January 9, 2018 6:24 pm
Updated: January 9, 2018 6:38 pm

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos becomes richest person in history

In this Jan. 28, 2016, file photo, billionaire Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos talks about the history and character of the Post during a dedication ceremony for its new headquarters in Washington.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

With a net worth of around US$104.8 billion, according to Fortune, Bezos passed Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ previous record.

Most of his money comes from Amazon stocks. Bezos holds 78.9 million shares, which are rising in price. (On Monday alone, they climbed 1.4 per cent, and with a share price of US$1,246.87, he added around $1.4 billion to his total assets.)

Bezos and Gates have been fighting for the top spot for a while; Bezos was briefly the richest man in the world in July, before his share prices dropped a few hours later.

READ MORE: Donald Trump targets Amazon in tweet calling on postal service to hike prices

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Gates’ previous record of richest person ever was set in April 1999, when he passed the $100 billion mark during the internet stock bubble. Forbes reports that with inflation, that would be worth around a whopping $150 billion.

Gates’ fortune is currently estimated to be $92 billion by Forbes, but the news magazine reports that he would be “far richer” if he hadn’t donated around $36 billion to charities (including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) over the years.

The only others to surpass Gates as the world’s richest person were Warren Buffett and Mexican business mogul Carlos Slim.

Bezos started the year as the fourth wealthiest person before surpassing Buffett and business tycoon Amancio Ortega, Bloomberg reported in July.

The boss of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, was the seventh person to be crowned the world’s richest person (in July) 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.

Amazon’s share price, and therefore Bezos’ net worth, has jumped significantly since September. He passed the $100-billion mark in November, and continued to rise after a record-setting holiday season.

READ MORE: Amazon says Cyber Monday was biggest shopping day on record

Richest people in the world on Jan. 9, according to Forbes:  

  • Jeff Bezos: $104.8 billion
  • Bill Gates: $91.9 billion
  • Warren Buffet: $87.1 billion
  • Amancio Ortega: $76.8 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg: $75.7 billion

*With files from Adam Frisk 

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