5 Richest People Who Ever Lived
We all hear talk about the 1% and how the Koch Brothers and Mitt Romney are buying the election, but would it surprise you that when it comes to the world’s wealthiest people - of all time - that these people don’t even make it on the list? As a matter of fact, Bill Gates, who is one of the richest people alive today isn’t found on this list BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY! These people were seriously swimming in dough. The money they accumulated has been put into today’s US Dollars because, let’s face it, a million dollars isn’t what it used to be. See if you would have guessed any of these people. All of these estimates are given by Forbes in 2012. They were the richest people who ever lived.
Ever hear of him? Me either. Supposedly, this guy was a nobleman around the time England became a country. He owned about 250,000 acres of prime English countryside in a little place called London and Yorkshire. Known as Alan the Red, he was worth about $149 billion dollars by today’s standards. He fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, along with another person on our list, and would go on to own many castles in England.
All hail the robber barons of 19th century America. They built fortunes like no others and Cornelius Vanderbilt, known as The Commodore, was one of the richest. Vanderbilt made his fortune in railroads and shipping, but he was also a philanthropist who donated to the founding of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, even though he had never been there! At his richest, Vanderbilt was worth $185 billion - or nearly three times as much as the two Koch brothers combined!
The conqueror of England in 1066, William, also known as William the Bastard, was a Viking Norman who defeated Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. It was a good move for him, because it made him the richest man in the world at the time. He was worth $209 billion after taking over England. Upon his death, he gave each of his sons $100 billion dollars. No one knows what happened to the other $9 billion, although William may have made some bad investments...
If you are from the Pittsburgh area, you know this man’s name. Scottish-born Andrew Carnegie was a steel magnate who created U.S. Steel which was the largest steel manufacturing company in the world in the 19th century. While a shrewd businessman, in later life, Andrew Carnegie became one of America’s greatest philanthropists. He is responsible for Carnegie Hall in New York City. Other contributions include: Carnegie-Mellon University, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. He also donated money to establish public libraries, schools, and other universities throughout the United States, England, and Canada. When he died in 1919, it is estimated that his total wealth was worth $298.3 billion dollars.
This founder of Standard Oil in 1870 (at the age of 31) is the richest man the world has ever seen. At one time, he owned 90% of all oil within the United States. Rockefeller was so rich, he spent the last 40 years of his life living in retirement. He set up the standards for philanthropy, helping to establish the University of Chicago, Rockefeller University, the General Education Board, and Rockefeller Center. At the time of his death, he was worth $663.4 billion dollars. That’s more than all top 10 living billionaires combined!