Who are the 25 Richest People Who Ever Lived ever? We’ve been researching this article for the last week so get ready to have your mind blown by these mega mega billionaires. The 25 Richest People Who Ever Lived on this list are the wealthiest human beings to ever walk the earth. We started off with roughly 50 people then finalized the top 25 after adjusting for inflation to convert the fortunes into 2013 dollars. For example, the annual rate of inflation change between 1913 and 2013 is 2199.6% so $100 million in 1913 would be equal to $2.299.63 billion in 2013 dollars. We also used the most recent price for an ounce of gold which is roughly $1330 as of October 10, 2013.
In addition to some familiar modern names like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, our list features older magnates like Vanderbilt and Carnegie. We also included lesser known billionaires from history that you may have never even heard of before. We guarantee the #1 person on this list will make your jaw drop.
Fun Facts About The Richest People Who Ever Lived:
- These billionaires control a combined $4.317 trillion!
- The richest people ever are all men. Sadly No women cracked the top 25.
- 14 out of the 25 people are Americans.
- Bill Gates is the richest American and the richest person still alive on this list.
- Carlos Slim Helu, the former richest person in the world, did not even crack the top 20.
So sit back, get a drool bucket and click the image below to launch the ultimate gallery of the richest people who ever lived, inflation adjusted.
The 25 Richest People Who Ever Lived
#1: Mansa Musa I – $400 Billion
Mansa Musa I of Mali is the richest human being in history with a personal net worth of $400 billion! Mansa Musa lived from 1280 – 1337 and ruled the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali in West Africa. Mansa Musa’s shocking wealth came from his country’s vast production of more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold. Musa used his wealth to build immense mosques that still stand today, nearly 700 years later. His kingdom and wealth didn’t last much longer after his death. His heirs were not able to fend off civil war and invading conquerors. Just two generations later, his world record net worth was gone.
#2 The Rothschild Family – $350 Billion
The Rothschild family are the richest people on earth today with assets that total at least $350 billion. Their net worth is difficult to peg because their holdings are so vast, but without question they are the most powerful family in the world. Many people believe they control over $1 trillion in real estate and banking assets alone.
#3 John D. Rockefeller – $340 Billion
John D. Rockefeller is the richest American who ever lived. At the time of his death in 1937, Rockefeller was worth the equivalent of $340 billion in today’s dollars. His company Standard Oil dominated American Oil production and was eventually broken up by The US Government for being a monopoly. Standard Oil was broken into smaller companies that you probably recognize today: Amoco, Chevron Conoco, and ExxonMobil. Rockefeller was the first American to ever have a net worth over $1 billion.
#4 Andrew Carnegie – $310 Billion
Andrew Carnegie made his vast fortune when he sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million in 1901. That equates to a peak net worth equivalent to $310 billion in modern dollars. When he sold his company to JP Morgan, Carnegie took home $230 million worth of gold bonds and received a 5% annual coupon to top it off. The bonds sat in a bank in New Jersey which Carnegie never visited. After selling his company, Carnegie retired from business life and dedicated his time to charity. He gave away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime and his final $30 million was donated after his death. Many universities and foundations still bear his name today.
#5 Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov – $300 Billion
Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, also known as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, ruled the Russian empire from 1894 to 1917 when Bolshevik revolutionists overthrew and murdered him and his family. In 1916, Tsar Nicholas II’s net worth was nearly $900 million which is the inflation adjusted equivalent to $300 billion in 2012 dollars. $300 billion makes him the fifth richest person in history and since the Russian Orthodox canonized him, he is the richest saint in human history.
#6 Mir Osman Ali Khan – $230 billion
Mir Osman Ali Khan, also known as The Nizam of Hyderabad, was the ruler of Hyderabad until the country was invaded by neighbor India. Mir Osman Ali Khan had a personal collection of gold that was worth more than $100 million and owned over $400 million worth of jewels including the famous Jacob Diamond which is worth $95 million today. Khan used the diamond as a paperweight in his office. He supposedly owned more than 50 Rolls Royces. Thats what make him among the Richest People Who Ever Lived
#7 William The Conqueror – $229.5 Billion
William The Conqueror lived from 1028-1087 and was most famous for invading and subsequently seizing England in 1066. When you spend a lifetime conquering other kingdoms, you tend to acquire quite a bit of money. In Williams case, when he died he left the equivalent of $229.5 billion to his sons.
#8 Muammar Gaddafi – $200 Billion
After his death in 2011, reports surfaced that Muammar Gaddafi was secretly the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $200 billion. In the months surrounding his death nearly $70 billion in cash was seized in foreign bank accounts and real estate. Muammar Gaddafi’s iron fisted rule over Libya’s oil fields made up the rest of his net worth.