Money talks, and there have been people over the years who have had so much that its shut the rest of us up. While we may understand privilege, most of us will never understand the jaw-dropping amounts of money some people have had over the years. While some figures through history were rich due to personal wealth itself, others were considered rich due to their imperial possessions and the territory they controlled. In this list, we’ll cover people who were known for their immediate wealth.

1. Mansa Musa – $400 billion

This African ruler from the 1300s is considered the richest person in medieval history. His net worth was $400 billion. He was the emperor of the Mali Empire, an Islamic West African state, and his wealth was due to the fact that Mali produced staggering quantities of salt and gold.


2. John D. Rockefeller – $340 billion

Born in 1839 in New York, John Rockefeller’s fame grew as the co-founder of Standard Oil. Working in the energy and petrol industries, he amassed a great fortune which was worth $340 billion. He died in 1937, but the Rockefeller name lives on.


3. Andrew Carnegie, $310 billion

This Scottish-American industrialist led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 1800s and became one of the richest Americans in history. He was actually born into a poor family, and by the end of his life had pretty much given all of his wealth. 

Adam Smith

4. Tsar Nicholas II – $300 billion

Famous for being part of the Russian royal family that was executed in 1918 following the Russian Revolution, Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov’s wealth was valued at a massive $300 billion. He was one of the richest monarchs in history.


5. William the Conqueror – $228 billion

This was the first Norman king of England, and he reigned from 1066 until 1087. William was known to seize land and plunder treasure, which is how he managed to accumulate his massive worth of $228 billion.


6. Jakob Fugger – $221 billion

With a last name like that, you kind of have to be rich. This Fugger lived from 1459 until 1525 in Germany and made his fortune through textile trading, mining, and banking.

NY Post

7. Henry Ford – $200 billion

The creator of Ford Motor Company lived between 1863 and 1947, and in those years he accumulated a massive fortune of $200 billion. Money and cars, what more do you need?

Henry Ford

8. Basil II – $200 billion

Basil II Porphyrogenitus, nicknamed the Bulgar Slayer, was a Byzantine Emperor for almost 50 years. He was born in 958 AD in Constantinople and died on 15 December 1025. Apart from his riches, he was also known for his cruelty, as he would have Bulgarians blinded.


9. Cornelius Vanderbilt – $185 billion

This American icon directed the construction of New York City’s Grand Central Station. He also built his fortune through the construction of other railroads and shipping lines, and was the founder of Vanderbilt University.


10. Mir Osman Ali Khan – $37 Billion

Mir Osman Ali Khan was the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad (1911-1967), and was considered to be the richest man in the world at one time with a fortune of $2 billion, which would translate to about $37 billion today. In 1937, Time magazine featured him on its cover as the world’s richest person.

Indian Express

That’s a lot of cumulative dough!