The five richest people of the 20th century are believed to have a combined wealth of $ 1.62 trillion currently. Data collected and calculated by Learnbonds.com, based on inflation adjustments, shows that this group had a combined net worth of $ 63 billion in 1913.
The valuation was obtained by incorporating the change in the consumer price index over time, as provided by the Usinflationcalculator.com. To calculate 1913 wealth in US dollars, the formula Price 2020 x (1913 IPC / IPC 2020) has been used.
In the 20th century, Andrew Carnegie, an American industrialist of Scottish descent, was the richest man. In 2020, he would still sit number one with a net worth of $ 419.8 billion. His vast fortune was credited with the sale of Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $ 480 million in 1901. From the sale, Carnegie also received $ 230 million in gold bonds. Carnegie, who died in 1919, devoted most of his fortune to charity. In 1913, Carnegie had a net worth of $ 16.5 billion.
The richest American to ever live
John D Rockefeller is the richest American to ever live. By 2020, Rockefeller’s wealth would amount to $ 384.8 billion. Rockefeller, who died in 1937, had an interest in petroleum, with his company Standard Oil becoming a force to be reckoned with in the US petroleum industry. The empire was valued at $ 14.9 billion in 1913. The company was then segmented into various entities like Amoco, Chevron Conoco, and ExxonMobil.
Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov, the Russian tycoon who died in 1917, would have a net worth of $ 13.1 billion in 1913 when inflation is adjusted. Romanov would be worth $ 338.58 billion in 2020.
Mir Osman Ali Khan from India is also one of the richest people to ever live. Khan made his fortune with gold. It is reported that Khan had a personal gold collection worth over $ 100 million alongside $ 400 million in jewelry. With the inflation adjustment, Khan would be worth $ 259.5 billion while in 1913 he would be worth $ 10 billion.
Longtime former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is also on the list of the richest people who lived between the 20th and 21st centuries. Unlike others on the list, when he died in 2011, Gaddafi was among the wealthiest secret people. He had a reported net worth of around $ 200 billion. According to the United Nations, Gaddafi’s billions may still be stashed in various banks across Africa. His fortune was mainly in diamonds and gold. In 2020, the former Libyan leader would be valued at $ 225.7 billion. In 1913, Gaddafi would have a valuation of 8.7 billion dollars.
20th century billionaires vs. modern billionaires
There is also a significant gap from the five richest people alive today. Cumulatively, the five richest modern people have a net worth of $ 514.4 billion, which is at least three times less than the five richest people of the 20th century.
In third place, Bernard Arnault of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) with a net fortune of 108 billion dollars. Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett is in fourth place with $ 90.40 billion while Zara Fashion’s Amancio Ortega closes the top five groups with a net worth of $ 78.10 billion.
An examination of the rich in the 20th century shows that the group was evenly distributed across the world. However, the current list of the world’s top billionaires is dominated by Americans. Unfortunately, when the two groups are compared, neither woman made a cut.
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