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The Five Richest Men in the World Image

The Five Richest Men in the World

January 09, 2019

The world's richest people have a phenomenal amount of wealth — and many of them are self-made billionaires, who have made their fortune from an original idea that they turned into a business empire. Read on to find out the identity of the five richest men in the world, as compiled by Forbes.

1. Bill Gates

Topping the list at the end of 2017, Bill Gates was the founder of software giant Microsoft. With an estimated net worth of $86 billion, Gates made his fortune after expanding a business idea with his childhood friend, Paul Allen, whom he met in 1967 - when the pair were aged 12 and 14 years respectively. The computer experts launched their own software company in 1975. Gates dropped out of Harvard University to work on his company, Microsoft. This has turned out to be the best decision he ever made. Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 but Gates, now aged 62, has gone on to become the world's richest man.

2. Warren Buffett

With an estimated net worth of $75.6 billion, 87-year-old Buffett has made his fortune through being chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The Nebraska-based conglomerate holding company owns international brands such as Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds and Dairy Queen and has significant holdings in Wells Fargo, the Coca-Cola Company, IBM and American Express. Buffett became interested in business and investing as a teenager and, after graduating from Columbia University, he formed various business partnerships, eventually becoming chairman of Berkshire Hathaway in 1970.

3. Jeff Bezos

The CEO of Amazon has an estimated net worth of $72.8 billion. Bezos twice became the world's richest man in 2017 (first on 27th July and again on 27th October) thanks to Amazon's share prices rising. When they rose in July, Bezos' worth hit $90.6 billion and he became the first person to have a net worth of $90 billion. However, he was dethroned again when prices dipped. Now aged 53, the American technology and retail entrepreneur founded Amazon in 1994, taking a gamble by leaving his well-paid job working for a New York hedge fund after putting his faith in the rapid growth of internet use.

4. Amancio Ortega

The 81-year-old Spanish business magnate has a net worth of $71.3 billion. He is the founder of the retail group, Inditex, famous for its global chain of Zara clothing and accessories shops. Ortega, the richest retailer in the world, left school at 14 and moved to A Coruña due to his father's job as a railway worker. The young Ortega got a job working in a shop and learned how to hand-make clothes. He opened his first Zara retail shop in 1975 at the age of 39. Zara is now part of the Inditex group - which includes more than 6,000 stores, employing around 92,000 people - and Ortega owns 59.29% of the company.

5. Mark Zuckerberg

At 33 years old, Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world. The founder of social networking site Facebook is worth an estimated $56 billion. Facebook is constantly growing and has 1.49 billion active users. Zuckerberg is a self-made man - from his Harvard dormitory, he used his intelligence and passion for technology to launch Facebook in February 2004. It began as a social networking site just for Harvard students, but its popularity grew rapidly. Zuckerberg dropped out of university and moved to California to concentrate on the business.

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