There are 2,755 billionaires across the globe, with a total net worth of about $13.1 trillion as of 2021. The top ten richest people in the world own $1,153 billion, or roughly 8.8% of the total, which is incredible considering they make up 0.36 percent of billionaires. The following ten people are now considered as the wealthiest according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires List at the time of updating this article—October 2021.
List of the current top 10 richest people in the world (2021)
Elon Musk – $318.4 B
Jeff Bezos – $203.4 B
Bernard Arnault & Family – $197.6 B
Bill Gates – $138.4 B
Larry Ellison – $130.6 B
Larry Page – $126.9 B
Sergey Brin – $122.2 B
Mark Zuckerberg – $122.0 B
Warren Buffett – $104.6.0
Mukesh Ambani – $95.6 B
Read more information about the top 10 richest people in the world below.
NAME: Elon Musk
NET WORTH: $318.4 B
SOURCE: Tesla, SpaceX
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Elon Musk Biography
Elon Musk, the flamboyant co-founder of PayPal (PYPL) and Tesla (TSLA), as well as SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, is a visionary entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Tesla as well as the CEO and lead designer of SpaceX. He was born June 28, 1971.
He had a huge interest for technology and business from an early age. He created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine at the age of 12. In 1988, Musk left South Africa after obtaining a Canadian passport because he did not want to support apartheid via compulsory military duty and wanted to pursue greater economic opportunities in the United States.
PayPal and SpaceX
Musk began his schooling at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, before going to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1992 to receive bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics. He enrolled at Stanford University in California to physics, but dropped out after just two days, believing that the Internet had far greater potential to revolutionise society than physics. In 1995, he launched Zip2, a startup that combines online newspapers with maps and business directories.
After Zip2 was purchased by computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million in 1999, Musk launched X.com, which subsequently became PayPal, an online financial services firm that specialised in online money transfers. PayPal was purchased for $1.5 billion in 2002 by the online auction site eBay.
Musk has long believed that mankind must evolve into a multiplanet species in order to survive. He was, however, concerned with the high cost of rocket launchers. He created Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) in 2002 with the goal of making more economical rockets. The company’s first two rockets, the Falcon 1 (launched in 2006) and the Falcon 9 (launched in 2010), were both planned to be much less expensive than rival rockets. The Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018) was meant to transport 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, about twice as much as the Boeing Company’s Delta IV Heavy, but at a third of the cost. According to report from SpaceX, the Super Heavy–Starship system will be the successor to the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.
The Starship, a spacecraft designed to transport people and freight between cities on Earth while simultaneously building bases on the Moon and Mars, would be the payload. SpaceX also designed the Dragon spacecraft, which transfers supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon can transport up to seven passengers and will take astronauts Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken to the International Space Station in 2020. Musk hoped to reduce the cost of space travel by building a completely reusable rocket that could launch and land on the same launch pad.
SpaceX’s Grasshopper rocket completed numerous brief flights to test such technology beginning in 2012. Musk was not only the CEO of SpaceX, but he was also the principal designer of the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Grasshopper.
Musk has long been fascinated by electric cars’ possibilities, and in 2004 he invested in Tesla Motors (later renamed Tesla), an electric vehicle startup created by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The Roadster, Tesla’s first automobile, debuted in 2006 and had a range of 245 miles (394 kilometres) on a single charge. It was a sports car that could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than four seconds, in contrast to most previous electric vehicles, which Musk considered stodgy and unappealing. In its first public funding in 2010, the firm raised $226 million. Tesla released the Model S sedan two years later, which received critical acclaim for its performance and design. The Model X premium SUV, which debuted in 2015, earned the brand even more accolades. In 2017, manufacture of the Model 3, a less priced car, began.
Musk has shown concerns about Tesla’s public listing, tweeting in August 2018 that he has “got cash” to take the company private. Musk was sued for securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the following month, claiming that his tweets were “false and deceptive.” Shortly after, Tesla’s board of directors rejected the SEC’s proposed settlement, ostensibly because Musk had threatened to resign. Tesla’s stock, on the other hand, dropped as a result of the news, and a harder deal was subsequently reached. Musk was forced to resign as chairman for three years, but he was allowed to maintain his job as CEO.
Dissatisfied with the estimated cost of a high-speed rail system in California ($68 billion), Musk proposed the Hyperloop in 2013, a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel about 350 miles (560 kilometres) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 kilometres per hour, nearly the speed of sound. Musk said that the Hyperloop will cost under $6 billion and that the system could accommodate the six million passengers that travel that route each year, with pods departing every two minutes on average. However, he indicated that he could not commit time to the Hyperloop’s development due to his responsibilities as CEO of SpaceX and Tesla.
NAME: Jeff Bezos
NET WORTH: $203.0 B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Jeff Bezos Biography
Jeff Bezos whose real name Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. He is a prominent American entrepreneur who founded and served as CEO of Amazon.com, Inc., an online retailer of books and later of a wide range of items. Under his leadership, Amazon grew to become the largest retailer on the Internet and the paradigm for Internet sales.
Jeff Bezos Early life and Career
Bezos founded the Dream Institute while still in high school, a centre that encouraged young pupils to think creatively. After he graduated with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1986, Bezos did numerous jobs until he joined the New York investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co. in 1990. Bezos, who happens to be the firm’s youngest senior vice president, was put in charge of researching the investment potential of the Internet. Its immense potential—Web usage was increasing at a rate of more than 2,000 percent each year—sparked his entrepreneurial imagination. He left D.E. Shaw in 1994 to open a virtual bookstore in Seattle, Washington. Bezos began building the site’s software in his garage with a small team of employees. Amazon, named after a South American river, sold its first book in July 1995.
Amazon soon rose to prominence as the undisputed leader in e-commerce. The site, which was open 24 hours a day, was user-friendly, encouraging visitors to write their own book reviews and giving discounts, personalised suggestions, and searches for out-of-print books. It began selling CDs in June 1998, and later that year, it added videos. Bezos expanded the site’s functionality by adding auctions and investing in other virtual businesses in 1999. Amazon’s success inspired other merchants, including large book chains, to open online storefronts.
As other firms competed for Internet money, Bezos realised the need to diversify, and by 2005, Amazon provided a diverse range of items such as consumer electronics, clothes, and hardware. Amazon broadened its offerings even further in 2006, when it launched Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud-computing business that grew to become the world’s largest. In late 2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle, a digital book reader with wireless Internet access that allows consumers to purchase, download, read, and save a large variety of books on demand. In 2010, Amazon reported that Kindle book sales had exceeded hardcover book sales.
That same year, Amazon launched its Amazon Studios subsidiary, which produces its own television series and films. Amazon’s annual net sales grew from $510,000 in 1995 to over $600 million in 1998, and from more than $19.1 billion in 2008 to nearly $233 billion in 2018. AWS accounted for almost half of the company’s operational profits in 2018. Two years later, Amazon reported record earnings, and its revenue topped $100 billion for the first time in the fourth quarter of that year. The exceptional figures were driven, in part, by an increase in house purchasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bezos stated in February 2021 that he will step down as CEO later that year.
Aside from Amazon, Jeff Bezos in year 2000, created Blue Origin, a spaceflight business. Later on, Blue Origin purchased a launch site in Texas, with plans to launch a crewed suborbital spacecraft, New Shepard, in 2018 and an orbital launch vehicle, New Glenn. Jeff Bezos in 2013 paid $250 million for The Washington Post and its sister newspapers. Bezos’ net worth was estimated to be $112 billion in 2018, making him the world’s richest person.
Jeff Bezos Personal life
In 1993, Jeff Bezos married Mackenzie Tuttle. They met for the first time at D.E. Shaw. The couple divorced in January 2019, and the next day, the National Enquirer published a report suggesting that Bezos was having an affair with another woman. Bezos then launched an inquiry into how the tabloid obtained his private text messages. Then, Jeff Bezos wrote a lengthy piece in February, which he accused officials at American Media Inc. (AMI), the Enquirer’s parent company, of “bribery and extortion.” Bezos alleged that they threatened to reveal his nude photographs if he did not stop his investigation, among several demands.
NAME: Bernard Arnault & Family
NET WORTH: $197.6 B
Bernard Arnault Biography
Bernard Arnault was born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France. He is a French businessman and the chairman and CEO of LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury goods company.
Arnault earned his engineering degree from the École Polytechnique in Paris. He took over his father’s construction company, Ferret-Savinel, in 1971. He renamed the firm Férinel Inc. and moved its concentration to real estate eight years later.
Arnault and Antoine Bernheim, a managing partner of the French bank Lazard Frères and Co., financed the $80 million needed to buy Boussac Saint-Frères, a bankrupt textile firm that held the Christian Dior design brand, plus $15 million of his own money.
Henri Racamier, the company’s chairman, urged Arnault to invest in LVMH in 1987. In 1990, Arnault ousted Racamier and began bringing a slew of fashion brands into the LVMH fold, including jeweller Fred Joailler; the DFS group (the world’s largest duty-free chain); Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, and Kenzo; leather goods brands Loewe, Céline, and Berluti; and the beauty retailer Sephora, through a joint venture with Guinness PLC.
In 1995, Arnault was credited with revitalising French couture by choosing British fashion designer John Galliano to take over the legendary Hubert de Givenchy’s Paris fashion company. A year later, the “Pope of Fashion,” as Arnault was called by Women’s Wear Daily, transferred Galliano to Christian Dior and replaced him at Givenchy with the brazen British designer Alexander McQueen. Arnault then appointed Marc Jacobs, a young American designer, as creative director of Louis Vuitton, a premium leather goods company, and LVMH bought a controlling share in Jacobs’s eponymous line the same year.
Despite the fact that all three designers subsequently departed their jobs, by the early twenty-first century, Arnault’s fashion foresight had reignited interest in these historic fashion businesses.
NAME: Bill Gates
NET WORTH: $138.4B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
William Henry Gates III was born October 28, 1955. He is a business mogul, software developer, author, philanthropist, and investor from the United States of America (USA). He is the co-founder of Microsoft.
Bill Gates built his first software programme when he was 13 years old. In high school, he co-founded Traf-O-Data, a company that provided traffic-counting systems to municipalities, with a group of programmers who automated their school’s payroll system. While still a Harvard student, Gates collaborated with a friend from his hometown, Paul G. Allen, to develop software for the first microcomputers in 1975.
They started by porting BASIC, a popular programming language for big computers, to microcomputers. With the success of this effort, Gates left Harvard during his junior year and co-founded Microsoft with Allen. When Microsoft leased an operating system called MS-DOS to International Business Machines Corporation, the world’s largest computer supplier and industry pacesetter at the time, for use on its first microcomputer, the IBM PC, Gates’ power over the nascent microcomputer industry grew significantly.
Following the machine’s release in 1981, IBM quickly established themselves as the technological standard for the PC industry, and MS-DOS pushed out competing operating systems. While Microsoft’s independence damaged IBM’s relationship, Gates effectively manoeuvred the larger firm into relying on him for crucial software. Microsoft’s essential software was also used by makers of IBM-compatible PCs, or clones. He had ascended to the position of ultimate kingmaker in the PC industry by the early 1990s.
As Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder, Gates amassed a vast paper fortune, owing largely to the company’s success.
Bill Gate became a paper billionaire in 1986, and within a decade, his net worth had risen into billions of dollars, making him the world’s richest private individual, according to some estimates. Because he had few interests outside than software and the potential of information technology, Gates initially opted to stay out of the spotlight, addressing civic and humanitarian concerns indirectly through one of his organisations. With reluctance, Gates became a more prominent presence as Microsoft’s strength and reputation increased, especially when the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division became interested.
Rivals (especially in rival Silicon Valley firms) characterised him as ambitious, deceitful, and motivated to profit from nearly every electronic transaction in the globe. His fans, on the other side, lauded his remarkable commercial acumen, adaptability, and insatiable need to develop new methods to make computers and gadgets more useful through software. All of these characteristics may be seen in Gates’ quick response to the rising public interest in the Internet.
Beginning in 1995 and 1996, Gates worked feverishly to refocus Microsoft on the development of consumer and enterprise software solutions for the Internet, creating the Windows CE operating system platform for networking noncomputer devices such as home televisions and personal digital assistants, launching the Microsoft Network to compete with America Online and other Internet providers, and acquiring the massive Bettmann photo archives and other assets through Gates’ company Corbis.
Gates was well-known for his humanitarian activity in addition to his job at Microsoft. He founded the William H. Gates Foundation (later renamed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) in 1994 with his then-wife, Melinda, to finance worldwide health programmes as well as projects in the Pacific Northwest. The couple also supported North American libraries through the Gates Library Foundation (which was renamed the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999) and generated funds for minority study fellowships through the Gates Millennium Scholars programme in the late 1990s.
In June 2006, Warren Buffett promised a continuous donation to the foundation, allowing the foundation’s assets to reach $60 billion over the next 20 years. At the start of the twenty-first century, the foundation’s focus remains on global health and development, as well as community and education problems in the United States. After a brief transition phase, Gates resigned day-to-day leadership of Microsoft in June 2008, while remaining chairman of the board, to devote more time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In February 2014, he stepped down as chairman, however he remained on the board until 2020. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during this time (2016). In 2019, the documentary series Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates launched. Two years later, Gates and his wife divorced.
It remains to be seen if Gates’ extraordinary success guarantees him a place in the pantheon of great Americans. Historians are likely to see him as a business mogul on par with John D. Rockefeller in terms of importance to computers. “Success is a poor teacher,” Gates said in his best-selling book The Road Ahead, published in 1995. It persuades intelligent individuals that they cannot lose.”
NAME: Larry Ellison
NET WORTH: $130.6 B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Larry Ellison whose full name is Lawrence Joseph Ellison, was born on August 17, 1944, in New York City. He is a prominent American businessman and entrepreneur who founded and led the software company Oracle Corporation from 1977 to 2014.
Florence Spellman, his mother, was a 19-year-old single mother. Due to sickness, she moved him to Chicago, where he was adopted by her aunt and uncle, Lillian and Louis Ellison, at the age of nine months.
In 1977, Larry Ellison alongside Bob Miner, and Ed Oates are the founders of Oracle Corporation (1977), under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL). In few years, Oracle became popular worldwide.
The firm, renamed Oracle Systems Corporation (later Oracle Corporation) in 1982 after its flagship product, developed significantly during the 1980s until becoming public in 1986. Oracle surpassed IBM to become the world’s largest database management business in 1987. However, an internal audit done in response to a shareholder complaint in 1990 revealed that Oracle had inflated its profitability, causing the company’s price to plummet substantially. Oracle’s management was reformed by Ellison, and by the end of 1992, the business had restored to financial health.
In the mid-1990s, Ellison recognised an opportunity to compete with Microsoft Corporation by creating the Network Computer (NC), a low-cost alternative to the desktop personal computer (PC). The NC was not as well-equipped as a typical PC, and it relied on computer servers for data and applications in an early version of what would eventually be known as cloud computing. However, as PC costs continued to plummet and the NC’s development was delayed, PCs running the Microsoft Windows operating system continued to dominate corporate customers’ desktops. Later, Ellison confessed that the NC was technologically immature.
Ellison had greater success with his early use of the Internet. Oracle created products that were compatible with World Wide Web technology, allowing the corporation to expand. In the early 2000s, Ellison launched Oracle on an aggressive acquisition spree of competing software businesses. There were many of acquisitions, including multibillion-dollar deals for PeopleSoft (2005), Siebel (2006), BEA (2008), and Sun Microsystems (2010).
Ellison was one of Silicon Valley’s most polarising individuals, praised for his enormous success yet reviled for his often harsh business practises and excessive expenditures. He was an ardent sailor who helped establish a team that won the coveted America’s Cup in 2010. In 2010 Larry Ellison bought 98 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai. That year, his personal wealth was believed to be worth almost $40 billion, making him the sixth richest person worldwide and the third wealthiest American (after Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett).
In September 2014, Larry Ellison stepped down as CEO of Oracle. He however, stayed connected with the company as executive chairman and chief technology officer.
NAME: Larry Page
NET WORTH: $126.9 B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Larry Page Biography
Larry Page is a well-known American entrepreneur and computer scientist who co-founded Google Inc. with Sergey Brin, the search engine behemoth that provides a wide range of online products and services. On March 26, 1973, he was born.
Larry Page Early Life
Page, whose father was a computer science professor at Michigan State University, earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan in 1995 and went on to Stanford for his PhD, where he met Brin. Their curiosity was aroused by the idea of enhancing the ability to extract meaning from huge volumes of data acquired on the Internet. Working out of Page’s dorm room, they devised a new type of search engine technology that depended on Web users’ own rating skills by measuring each site’s “backing links,” or the number of other sites linked to it.
Page and Brin raised about $1 million from investors, relatives, and friends to construct their search engine. Google was the name given to their bigger search engine, which was derived from the typographical error googol (a mathematical term for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros). By September 1998, the two had established Google Inc., with Page serving as CEO. Google acquired a $25 million venture capital investment the next year and was handling 500,000 requests each day.
In 2001, Page stepped down as CEO to become the company’s president of products. Eric Schmidt, a technology executive, took over as CEO. He and Brin, on the other hand, remained deeply involved in the management of Google. The search engine was used 200 million times per day by 2004. Page received more than $3.8 billion from Google Inc.’s first public funding on August 19, 2004. Google bought YouTube, the most popular Web site for user-submitted streaming videos, for $1.65 billion in shares in 2006, underscoring the company’s aspirations to expand its offerings beyond Internet searches. Schmidt had been promoted to executive chairman, therefore Page returned to his role as Google’s CEO in 2011. Google was reorganised as a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., a newly established holding corporation, in August 2015, and Page was appointed Alphabet’s CEO. In December 2019, Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, while he remained on the board of directors.
NAME: Sergey Brin
NET WORTH: $122.2 B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Sergey Brin is a prominent American computer scientist and entrepreneur, born on August 21, 1973 in Moscow, Russia. He co-founded Google alongside Larry Page, which happens to be one of the most successful websites on the Internet.
In 1979, Brin’s family immigrated to the United States from Moscow, Russia. After graduating from the University of Maryland with degrees in computer science and mathematics in 1993, he enrolled in Stanford University’s doctoral programme, where he met Page, a fellow student. The concept of improving the capacity to extract meaning from the massive amount of data growing on the Internet piqued their interest.
They began developing a new form of search technology from Page’s dorm room, using Web users’ own ranking abilities by measuring each site’s “backing links”—that is, the amount of other pages connected to them. Brin earned a master’s degree in 1995, but he took a leave of absence from Stanford’s doctoral programme to work on the search engine. Brin and Page began getting outside funding in mid-1998, and they eventually raised around $1 million from investors as well as family and friends.
They named their modified search engine Google, which happens to be a typo of the original planned name, googol (a mathematical word for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros)—and founded Google Inc. Brin was appointed president of technology at Google, and by mid-1999, when the search engine got $25 million in venture capital investment, it was processing 500,000 inquiries per day. In 2001, Page was succeeded as CEO of Google by technology executive Eric Schmidt. Google, on the other hand, was effectively headed by the three of Brin, Page, and Schmidt. By 2004, people were visiting the site 200 million times each day (roughly 138,000 queries per minute).
Brin received more than $3.8 billion in the first public offering (IPO) of Google Inc. on August 19, 2004.
Google paid $1.65 billion in equity to purchase YouTube, the Web’s most popular site for user-submitted streaming videos, in 2006. The change reflected the company’s efforts to broaden its offerings beyond Internet searches. That same year, Google was chastised for agreeing to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship rules, such as censoring Web sites advocating democracy or documenting the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Brin backed the action, claiming that Google’s capacity to provide some, if limited, information was preferable than providing none. Brin stepped down as president of technology in April 2011 to become director of special projects. In August 2015, Google was reformed to become a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., a newly formed holding company led by Brin. He departed the position in December 2019, but remained on Alphabet’s board of directors.
NAME: Mark Zuckerberg
NET WORTH: $122.0 B
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Mark Zuckerberg Biography
Mark Zuckerberg, whose full name is Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is an American computer programmer, the cofounder and CEO of Facebook, one of the most popular social networking websites. On May 14, 1984, he was born in White Plains, New York.
Zuckerberg in 2002 enrolled at Harvard University after graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy. He started thefacebook.com (later called Facebook) on February 4, 2004, a directory where his fellow Harvard students could upload their own information and pictures into a template he had created. About half of the students had joined up within two weeks. Zuckerberg’s roommates, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes assisted him in adding more features and making the site available to other schools around the country.
As registered users were able to create profiles, publish photographs and other content, and contact with friends, Facebook quickly expanded in popularity. It stood apart from other social networking sites, however, by emphasising actual identities (and e-mail addresses), as well as “trusted relationships.” It also emphasised networking, with information being distributed not only to each individual’s network of friends, but also to friends of friends—a concept Zuckerberg dubbed the “social graph.”
The trio moved to Palo Alto, California, in the summer of 2004, when Zuckerberg convinced venture capitalist Peter Thiel to supply them with early investment.
Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard so as to channel all his energy and time on the company, which he later became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and president of. Facebook got its first significant influx of venture financing ($12.7 million) in May 2005. Four months later, Facebook allowed high-school kids to sign up. Foreign schools and institutions began to sign up as well, and by September 2006, anybody with an e-mail address could join a regional network based on their location.
Around that time, Zuckerberg turned down a $1 billion buyout offer from Yahoo!, but Microsoft in 2007 paid a whopping $240 million for a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook, and two years later, Facebook was also paid $200 million by Digital Sky Technologies for a 1.96 percent stake in company. In 2008, Zuckerberg’s new net worth was estimated to be over $1.5 billion. In 2012, Zuckerberg’s net worth was estimated to be over than $19 billion after Facebook’s first public funding of stock.
NAME: Warren Buffett
NET WORTH: $104.6 B
SOURCE: Berkshire Hathaway
COUNTRY/TERRITORY: United States
Warren Buffett whose full name is Warren Edward Buffett, is a prominent American businessman and philanthropist. He is regarded as the most successful investor of the twentieth century, defying financial trends to accumulate a personal fortune of over $60 billion. On August 30, 1930, he was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
NAME: Mukesh Ambani
NET WORTH: $95.6 B
Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is a prominent Indian business tycoon, who is the chairman, managing director, and major shareholder of Reliance Industries LTD. (RIL), a Fortune Global 500 corporation and India’s most valuable firm by market value. He was born April 19, 1957.