Jeff Bezos becomes richest man in modern history, topping US$150b

Jeff Bezos

As it is, Gates has a net worth of a measly $93 billion (£70.8bn) - barely worth getting out of bed for, I'm sure you'll agree.

Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hold spots 3 and 4, respectively - each having a net worth of roughly $83 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

Historically, Bezos still trails other wealthy individuals such as oil magnate John D Rockefeller and steel baron Andrew Carnegie, whose inflation-adjusted net worth would be more than $300 billion. The $100 billion mark that Gates hit briefly in 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom would be worth about $149 billion in today's dollars.

Aliko Dangote, ranking at 105th position, and Mike Adenuga, ranking at 500th position are the billionaires to make the list from Africa. That's about $55 billion (roughly Rs. 3.7 lakh crores) more than Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the world's second-richest person.

According to Forbes, which tracks billionaires' net worth in real time, today's increase in Amazon stock translates to an increase of roughly $1 billion in Jeff Bezos's net worth.

Jeff Bezos's wealth has risen by $US52b this year alone. The company's share price was $1,825.73 in late-morning trading in NY, extending its 2018 gain to 56% and giving Bezos a $150.8bn fortune. Amazon shares slipped below $1,800 in extended trading after Netflix Inc. posted disappointing results, rattling tech investors.

A Federal Reserve report found the top 1% of United States families controlled 38.6% of wealth in the USA in 2016, compared with 22.8% held by the bottom 90%.

The Gates family have pledged to give away most of their vast wealth through the foundation, which aims to improve healthcare and reduce extreme poverty globally.

He's donated nearly 700 million Microsoft shares and US$2.9 billion of cash and other assets since 1996, according to an analysis of his publicly disclosed giving.

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