Jeff Bezos briefly surpassed Bill Gates as the richest man in the world on Thursday. Amazon shares rose by 2.5%, which means that Bezos, with 17% shares in the company, saw his wealth grow by $1.4 billion. This news comes only a day after Amazon officially joined the $500 billion club, with further gains in the company’s stocks propelling him to the top of the billionaire’s list.
According to Forbes, his wealth reached $91 billion dollars compared with Bill Gates’ fortune of $90 billion. But then dipped back down to $89 billion by the close of the markets on Thursday. Amazon has grown to become a retail giant and the company now commands 43% of online sales in the U.S.
Bezos started Amazon out of his home 22 years ago. What’s amazing is that he has been a billionaire for nearly 20 of those years, first making the Forbes list in 1998 with a net worth of $1.6 billion after Amazon’s IPO.
Born in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bezos has used his fortune to buy the Washington Post. His other investment is space travel through a company called Blue Origin, which he started in 2000.