Top 10 Wealthiest People Of All Time
Carlos Slim Helu born on January 28, 1940 is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Slim has been ranked by Forbes as the richest person in the world since 2010. The reason is simple: he owns everything in Mexico. Over 200 companies are under his thumb, ranging from the aforementioned telecom to transportation, and from cigarettes to soft drinks. Whether he wants it or not, he has been designated as one of the world's richest men of all time.
#9 Warren Buffett (1930 - )
Warren Buffett born on August 30, 1930 is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. This is the man who appeared before Congress last fall and warned of the rise of "dynastic wealth," stressing the importance of the estate tax. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 and as the third wealthiest person in 2011. American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world.
#8 Sam Walton (1918 - 1992)
Samuel Moore "Sam" Walton was an American businessman and entrepreneur born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, best known for founding the retailers Walmart and Sam's Club. Sam Walton's passing in 1992 came too soon for him to see the full potential of his Wal-Mart empire, though he was certainly successful in his lifetime. Much of it came from offering things that we take for granted today: good variety and convenient store hours, for example.
#7 Marshall Field (1834 - 1906)
Marshall Field was founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores. For better or worse, the "customer is always right" philosophy began with Marshall Field. Developing a policy for exchanges was one; displaying merchandise prices was another. Field also did well for himself in his Chicago real estate ventures, but he'll always be remembered for his department stores.
#6 Frederick Weyerhaeuser (1834 - 1914)
Friedrich (Frederick) Weyerhauser was a German-American timber mogul and founder of the Weyerhaeuser Company, which owns saw mills, paper factories, and other business enterprises, and large areas of forested land. The man whose name would become synonymous with lumber capitalized on timing and access to resources to build his fortune. Though it would never fly today, Weyerhaeuser extensively clear-cut in the Midwest, creating farming opportunities in many areas and a permanent economic shift. He is the eighth richest American of all time.
#5 John Jacob Astor (1763 - 1848)
John Jacob Astor was a German-American business magnate, merchant and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States. He was the creator of the first trust in America. He did, after all, make a killing in fur and it made him the first millionaire in America. Along the way, he diversified and dabbled in selling opium -- again, he was successful. Decades later, he got out of the fur business and segued into New York City real estate.
#4 Bill Gates (1955 - )
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist. Gates is the former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world's largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen. After the proposed merger with Yahoo fizzled out and shares dropped in the dominant company he cofounded, he's probably not losing sleep. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires List, Gates is the world's richest person in 2013.
#3 Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794 - 1877)
Cornelius Vanderbilt also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. You can't necessarily get rich by playing nice, and Cornelius Vanderbilt apparently took that to heart. That ruthless competitive nature typified Vanderbilt through his years, especially in the way he ran his railroad empire. He may not have always played nice, but without exception, he played to win.
#2 Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919)
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century. He was also one of the highest profile philanthropists of his era. A self-made man from humble beginnings, Carnegie worked hard from childhood. He didn't enjoy overnight success, but he did realize almost continual progress. His savings became investments and his investments became capital for the business ventures for which he would later be known.
#1 John D. Rockefeller (1839 - 1937)
John Davison Rockefeller was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Yet, for all Rockefeller's detractors, the U.S.'s first billionaire was a serious philanthropist to education, medicine and science. From a legacy standpoint, however, he's best remembered for his unfathomable wealth. Even today, the name connotes "money."
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