King Mansa Musa wasn’t just the 1% of the 14th century — he may be the richest person of all time.
As the obscure ruler of West Africa’s Mali Empire, Musa amassed a jaw-dropping $400 billion during his reign from 1312 to 1337, according to a new inflation-adjusted list by celebritynetworth.com.
That outranks the Rothschild family, whose European banking dynasty landed them second on the list with $350 billion, and John D. Rockefeller, the American industrialist worth $340 billion.
The 25 billionaires and families listed have made some megabucks, with a combined worth of $4.3 trillion.
As for Musa’s moolah, his “shocking wealth came from his country’s vast production of more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold,” according to the Celebrity Net Worth survey, which converted each billionaire’s fortunes into 2012 dollars.
Musa was a devout Muslim who spearheaded an extensive building program of palaces and mosques.
But his money was eventually lost after his death in 1337, when he was believed to be in his late 50s.
“His heirs were not able to fend off civil war and invading conquerors. Just two generations later, his world record net worth was gone,” Celebrity Net Worth said.
Of the list’s top 25, 14 are Americans, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose inflation-adjusted worth is about $136 billion.
Gates, who turns 57 this month, is currently the world’s second-richest living person in today’s dollars, behind Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, according to the latest Forbes ranking.
Slim ties for 22nd place on the Celebrity Net Worth list.
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Celebrity Net Worth’s list
1. Mansa Musa I, (Ruler of Malian Empire, 1280-1331) $400 billion
2. Rothschild family (banking dynasty, 1740- ) $350 billion
3. John D. Rockefeller (industrialist, 1839-1937) $340 billion
4. Andrew Carnegie (industrialist, 1835-1919) $310 billion
5. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (last Emperor of Russia, 1868-1918) $300 billion
6. Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII (last ruler of Hyderabad, 1886-1967) $236 billion
7. William the Conqueror (King of England, 1028-1087) $229.5 billion
8. Moammar Khadafy (former Libyan leader, 1942-2011) $200 billion
9. Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company founder, 1863-1947) $199 billion
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (industrialist, 1794-1877) $185 billion
11. Alan Rufus (Fighting companion of William the Conqueror, 1040-1093) $178.65
12. Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft, 1955- ) $136 billion
13. William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey (Norman nobleman, ??-1088) $146.13 billion
14. John Jacob Astor (businessman, 1864-1912) $121 billion
15. Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel (English nobleman, 1306-1376) £118.6 billion
16. John of Gaunt (son of Edward III, 1330-1399) £110 billion
17. Stephen Girard (shipping and banking mogul, 1750-1831) $105 billion
18. Alexander Turney Stewart (entrepreneur, 1803-1876) $90 billion
19. Henry, 1st Duke of Lancaster (English noble, 1310-1361) $85.1 billion
20. Friedrich Weyerhaeuser (timber mogul, 1834-1914) $80 billion
21. Jay Gould (railroad tycoon, 1836-1892) $71 billion
22. Carlos Slim (business magnate, 1940- ) $68 billion (TIE)
22. Stephen Van Rensselaer (land owner, 1764- 1839) $68 billion (TIE)
23. Marshall Field (Marshall Field & Company founder, 1834-1906) $66 billion
24. Sam Walton (Walmart founder, 1918-1992) $65 billion
25. Warren Buffett (investor, 1930- ) $64 billion
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