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West African king deemed richest man who ever lived. View the top 25

By Greg Goodsell
October 16th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mansa Musa I, an obscure king who ruled West Africa in the 14th century has been declared the richest person in history. Adjusted for inflation, the king leads the list of the world's 25 wealthiest people of all time. Celebrity Net Worth's list includes the expected names of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - The West Africa king ruled the Malian Empire which covered modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali. He had a personal net worth of $400 billion at the time of his death in 1331.

The Rothschild families, who are second on the list, remain the richest people on earth today with assets that total at least $350 billion. Their assets include mining, banks, private asset management, mixed farming, wine, and charities.

John D. Rockefeller, third on the list, is the richest American to have ever lived. He was worth $340 billion in today's dollars at the time of his death in 1937.

Rounding out the remainder in a numbered list:

4. Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist born in 1835who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century; worth is set at $310 billion.

5. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, also known as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, born in 1868, had a net worth of nearly $900 million. Under his rule, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the beginning of Russia's involvement in World War I, in which 3.3 million Russians were killed.

6. Mir Osman Ali Khan, born 1886, was the ruler of Hyderabad until the country was invaded by India, famously used the Jacob Diamond, worth $95 million alone as a paperweight in his office. He supposedly owned more than 50 Rolls Royces. He was worth $236 billion.

7. William the Conqueror, born in 1028 was most famous for invading and subsequently seizing England in 1066. He died in 1087, leaving the equivalent of $229.5billion to his sons.

8. Muammar Gaddafi, born 1942, proved that money can't buy happiness - or respect. By the time he was torn apart by an angry mob in 2011 in his North African nation of Libya, his net worth was set at $200 billion.

9. Henry Ford, born in 1863, was the founder of the iconic Ford Motor Company, also helped to develop the assembly line technique of mass production. At the time of death in 1947, Ford had accumulated a net worth equivalent to $199 billion.

10. Cornelius Vanderbilt, born in 1794, is the third richest American to ever live. Making his first fortune in the steamboat industry, his wealth exploded through his investments in railroads at the age of 70. At his death in 1877, his estate was worth the equivalent of $185 billion.

11. Alan Rufus, born in 1040, was the military companion of William the Conqueror, the list's seventh richest person to ever live. Rufus was given 250,000 acres of land in England, which at the time was worth the equivalent to $178.65 billion.

12. No surprise, Bill Gates, born in 1955 is currently the second richest person alive with a net worth of $62.5 billion. The former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft, the world's largest personal-computer software company, remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock.

13. William de Warenne, birth unknown was an English military leader and nobleman. At his death in 1088, his land was worth the equivalent of $146.13 billion.

14. John Jacob Astor, born in 1763, made his first million by trading furs from Canada to wealthy women in New York City, using his money to acquire some of Manhattan's most sought after real estate. His net worth was equivalent to $121 billion when he died in 1848.

15. Richard Fitzalan, born in 1306, was a prominent English nobleman and land owner. His net worth was the equivalent of $118.6 billion at the time of his death in 1376.

16. John of Gaunt, born in 1340, was the third surviving son of England's King Edward III. He had a net worth equal to $110 billion in today's dollars because of very generous land grants.

17. Stephen Girard, born in 1750 was a French born shipping and banking mogul. He was worth $105 billion in 1831, in his adopted home of Philadelphia. He personally saved the U.S. government from financial collapse during the War of 1812, and became one of the wealthiest men in America.

18. Alexander Turney Stewart, born in 1803 arrived in the U.S. from Ireland and created the world's largest department store at the time, becoming the developer of mail-order shopping. When he died in 1876 he was worth the equivalent of $90 billion.

19. Henry Duke of Lancaster, born in 1301 was an English nobleman who lived from 1310 to 1361 and acquired a net worth equivalent to $85.1 billion in modern dollars.

20. Friedrich Weyerhauser, born in 1834, made his first fortune in the timber business, buying enough land to make him the largest private land owner in America. When he died in 1914, his estate was worth the equivalent of $80 billion in 2012 dollars.

21. Jay Gould, born in 1836 was Cornelius Vanderbilt's public enemy, the infamous railroad king amassing $71 billion by the time of his death in 1892.

22. Carlos Slim, born in 1940 is currently the wealthiest man in the world. With a current net worth of $68 billion, the Mexican media mogul has more than $5.2 billion more than Bill Gates.

22. Stephen van Rensselaer, born in 1764, eventually became Lieutenant Governor of New York. He had a net worth of $68 billion.

23. Marshall Field, born in 1834, was the founder of Marshall Field and Company. He was worth $66 billion, inflation adjusted, at the time of his death in 1906.

24. Sam Walton, born in 1918, the man who gave America Wal-Mart, had a net worth of $65 billion at the time of his death in 1992, which he left to his widow and three children.

25. Warren Buffet, widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century, had a peak net worth of $64 billion before he started giving all his money to charity.

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