Meet the 14th Century African king who was richest man in the world of all time
An obscure king who ruled West Africa in the 14th century has been named the richest person in history in a new inflation-adjusted list of the world’s 25 wealthiest people of all time.
Spanning 1,000 years and with a combined fortune of $4.317trillion, only three of the list’s 25 are alive today; none of them are women and 14 of them are American.
Using the annual 2199.6per cent rate of inflation, where $100million in 1913 is equal to $2.299.63billion in 2012, Celebrity Net Worth’s list includes familiar names like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett; but sitting at number one is Mansa Musa I of Mali.
The West Africa king, the richest person in history, and the ruler of the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali in West Africa, had a personal net worth of $400billion at the time of his death in 1331.
The list also includes the man who gave America Wal-Mart, another who developed mail-order shopping around 1870, as well as a few nobles who helped with the Norman conquest of England in the Battle of Hastings nearly one thousand years ago.
The Rothschild family, second on the list, are the richest people on earth today with assets that total at least $350billion – their wealth divided amongst mining, banks, private asset management, mixed farming, wine, and charities.
Meanwhile John D. Rockefeller, third on the list, is the richest American to have ever lived, worth $340billion in today’s USD at the time of his death in 1937.
In comparison, the poorest man on the list is 82-year-old Warren Buffett, who at his peak net worth, before he started giving his fortune to charity, was $64billion.
1. MANSA MUSA I – $400 BILLION (BORN 1280)
Mansa Musa I, the richest person in history, had a personal net worth of $400billion at the time of his death in 1331.
Born in 1280, he ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali.
His country’s production of more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold contributed to Musa’s vast wealth, which he used to build large mosques that still stand today.
According to the writings of Arab-Egyptian scholar Al-Umari, Musa inherited his throne through a practice of appointing a deputy after the king goes on his pilgrimage to Mecca; later naming the deputy as heir.
Musa was appointed deputy of the king before him, who had reportedly embarked on an expedition to explore the limits of the Atlantic ocean, and never returned.
Just two generations after his death, however, Musa’s world record net worth was diminished after is heirs were not able to fend off civil war and invading conquerors.