In Brief

Is Jeff Bezos the richest person of all time?

Amazon CEO worth over $100bn - but is he richer than Bill Gates once was?

Amazon shares have soared recently, pushing CEO Jeff Bezos’ personal net worth past the $100bn (£74bn) mark.

 According to Bloomberg’s billionaire tracker, the Amazon founder and CEO is now worth $105.1bn (£77.6bn). Forbes, the other major tracker of the world’s high net worth individuals, puts Bezos’ fortune at $104.4bn (£77.1bn).

“This eclipses the record previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates,” says CNN Money.

Bezos, who started Amazon out of his garage in Seattle in the mid-1990s, has long been ranked among the world’s richest people. However, his net worth has skyrocketed over the past year, in line with an explosion in the value of Amazon, of which he is a major shareholder. Stocks in the online retailer are up nearly 7% already this year, after rising a whopping 56% in 2017.

However, the headline figures are slightly misleading as Gates was briefly worth just over $100bn back in April 1999, when the internet stock bubble helped to inflate the value of his holdings.

Adjusted for inflation, $100bn in 1999 would be worth $148bn (£109bn) today, says CNN.

Nor does the figure take into account the Microsoft founder’s significant charitable contributions through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Analysis of his publicly disclosed donations by Bloomberg show Gates has given away $61.8bn (£45.6bn) in Microsoft shares over the years, putting his net worth at over $150bn (£111bn).

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