The Richest People Of All Time, And Their Obnoxious Fortunes

When payday rolls around at the end of a long, hard month of work, we might feel pretty rich — even if it’s just momentarily. But for most of us, the reality is we’re not actually that well off — especially when you compare it to what these 21 men managed to earn in their lifetime. Let’s just say you’d probably forget about that monthly paycheck with billions or trillions in the bank.

21. Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel

Richard FitzAlan held many different titles. As a nobleman, he was the 10th Earl of Arundel and the 8th Earl of Surrey. In 1345, and in the midst of his storied medieval military career, he became the Admiral of the Western Fleet. FitzAlan was also married twice and a father to at least seven children. Thankfully, he had more than enough money to support them all!

⁓$108 billion

FitzAlan died in January 1376 after spending his lifetime accruing a £60,000 all-cash fortune — an impressive sum for the 14th century. In fact, it was enough of an inheritance for his sons, the future Earls of Arundel, to also become some of the world's wealthiest men ever! Today, FitzAlan’s savings would be worth about $108 billion.

20. Bill Gates

Bill Gates got into Harvard, but he didn’t stay long. Instead, he decided to drop out and start his own business. That business would be Microsoft, which is now the biggest PC software enterprise in the world. Gates served as Microsoft’s CEO until January of 2000 — although he still provides advice to those running the company now.

$114.2 billion

Between 1995 and 2017, Gates held the number one spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people in all but four of those years. At the time of writing, August 2022, he’s got an impressive $114.2 billion to his name. And amazingly, he has already donated a staggering $35.8 billion in his Microsoft stock to the eponymous charitable foundation he founded with his ex-wife.