Gates reclaimed the lead by afternoon, as Amazon’s stock fell below the day’s opening price.
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Still, Amazon has been trading at a record high. Its shares hit $1,083.31 at about noon Thursday. According to securities filings, Bezos owns about 80 million shares, or 17 percent; those shares were valued at more than $87 billion at the peak. Bezos also owns The Washington Post through a holding company.
Forbes says Bezos’ net worth was about $90.6 billion when the market opened Thursday. Gates had $90.1 billion.
As Forbes points out, Bezos had a net worth of $90.6 billion, placing him $500 million above Gates, thanks to a surge in Amazon shares.
According to CNBC, Amazon’s share price jumped by more than $15 overnight while Microsoft was down slightly.
The boss of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, is the seventh person to be crowned the world’s richest person since Forbes began tracking the wealthy in 1987. Bezos first made the Forbes 400 list in 1998, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, shortly after his internet company went public.
Bezos started the year as the fourth wealthiest person before surpassing Warren Buffett and business tycoon Amancio Ortega, Bloomberg reported.
As Forbes notes, both Gates and Buffet have given away large amounts of their fortunes and have encouraged other billionaires to give at least half of their wealth to charities.
Earlier this month, Buffett donated about $3.17 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other charities, marking his largest contribution in a more than decade-long plan to give away his fortune.
The only others to surpass Gates as the world’s richest person were Buffet and Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim.
Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994, when he began selling books out of his garage.