Top 7 Richest People In History You Never Heard
While we all got slightly poorer during this pandemic and some of us even lost their jobs, billionaire Jeff Bezos earned 35 billion dollars and now has a net worth of 180 billion dollars. If that seems unreal to you, then you clearly haven’t heard about the richest people in History.
Bezos might be the richest person today, but if you compare him to the wealthiest people in History, his net worth is peanuts compared to some of them.
7. Andrew Carnegie
Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in History.
Carnegie founded the United States Steel Corporation that still operates today, but back then, it was named Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Steel Company. He started as a telegraph boy, literally from nothing.
But through hard work and an exceptionally sharp mind, he quickly grew in ranks and started building his fortune.
He heavily invested in the railroad, bridges, oil derricks, and so on. At the height of his power, his net worth crossed 300 billion dollars adjusted to inflation, which is almost double the amount of the richest man today. However, he was behind his main rival,
6. John Rockefeller
The wealthiest American of all time. Born into a low-income family and barely made ends meet planned since childhood to become super-rich.
He was disciplined and sharply focused on his goal. During the crude oil revolution, he built a refinery, but he wanted to expand his empire to all over the world.
He started buying other refiners that were struggling financially. He would purchase them, change their business model, and turn them into a profitable business.
He kept doing that for years. In a matter of a few decades, he built a complete monopoly over the industry, where he controlled over 95 percent of the crude oil market.
His net worth, if adjusted to inflation, would be around 400 billion dollars. That’s four times bill gates net worth.
Rockefeller also gained enormous influence over the railroad industry, which transported his oil around the country. Since he was their major client, he could set the price that no other oil refiner could.
Unfortunately for him in 1911, the supreme court ruled that his company Standard Oil is a monopoly and must be broken up into many different companies, to be more precise into 34 separate entities, which included companies that became ExxonMobil, Chevron Corporation, and others—some of which still have the highest level of revenue in the world.
Individual pieces of the company were worth more than the whole, as shares of these doubled and tripled in value in their early years; consequently, Rockefeller became the country’s first billionaire, with a fortune worth nearly 2% of the national economy.
His peak net worth was estimated at US$418 billion. I personally can’t even imagine that kind of wealth, but the next billionaire on this list is even wealthier.
5. Nikolai the second of Russia
As recently as a hundred years, there was still a country called the Russian empire. And the last emperor of Russia was Nikolai the second.
Before the Bolshevik revolution, The Tsar of Russia was considered to be one of the richest people in the world if not in History.
His personal next wroth was around 400 billion dollars, but it was quite difficult to separate his personal net worth from the wealth of the empire since his family the Romanovs have been ruling Russia for over 400 years, and the wealth of the royal family kept increasing for generations to the point where it wasn’t easy to distinguish between what belonged to the states and what’s owned by the royal family.
However, that model of wealth proved to be unsustainable since the country overall was extremely poor, and at some point, they overthrew the Tsar and established a socialist government that we know as the Soviet Union that also didn’t last long.
4. King Akbar the first
At number four, we have King Akbar the first. Akbar was the emperor of the Mughal empire that included current-day India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and a few other neighboring countries.
He was known as the Akbar the great! When you have the title great on your name, you must have accomplished a few things, such as expanding your empire’s limit.
However, his power and influence extended over the entire subcontinent because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance.
To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralized system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy.
We are not sure how much exactly his net worth was, but many historians estimate it to be trillions since the empire was rich and flourishing under his rule, and he was probably the sole owner of the entire empire.
Some went as far as estimating his net worth at 21 trillion dollars, which I think is a bit of exaggeration. Do you still think Jeff Bezos is rich enough?
3. Emperor Shenzong of Song
At number 3 stands Emperor Shenzong of Song The song dynasty ruled china for a few centuries. During the reign of Shenzong, the country was in peace and prosperity.
According to experts, China made 30 percent of global GDP back then, which equaled to 30 trillion dollars in 2019 dollars. It might seem unreasonable to imagine that the emperor owned the entire country, but that was the case during empires.
The emperor was considered pretty much the sole owner of the country. The land, the building, gold, silver, and everything that was on that land belonged in some forms to the emperor of Song.
How can you even separate him from the state when the law says that he can rule the empire till the end of his last days. With 30 trillion dollars net worth, he easily beats up even King Akbar of India.
2. Augustus Caesar Julius
Cesare is one of the most famous historical figures ever. He was so influential that he turned the roman republic turned into an empire.
Julius Ceaser consolidated power, but unfortunately, he couldn’t live long enough to see the fruits of his hard work since he was assassinated in the senate, but his adopted son Augustus took the matters to his hands and continued the path of his father.
He declared himself the first emperor of the Roman Empire and put an end to the republic that lasted almost five centuries. Of course, he also ruled the empire till the end of his days, but his personal fortune equaled 20% of the entire empire’s economy, worth $4.63 trillion.
If we take into account the wealth of the entire empire, he probably would be much wealthier, but with a 4.6 trillion dollar net worth, it easily makes him one of the richest people in History if not the richest if you don’t take into account our next and final hero.
1. Mansa Musa
At number one, we have Mansa Musa. The emperor of Mali. He is often described as the wealthiest person in History because, during Musa’s reign, Mali may have been the largest producer of gold in the world.
Musa was a devout Muslim, and his pilgrimage to Mecca made him well known across northern Africa and the Middle East. His caravan consisted of 60,000 men, all wearing brocade and Persian silk, including 12,000 slaves, who each carried 1.8 kg of gold bars and heralds dressed in silks.
Mansa Musa also had 80 camels traveling with him, which each carried 136 kg of gold. On his way to Mecca, Musa gave the gold to the poor he met along his way in every city that he has crossed from Cairo to Medina. In fact, he built a mosque every Friday.
Imagine traveling to a different city that’s thousands of miles away and building an entire cathedral every week.
People couldn’t even believe that such a wealthy person even exists; they were shocked by what they have witnessed. Some reports say that because of spending and generous donations, he created a massive ten-year gold recession.
Due to the unbelievable supply of gold, he caused hyperinflation in every city he visited. He significantly devalued the currency of that city, which was made out of other metals. Imagine one man having so much power that he caused hyperinflation in countries he has visited due to his lavish spendings.
I mean those billionaires today who buying mega yachts and jets don’t even come close. But no matter how rich they were, they couldn’t even dream of the quality of life you have today.
Mansa Musk didn’t have a smartphone and could enjoy watching YouTube like you are doing now. It took him a few months to travel from Mali to Mecca, but you can travel anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do that. So while they were all super-rich, we are lucky to be living in the first century where the quality is far better.