It’s always a great fascination to know about people who have created fortunes of wealth and become rich throughout the history of our mankind especially if they’re the 10 richest people that ever lived. In the modern context, there are many billionaires such as
The ancient rulers acquired wealth through inheritance, invasion or building their own empires.Alexander the Great, King Solomon, Genghis Khan along with other Roman emperors and Pharaohs had made huge fortunes in the past and it’s indeed hard to associate them with a dollar figure.
Read on to about the richest people that ever lived on earth and how they became so rich.
10. Alan Rufus (Net worth-$ 155 billion)
Alan Rufus was a military companion of William the Conqueror and also his relative who served him at the time of Norman conquest of England. He owned some properties in Rouen, the capital of Normandy and became the 1st Lord of Richmond. In 1066, he also acquired many properties along Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, and Norfolk in England and also many of the land titles that belonged to King Harold’s wife, Edith the Fair.
He received land as a reward in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and after the fall of Ralph de Gael in 1075, he obtained a considerable amount of land along East Anglia. Later, he went on to become the Earl of Richmond and constructed the Richmond Castle. Due to his huge land holdings over the years, he made a huge fortune and by 1086, he was known to one of the wealthiest and powerful man in England.
9. Henry Ford (Net Worth-$188 billion)
Henry Ford was born on 30th July 1863 and was the founder of the Ford Motor company. His passion for automobiles encouraged him to come up with the idea of developing the first vehicle, which was affordable to the American middle-class families. Although he was not the inventor of the vehicle, but he was involved in the process of its manufacture and development. He designed the Model T by installing a mechanized assembly line to make production faster and economical, which created a new revolution in the American automobile industry.
This model became so popular that the demand was greater than the production and from 1908 to 1927, almost 15 million cars were being built. Ford was an ordinary man who cared for social welfare and believed in sharing his wealth with others. It is because of the popularity of Model T that he went on to become rich and famous in the history.
8. Mir Osman Ali Khan (Net Worth-$230 billion)
Osman Ali Khan Bahadur was the last ruler of the State of Hyderabad in India and Berar. During his times, he was known to be one of the richest man in the world with a fortune of $2 billion in 1940’s, which is worth much more today. He became the Nizam of Hyderabad after the death of his father and ruled for almost 37 years from 1911 to 1948. He also built the Hyderabad House which is located in Delhi-capital of India which is used for holding diplomatic meetings by the Government.
In the 19th century, Hyderabad was the biggest exporter of diamonds for the other global countries across the world and Osman Ali Khan became rich through mining royalties earned through family inheritance. It is believed that his gold collection was equivalent to over $100 million and the jewels were estimated to be around $ $400 million. He also gifted diamond jewels which included a tiara and a necklace to Princess Elizabeth at the time of her wedding and popularly known as the “Nizam of Hyderabad” necklace.
7. Jakob Fugger (Net Worth-$277 billion)
Jakob Fugger was a leading merchant, banker and mining businessman who had established his business presence in Europe. He was known to be among the richest citizens and his influence was also seen in the royal circles that changed the history of the country even after his death. His family was already a well-recognized name even before his birth in Augsburg, Bavaria and he mainly grew his riches by establishing his textile and import business in Venice, Italy. He started mining business for extraction of copper and silver and had a monopoly in the European copper market for a long time. He made a lot of profits and amassed wealth from the mining business and provided loans to the King of Hungary and Habsburgs.
6. Andrew Carnegie (Net Worth-$ 372 billion)
Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 in Scotland and went on to become the most powerful and influential industrialist by making a foray into the steel business in the late 19th century. Although he belonged to a poor family, he started off as a telegrapher in the 1860’s and slowly made investments in railroads, oil, bridges and collected more money as a bond salesman for a US enterprise. His real source of wealth was created by building a steel empire in the late 1880’s, which went on to become the world’s biggest manufacturer of steel rails, pig iron and coke. In 1901, he came up with the Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburg which he managed to sell to J.P. Morgan for $480 million.
5. John D Rockefeller (Net Wroth-$374 billion)
John D Rockefeller was an American industrialist and philanthropist who was the co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, which was the biggest in the oil industry in those times. Along with some of the contemporaries of his times, he revolutionized the petroleum and energy industry. He was also known to be the richest American-born businessman who had a net worth which was over $1 billion.
Rockefeller was not born in a rich family and made a humble beginning as a wholesale grocer. He grew his own business by taking shrewd business decisions and as the demand for kerosene and gasoline grew in the market, the Standard Oil Company almost had 90% of the market in the United States.
In 1911, the US Supreme Court declared this company to be a monopoly and wanted it to be divided into 34 independent companies with a separate board of directors. Although Rockefeller had retired from the company at that time, he held a large percentage of the company’s shares and he became richer in the whole process. The Rockefeller family is known among the big names that made the biggest fortunes in the 19th and the 20th centuries with its oil business. They were also known for making a huge investment in real estate projects across the United States during the 20th century. A combination of his assets and shares he owned in many companies made him one of the richest people that ever lived.
4. Mansa Musa (Net Worth-$400 billion)
Mansa Musa or Musa I was the Emperor of the Mali rich empire in West Africa and he had amassed a huge fortune of $400 billion. It seems that he had many titles including Conqueror of Ghanata, Emir of Melle among many others. During his rule, he managed to conquer around 24 cities along with their districts that comprised of many villages and estates. Musa was one of the richest people that ever lived on earth and he accumulated wealth with the production of salt and gold that comprises of more than 50% of the world’s supply.
Mansa Musa is also renowned for his extravagant spending that he did for his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, that included 100 camels, plenty of gold which weighed around 300 pounds with 500 slaves and each of them carried a staff of gold that weighed about 6 pounds. His caravan comprised of 60,000 people who were dressed in Persian and brocade silk.
3. Nathan Mayer Rothschild (Net Worth-$450 billion)
Nathan Mayer Rothschild was one among the five sons of the wealthy Rothschild family and belonged to the second generation. He was a shrewd businessman, financier and also a banker by profession. Nathan Mayer Rothschild started off his career as a textile merchant and from 1804 onwards, he started working with the London Stock Exchange and began his dealings with various financial instruments. In 1809, he started trading in gold bullion and expanded his business. Apart from the family wealth that he had acquired, he made fortunes by using his knowledge of speculative trading on the stock exchanges.
2. Marcus Licinius Crassus (Net worth-$2 trillion)
Marcus Licinius Crassus was a powerful politician and also the Roman General who played a significant role in building the Roman Empire. He started off his career as a military commander during the civil war and he made a lot of wealth by following Sulla’s style of dictatorship through speculative real estate dealings, slave trafficking and production from silver mines. He was known for making real estate purchases of homes that could be destroyed by fires at relatively low prices. Marcus would use his slavemen to put off the fire before it could cause maximum damage to the properties or even re-build them. During his lifetime, he acquired enormous fortune and became one of the richest men in the history.
1. Augustus Caesar (Net worth-$ 4.6 trillion)
Caesar Augustus or Octavian became the first Roman Emperor and ruled the Roman Empire from 27 BC until AD 14 and is number one on our list of the 10 richest people that ever lived. He took over the empire after his great-uncle Julius Caesar was killed in 44 BC. Augustus was born as Gaius Octavius and belonged to a rich and wealthy Octavia family and Julius Caesar named him as his adopted son in his will and a heir to the throne. Apparently, this decision taken by Julius Caesar made Augustus the richest man in the world. Augustus Caesar was responsible for making Rome one of the greatest empires in the world at that time.