Humanity has been in existence for millions of years, and so the quest for wealth is as old as humanity itself. Every human has spent most of their existence seeking wealth, power, and the benefits these things offer. And while some people have made it rich, others struggle to get by.
Who are the richest persons of all time, and how much fortune did they accumulate? Every generation and race known to humankind is represented in this list. Continue reading to learn about the 10 richest people of all time in human history. No Kings or Emperors included.
10 Richest People Of All Time In Human History
- Jakob Fugger
- John Rockefeller
- Andrew Carnegie
- William Vanderbilt
- Henry Ford
- Cornelius Vanderbilt
- Alan Rufus
- William de Warenne
- John Astor
- Stephen Girard
1. Jakob Fugger
Jakob Fugger is the wealthiest person to have ever lived among all non-kings and non-emperors. He had an estimated 2.1 million guilders, around $400 billion in today’s dollars. He was born on March 6, 1459, in Augsburg, a Free Imperial City that was then a part of the Holy Roman Empire– modern-day Germany.
Fugger’s riches were primarily derived from mining and trade with medals, particularly copper. In the 15th century, copper was used to make household equipment and various forms of weaponry, which made it valuable.
Fugger passed away on December 30, 1525, in his hometown at age 66. His riches were left to his oldest nephew Anton Fugger because he had no children. The latter carried on his uncle’s heritage alongside his siblings and even expanded the family business to the “New World” in America.
2. John Rockefeller
The second-richest man in history is John Rockefeller. Moreover, he continues to be the wealthiest American to have ever lived with wealth equivalent to almost $350 billion today. Rockefeller was born July 8, 1839, in the little village of Richford in upstate New York.
He established the Standard Oil Company and led it until retirement. He was a leader in the oil sector. He has a foundation that helped eradicate yellow fever and hookworm and was crucial in advancing medical science.
At the age of 97, he died in Ormond Beach, Florida, on May 23, 1937. He had five kids.
3. Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie is the third-richest on this list. He was born on November 25, 1835, in the small Scottish town of Dunfermline. Carnegie’s fortune in current times is almost $310 billion. Carnegie amassed interests in oil derricks, railroads, sleeper cars, and bridges by the 1860s.
He founded the Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburgh, which he later sold to J.P. Morgan for $480 million. He passed away on August 11, 1919, at age 83. He left behind his daughter, his only child, and his wife, whom he had wed in 1887.
4. William Vanderbilt
William Vanderbilt ranks fourth among the ten wealthiest people in history. He was born on May 8, 1821, in New Brunswick, New Jersey; as the eldest child, he received his father’s wealth upon his father’s passing in 1877. In the ensuing nine years, he nearly doubled the value of his father’s railroad enterprise after taking over.
His wealth was over $230 billion.
William Vanderbilt passed away on December 8, 1885, in New York City leaving his wife and eight children.
5. Henry Ford
Ford was born in Greenfield, Michigan, on July 30, 1863. He came from an immigrant farming family and founded the Ford Motor Company; he also sponsored the advancement of the assembly-line method of mass production. He created and produced the first car that many Americans from middle-class families could afford to purchase.
His invention of the Model T car transformed American manufacturing and transportation. Ford’s innovative thinking naturally led to his tremendous wealth, which, by today’s standards, would be equivalent to almost $199 billion.
At 83, Ford passed away in Dearborn, Michigan, leaving behind his wife. Edsel Ford, his only child, had passed away at age 49 from stomach cancer.
6. Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt, also known by the nickname Commodore, was born in Staten Island, New York. He was an American industrialist who amassed wealth through railroads and shipping.
In addition, he was the head of the Vanderbilt family and one of the wealthiest individuals in American history. At that time, he was worth roughly $185 billion. He died in New York City, USA, in 1877.
7. Alan Rufus
Alan Rufus is a close relation to William the Conqueror. As with William the Conqueror, Alan Rufus passed away extremely wealthy. He was valued at roughly $180 billion after considering inflation and converting his fortune to contemporary values.
In Norman, England, Alan Rufus was a significant employer of skilled labor for the construction of abbeys, castles, and manor residences. Some are still in existence today.
For instance, Costessey Hall’s ancient manor house in Norfolk still stands in Costessey Park on the north bank of the river Tud. Alan established the lovely town of Richmond, North Yorkshire, beneath Richmond Castle. He died in 1093 in the kingdom of England.
8. William de Warenne
William de Warenne was the First Earl of Surrey, Lord of Lewes, and Seigneur de Varennes under William II Rufus, he was made Earl of Surrey, a Norman nobility. He is one of the few whose participation in William the Conqueror’s army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 is known through written records.
He owned sizable lands in 13 counties at the Domesday Survey in 1086, including the Rape of Lewes, which is today split between the ceremonial counties of East and West Sussex. He died at Lewes, Sussex, the Kingdom of England, in 1088, his wealth was estimated to be over $150 billion.
9. John Astor
On July 13, 1864, John Jacob Astor IV was born in Rhinebeck Village, Rhinebeck, New York. He was a well-known Astor family member and an American business tycoon, writer, real estate developer, and investor.
He was a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War. His wealth amounts to about $140 billion in the present day. He died in the early hours of April 15, 1912, when the RMS Titanic sank.
10. Stephen Girard
Stephen Girard was a French-born financier who became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He was born in Bordeaux, France, on May 20, 1750. He is known as the first millionaire in U.S. history and the one individual who prevented the U.S. government from becoming bankrupt during the War of 1812.
At the time, his wealth was equivalent to nearly $120 billion in current dollars. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 26, 1831.
In summary, the quest for wealth has long begun, and as long as humans exist, they will continue to look for more money.
Having the necessary money for a person’s needs enables you to provide all your needs and gives you a sense of control and a feeling of satisfaction.
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