Jeff Bezos Becomes the Richest Man in Modern History, Topping $150 Billion

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Bezos, 54, also has topped Gates in
inflation-adjusted terms. The $100
billion mark that Gates hit briefly in 1999 at the height of the dot-comboom would be worth about $149
billion in today’s dollars.

That makes the Amazon chief executive officer richer than anyone else on earth since at least 1982, when Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking.

Bezos crossed the threshold as
Amazon was preparing to kick off its 36-hour summer sales event, Prime Day, which got off to a rocky start as glitches struck the firm’s website and mobile app.

His net worth has soared by $52
billion this year, which is more than the entire fortune of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma, Asia’s wealthiest person. It also puts Bezos’s personal fortune within spitting distance of the $151.5 billion controlled by the Walton family, the world’s richest dynasty.

Behind Bezos on the Bloomberg
index is Gates, with a $95.3 billion fortune. Gates would have had a net worth of more than $150 billion if he’d held onto assets that he’s given away, largely to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s donated almost 700 million Microsoft shares and $2.9 billion of cash and other assets since 1996, according to an analysis of his publicly disclosed
giving. Shares of the company, which had climbed to a record $1,841.95 earlier Monday, pared gains on the news, closing up 0.5 percent at $1,822.49. Bezos’s stay above $150 billion may be short-lived. The stock slipped below $1,800 in extended trading after Netflix Inc. posted disappointing results, rattling tech investors.

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