The Top 25 Richest People in the World (And How They Made Their Billions)
The world’s richest people are generally revered business people who fall into two distinctive categories. There are those who have worked their way up from modest beginnings. The hard graft they have put in has finally come to fruition, and they are reaping the benefits. Others may be wealthy because they are heirs or heiresses to successful business empires, and looking to take the company into the modern era.
Sheldon Adelson – $28.5b
Sheldon Adelson is best known as one of America’s leading casino magnates. In fact, since becoming Chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., his personal wealth has grown to around $28.5 billion. He has also sisterly invested in the Asian casino market, perhaps the leading casino market in the world right now. He began in computers, though, making his millions originally from computer trade show COMDEX. He’s come a long way since then, and his fortune shows no signs of diminishing.
Li Ka-shing – $30.4b
Chinese inventor and businessman Li Ka-shing is based out of Hong Kong at the moment. The multi-billionaire has an estimated wealth of $30.4 billion, and he is near the bottom of our list! His vast wealth comes from the companies Cheung Kong Holidays and Hutchison Whampoa Limited. He is Chairman of the Board for both companies, and the company merged recently to create CK Hutchison Holdings Limited. In addition to being wealthy Ka-shing is also well known for his philanthropy, having donated a total of over $1 billion to great causes so far!
Wang Jianlin – $31.7b
Wang Jianlin is one of the great success stories of the business world. The self-made billionaire found his fortune in the sometimes murky world of real estate. This Chinese entrepreneur serves as Chairman of Dalian Wanda, China’s largest private property developer. Like many businessmen, he has also shown a keen interest in football and actually owns 20% of the Spanish football club Atletico Madrid. Since 2015, Jianlin has been one of the wealthiest people in China, and the world and his shrewd investments mean he looks certain to retain that position for a long time to come yet.
Jacqueline Mars – $32.5b
‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play’ says the tag-line. It also does wonders for Jacqueline’s bank balance too! She and her two brothers own the world’s largest and richest candy company. After inheriting the business from her father, the company has grown in stature, and Mars has branched out into other areas. Jacqueline is one of the richest people in the world and the third richest woman. The power and global presence of Mars show no signs of waning, and Jacqueline could be set to increase her personal wealth even more.
John Franklyn Mars – $32.5b
Jacqueline’s brother John also makes our list, joint with his sister. The siblings, along with another brother Forrest Jr., own the hugely successful Mars empire. We know the company best as being the purveyor of delicious chocolate treats. But, there is plenty of other stuff the company does as well to make money. They have branched out into pet food recently, acquiring Whiskers cats food, as well as the Uncle Ben’s Rice. John sits on the board as the Chairman of Mars, Inc., and this pretty much guarantees his fortune for the next decade.
Alice Walton – $33.7b
The second woman to make our list is Alice Walton, heiress to the famed and world-renowned Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Alice is the daughter of Sam and Helen Walton, founders of Wal-Mart. Her personal fortune stands are around $33.7 billion, making her the second-richest woman on the planet. Alice has done a lot of good with the fortune she has amassed in her career. She has been a political contributor in her time and is currently developing Crystal Bridges Museum of Art. She’s a maverick and a business savant and is likely to make even more money in the future.
Jim Walton – $34.8b
The youngest son of the Walton’s, Jim has inherited the vast empire along with his siblings. Jim is one of the richest people on the planet dues to owning over 150 million Wal-Mart shares. He sits on the Board of Directors for the company, as well as being the Chairman of Arvest Bank and Community Publishers. A shrewd businessman, Jim has built a lot of his own success alongside his inherited Wal-Mart fortune. He has also pledged around $2 billion to the Walton Family Foundation and continues to look for ways of driving the business empire forward.
Samuel Robson Walton – $35.1b
The eldest of the Walton children is Samuel Robson “Rob” Walton. He has been the Chairman of Wal-Mart since 1992, and his personal fortune is thought to clock in at a little north of $35 billion. One of the richest people in the world, Rob spent the better part of 20 off years overseeing the running and development of Wal-Mart. Under his stewardship, the company has grown in size and stature and is currently the largest retailer in the world. Rob left his position as Chairman in 2015 and has collected over $1 billion in dividends.