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Meet the world's 50 richest billionaires in 2017

Meet the world's 50 richest billionaires in 2017
Meet the world's 50 richest billionaires in 2017

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Meet the world's 50 richest billionaires in 2017

jeff bezosTo make the 2017 list of the 50 richest people in the world, it takes a net worth of at least $19.1 billion.Mike Segar/Reuters

  • We put together a list of the world's richest people, using data from Bloomberg.
  • The majority of the billionaires on the list are self-made self-starters who built business empires in tech, finance, fashion, and sports.
  • A few of the billionaires inherited stakes in their family's companies.

 

There's rich. And then there's world's richest people rich.

To make it into the latter group, you need a net worth of at least $19.1 billion.

Using the calculations from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, we put together a list of the 50 richest people in the world. Bloomberg updates its data at the close of every trading day in New York, and our list is based on the latest data available for November 30. Since Bloomberg News doesn't report on Bloomberg LP, its data doesn't include Michael Bloomberg. We added him in using his estimated net worth from Forbes.

The majority of the billionaires on the list are self-made self-starters who built business empires in tech, finance, fashion, and sports. A few inherited stakes in their family's companies.

From tech tycoons to heiresses, here are the 50 richest people on earth.

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50. William Ding

50. William Ding
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Ding Lei, also known as William Ding, is the founder and CEO of NetEase, which operates online games. 

Net worth: $19.1 billion

Age: 45

Citizenship: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; NetEase

49. Carl Icahn

49. Carl Icahn
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times

Carl Icahn founded his own investment firm in 1968, and has invested in a number of high-profile companies over the years, including RJR Nabisco, Philips Petroleum, Viacom, Marvel, Time Warner, Netflix, Herbalife, and Apple.

Net worth: $19.2 billion

Age: 81

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Icahn Enterprises

48. Tadashi Yanai

48. Tadashi Yanai
Vincent Yu/AP Images

Tadashi Yanai is the the founder and president of Fast Retailing, which owns retailer Uniqlo. 

Net worth: $19.6 billion

Age: 68

Citizenship: Japan

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made

47. Elon Musk

47. Elon Musk
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, which makes electric cars. He's also the CEO of SpaceX and founded OpenAI and Neuralink.

Net worth: $19.9 billion

Age: 46

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made

46. Stefan Quandt

46. Stefan Quandt
AP Photo/Michael Probst

Stefan Quandt inherited a stake in Bayerische Motoren Werke, which owns BMW and Rolls-Royce. 

Net worth: $20.0 billion

Age: 51

Citizenship: Germany 

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Inherited; BMW

45. Len Blavatnik

45. Len Blavatnik
David M. Benett/Getty Images

Soviet-born American Len Blavatnik founded Access Industries in 1986. It began with only Russian investments, but now includes a diverse portfolio. He purchased 20% stake in Tory Burch, now a retail powerhouse, in 2004, becoming the first and largest outside investor in the company.

Net worth: $20.0 billion

Age: 60

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Access Industries

44. Yang Huiyan

44. Yang Huiyan
China Daily/Reuters

Yang Huiyan controls Chinese real estate developer Country Garden Holdings. According to Bloomberg, her father co-founded the company in 1992 and then transferred his stake to her in 2005.

Net worth: $20.4 billion

Age: 36

Citizenship: China

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Inherited; Country Garden Holdings

43. Thomas Peterffy

Thomas Peterffy is the chair, CEO, and founder of Interactive Brokers Group, a huge electronic broker. 

Net worth: $21.0 billion

Age: 73

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Finance

Source of wealth: Self-made; Interactive Brokers

41. Leonardo del Vecchio

Leonardo del Vecchio started Luxottica, the eyewear powerhouse, in 1961 in Milan. It owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban, and Oakley, and manufacturers glasses for a large number of luxury brands.

Net worth: $21.1 billion

Age: 82

Citizenship: Italy

Industry: Consumer goods

Source of wealth: Self-made; Luxottica Group

40. Lee Kun Hee

40. Lee Kun Hee
Steve Marcus/Reuters

Lee Kun Hee is the chairman of Samsung Electronics, which is known for its consumer electronics division. He remains hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in 2014.

Net worth: $21.4 billion

Age: 75

Citizenship: Republic of Korea 

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Inherited; Samsung Electronics

39. Michael Dell

39. Michael Dell
John Locher/AP

Michael Dell started PC Ltd., the predecessor to Dell Inc., while he was a premed student in 1984. He dropped out of college to build computers full time, and the company went public by the time he was 23.

Net worth: $21.7 billion

Age: 52

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dell

38. Serge Dassault

38. Serge Dassault
Charles Platiau/Reuters

Serge Dassault is the CEO of Dassault Group, which has a controlling stake in military jet maker Dassault Aviation.

Net worth: $21.9 billion

Age: 92

Citizenship: France 

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Inherited; Dassault Group

37. Susanne Klatten

37. Susanne Klatten
AP Photo/Michael Probst

Susanne Klatten inherited a stake in Bayerische Motoren Werke, which owns BMW and Rolls-Royce. 

Net worth: $22.6 billion

Age: 55

Citizenship: Germany

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Inherited; BMW

36. Georg Schaeffler

36. Georg Schaeffler
Michael Probst/AP

After serving in the German military and working in corporate law stateside, Georg Schaeffler joined his father's company Schaeffler Group, which manufactures ball bearings for auto, aerospace, and industrial use. He is the chair and majority owner.

Net worth: $23.2 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: Germany

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Inherited/self-made; Schaeffler Group

35. Paul Allen

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, left the company before it went public. He remained a board member until 2000, and reduced his stake in the firm over time. He also founded Vulcan, his private investment vehicle.

Net worth: $23.6 billion

Age: 64

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

34. Giovanni Ferrero

34. Giovanni Ferrero
Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Giovanni Ferroro controls Ferrero SpA, which makes Ferrero chocolates, Nutella, Kinder chocolates, and Tic Tacs.

Net worth: $23.8 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: Italy

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Inherited; Ferrero Group

33. Dieter Schwarz

33. Dieter Schwarz
Thomson Reuters

Dieter Schwarz joined his father's business in 1973 and soon opened the company's first discount supermarket. After his father died, he took over as CEO and expanded the business outside of Germany. The company operates Lidl, a grocery-store chain, and Kaufland, which is similar to Walmart.

Net worth: $24.0 billion

Age: 78

Citizenship: Germany

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Schwarz Gruppe

32. Lee Shau Kee

32. Lee Shau Kee
Bobby Yip/Reuters

Lee Shau Kee founded Henderson Land Development, which grew into a top real-estate developer in Hong Kong and China, in 1973.

Net worth: $24.6 billion

Age: 89

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Henderson Land Development

31. Francois Pinault

31. Francois Pinault
Charles Platiau/Reuters

Francois Pinault founded luxury goods group Kering, which controls Gucci and Puma, among others.

Net worth: $25.1 billion

Age: 81

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Self-made; Kering

30. Phil Knight

Back in the 1960s, Phil Knight started a company that distributed Japanese sneakers in the US under the name Blue Ribbon Sports — which was the predecessor to Nike. He transformed a passion for running into a full blown sneaker and celebrity athletes empire.

Net worth: $26.6 billion

Age: 79

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Self-made; Nike

29. Wang Jianlin

29. Wang Jianlin
Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Wang Jianlin is the founder and chair of conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which has interests in a large number of companies, including property development, department stores, and entertainment.

Net worth: $28.4 billion

Age: 63

Citizenship: China

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dalian Wanda Group

28. Jorge Paulo Lemann

28. Jorge Paulo Lemann
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jorge Lemann worked as a journalist and professional tennis player before jumping into finance in 1971. He co-founded 3G Capital in 2004, and has become known for his affinity for merges and acquisitions.

Net worth: $30.6 billion

Age: 78

Citizenship: Brazil

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Self-made; 3G Capital

27. and 26. John Mars and Jacqueline Mars

27. and 26. John Mars and Jacqueline Mars
John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Siblings John, Jacqueline, and the late-Forrest Mars inherited a stake in Mars, Inc. after their father died in 1999. The siblings are notoriously private, and don't actively manage the candy maker company. But they do run the Mars Foundation, which gives primarily to educational, environmental, cultural, and health-related causes.

Net worth: $33.5 billion each

Age: 82, 78

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Food and beverage

Source of wealth: Inherited; Mars Inc.

25. Li Ka-Shing

25. Li Ka-Shing
Kin Cheung/AP

Li Ka-shing dropped out of school at 16 to support his family by working in a factory making plastic flowers. He opened his own factory six years later — the predecessor to today's CK Hutchinson Holdings, which has interests in real estate, energy, and telecoms.

Net worth: $33.5 billion

Age: 89

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchinson Holdings

24. Steve Ballmer

24. Steve Ballmer
AP

Steve Ballmer dropped out of business school at Stanford to become Microsoft's first business manager with a salary of $50,000 and a stake in the company. He eventually became CEO after Bill Gates stepped down and held the post until Satya Nadella replaced him in 2014.

Net worth: $33.9 billion

Age: 61

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

23. Sheldon Adelson

23. Sheldon Adelson
REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Sheldon Adelson and partners developed Computer Dealer's Exhibition (COMDEX), one of the largest trade shows in Las Vegas. He sold the company to Japan's Softbank for $860 million in 1995, and used the money to finance his purchase of the Sands Casino. He demolished that, and built the Venetian Casino Resort and the Sands Expo Convention Center in its place. In 2015, he bought Nevada's largest newspaper.

Net worth: $34.8 billion

Age: 84

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Entertainment/Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Las Vegas Sands

22. Hui Ka Yan

22. Hui Ka Yan
Bobby Yip/Reuters

Hui chairs China Evergrande Group, a property developer that has worked on hundreds of projects across nearly 200 cities in China. 

Net worth: $36.0 billion

Age: 58

Citizenship: China

Industry: Real Estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; China Evergrande Group

21. Mukesh Ambani

21. Mukesh Ambani
Reuters/Amit Dave

After his father died in 2002, Mukesh Ambani took over as chairman of Reliance Industries. He now controls about 40% of the company, which owns the world's largest oil refining complex.

Net worth: $40.9 billion

Age: 60

Citizenship: India

Industry: Energy

Source of wealth: Inherited/self-made; Reliance Industries

20. Pony Ma

20. Pony Ma
Kin Cheung/AP

Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, founded Tencent Holdings, which has a number of Internet and communication platforms in its portfolio, in 1998 when he was 26. Among others, its platforms include WeChat and QQ. 

Net worth: $41.5 billion

Age: 46

Citizenship: China 

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

19. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

19. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
Francois Mori/AP

Francoise Betterncourt Meyers is now the heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune after her mother's death in September 2017. She controls 33% of the company, according to Bloomberg.

Net worth: $44.3 billion

Age: 63

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Inherited; L'Oreal Group

18. Alice Walton

18. Alice Walton
AP/April L. Brown

Alice Walton is the youngest heir to Helen and Sam Walton's Walmart fortune. She hasn't taken an active role in running the superstore empire, but she co-manages Walton Enterprises, one of the family's two holding companies.

Net worth: $45.0 billion

Age: 68

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart

17. Jim Walton

17. Jim Walton
REUTERS/Rick Wilking

James "Jim" Walton is the youngest son of Walmart founders Helen and Sam Walton. He co-manages Walton Enterprises, the holding company for the Walton family assets.

Net worth: $45.8 billion

Age: 69

Citizenship: United States 

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart

16. Rob Walton

16. Rob Walton
Danny Johnston/AP

Samuel Robson "Rob" Walton is the oldest son of Walmart founders Helen and Sam Walton. He started working at the superstore empire back in 1969 and served as chairman from 1992 to 2015. 

Net worth: $46.3 billion

Age: 73

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Inherited; Walmart

15. Jack Ma

15. Jack Ma
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Jack Ma started e-commerce company Alibaba with just $60,000 in 1999. Fifteen years later, it broke records with a $25 billion initial public offering.

Net worth: $46.6 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: China 

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Alibaba

14. David Koch

14. David Koch
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

David Koch runs Koch Industries as executive vice president with his brother, Charles. Koch Industries manufactures, refines, and distributes a wide range of things, including chemicals, energy, minerals, and more. 

Net worth: $47.6 billion

Age: 77

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Self-made; Koch Industries

13. Charles Koch

13. Charles Koch
Business Insider/Julie Bort

Charles Koch runs Koch Industries as chairman and CEO with his brother, David. In addition to their conglomerate, the two brothers are major political influencers.

Net worth: $47.6 billion

Age: 82

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Industrial

Source of wealth: Self-made; Koch Industries

12. Michael Bloomberg

12. Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg speaks at the DNC.Alex Wong/Getty Images

After being fired by Salomon Brothers, Bloomberg founded his eponymous financial-data firm in 1981. He added the news and media subsidiary in 1990, but the majority of Bloomberg LP's revenue continues to come from the sale of terminals. He later served as mayor of New York City for three terms.

Net worth: $48.9 billion (according to Forbes)

Age: 75

Citizenship: United States 

Industry: Financial Services/Media

Source of wealth: Self-made; Bloomberg LP

11. Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin co-founded Google with Larry Page back in 1998. He is now the president of Alphabet, which is the company that owns Google. 

Net worth: $50.2 billion

Age: 44

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google

10. Ingvar Kamprad

10. Ingvar Kamprad
/Reuters

Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA, powerhouse furniture retailer, when he was 17. He moved IKEA and his family out of Sweden in the 1970s in order to avoid its taxes.

Net worth: $50.7 billion

Age: 91

Citizenship: Sweden

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; IKEA

9. Larry Page

Larry Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998. He is now the CEO of Alphabet, which is the company that owns Google.

Net worth: $51.5 billion

Age: 44

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google

8. Larry Ellison

8. Larry Ellison
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Larry Ellison teamed up with two colleagues from an electronics company in 1977 to start their own programming firm, which then shortly landed a contract to build a relational database-management system for the CIA. The project later grew into what's known today as Oracle Corp., the second largest software maker behind Microsoft. He stepped down as CEO in 2014.

Net worth: $53.9 billion

Age: 73

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Oracle

7. Bernard Arnault

7. Bernard Arnault
AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool

Bernard Arnault is the chair of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which houses dozens of luxury brands. Arnault bought Christian Dior when he joined the business, and helped revive the company.

Net worth: $61.5 billion

Age: 68

Citizenship: France

Industry: Consumer

Source of wealth: Self-made/Inheritance; LVMH

6. Carlos Slim

6. Carlos Slim
Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Carlos Slim owns a large number of companies in Mexico through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. He also controls America Movil, the largest operator of mobile phones in Latin America.

Net worth: $63.5 billion

Age: 77

Citizenship: Mexico 

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Grupo Carso

5. Mark Zuckerberg

5. Mark Zuckerberg
AP Photo/Noah Berger

Mark Zuckerberg launched TheFacebook.com when he was a sophomore in college before dropping out to work on the site full-time. 

Net worth: $72.3 billion

Age: 33

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Facebook

4. Amancio Ortega

4. Amancio Ortega
Miguel Vidal/ Reuters

Amancio Ortego controls fashion giant Inditex, which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, and others. At least part of his success can be attributed to Zara's fast-fashion business model. 

Net worth: $75.9 billion

Age: 81

Citizenship: Spain

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Inditex

3. Warren Buffett

3. Warren Buffett
REUTERS/Mike Segar

After getting rejected from Harvard Business School, Warren Buffett went to Columbia instead where he studied under Benjamin Graham, who would become his mentor. He later bought Berkshire Hathaway in 1969 and transformed it into a powerhouse holding company.

Net worth: $81.7 billion

Age: 87

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Diversified

Source of wealth: Self-made; Berkshire Hathaway

2. Bill Gates

2. Bill Gates
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with his friend Paul Allen, and served as CEO until 2000. He still sits on the company's board, but is no longer active in the day-to-day dealings.

Net worth: $89.4 billion

Age: 62

Citizenship: United States 

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

1. Jeff Bezos

1. Jeff Bezos
Mike Segar/Reuters

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in the garage of his Seattle home in 1994. The online marketplace went public three years later and has since grown to sell everything from fashion to tech to food and Amazon's own consumer-electronics products.

On November 24, 2017 — Black Friday — Bezos's net worth hit $100 billion.

Net worth: $98.4 billion

Age: 53

Citizenship: United States

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Amazon

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