Jeff Bezos becomes the richest person in modern history, topping $150 billion

Jeff Bezos Becomes the Richest Man in Modern History

Matthew Staver

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reached a new milestone Monday, becoming the richest person in modern history as his net worth surged past $150 billion.

This was however higher than $12.2 billion that he was worth in January this year.

Jeff Bezos is also $56 billion richer than the world's second-richest man, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose net worth is estimated at $94 billion at the moment.

Currently, Gates who is Technology giant Microsoft co-founder is worth KSh 9 trillion, having given out Microsoft shares worth KSh 291 billion since 1996.

Bezos, 54, has also topped Gates in inflation-adjusted terms.

But the Prime Day sale got off to a rocky start as glitches struck Amazon's website and mobile app. Shares of the company, which had climbed to a record $1,841.95 earlier Monday, pared gains on the news, closing up 0.5% at $1,822.49. That makes the Amazon CE richer than anyone else on earth since at least 1982, when Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking.

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The Amazon founder's wealth has grown $52 billion in 2018 alone taking him a stone's throw away from the Walton family's $151.5-billion fortune.

A Federal Reserve report found the top 1 percent of US families controlled 38.6 percent of wealth in the 2016, compared with 22.8 percent held by the bottom 90 percent.

According to Forbes, which tracks billionaires' net worth in real time, today's increase in Amazon stock translates to an increase of roughly $1 billion in Jeff Bezos's net worth.

Oxfam International found in 2017 that more than 80% of earnings went to the top 1% of the world population.

But 2018 has clearly been Bezos' year, as Amazon shares gained 57 percent in just seven months - quickly adding more than $50 billion to his net worth.

He's been giving to charitable foundations since the 1990s and even founded his namesake Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that works to better healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. He has donated nearly 700-million Microsoft shares and $2.9bn in cash and other assets since 1996.

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