Step aside Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett. When it comes to the 20 richest people in history, these massively wealthy tycoons don’t even get a look-in. From 19th-century American industrialists to the African king who once owned half the world’s gold, here are the most moneyed people of all time, as guesstimated by leading economists and historians and adjusted for inflation.
20. Heshen – peak net work: $132 Billion
No doubt the wealthiest government official in history, Heshen, who was born in 1750, was an administrator of the Qing Dynasty and a favorite of the emperor, which allowed him to get away with stealing tax revenues on an industrial scale. When he died in 1799, the corrupt official was found to have stockpiled a personal fortune of $132 billion in today’s money.
19. Bill Gates – peak net worth: $144 billion
Though uber-philanthropist Bill Gates is worth a relatively paltry $75 billion in 2016, although this still makes him the richest person in the world, the Microsoft founder’s personal fortune hit $101 billion for a short time in 1999. Adjusted for inflation, this brings his peak net worth up to $144 billion.