and later Windows operating systems. Image copyright Mohammad Jangda and used under CC license.

Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is currently the richest man in the world. He is also probably the best-known billionaire on this list. Gates is of different pedigree to Helu, as his grandfather J.W. Maxwell was president of a national bank and his parents were both well-known in the world of business. His father was a prominent lawyer and his mother was on the board of directors of two national companies. Gates went to Harvard and was interested in computing from an early age, so it was no surprise when he founded his own computer company.

After being named one of the United States’ most eligible bachelors, he married Melinda French on New Year’s Day in 1994 and they have two girls and a boy. Gates loves playing tennis, golf and bridge and he and his wife run the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He bought a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci for $30.8million at an auction in 1994 and his own private jet in 1997. But in 2014 he stepped down as chairman of Microsoft to devote more of his time to charitable causes. So despite his immense wealth, he is one of life’s good guys.

MARCH 1, 2014 BY AMANDA WILKINS

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