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Jeff Bezos Was (Briefly) World's Richest Man 2017

Jeff Bezos Was (Briefly) World's Richest Man
A surge in Amazon.com shares Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer's earnings report briefly propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world's richest person.

Bezos's net worth topped $90 billion on Thursday morning, allowing the Amazon founder and CEO to dethrone Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), as the richest man in the world, according to Forbes and Bloomberg.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became an even richer man on Thursday morning, when a sudden surge in Amazon stock made him $1.5 billion overnight. His fortune grew to over $90 billion.

For several hours, Bezos was the richest person on earth — surpassing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The top billionaire title has previously been claimed by Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim, Spanish fast-fashion giant Amancio Ortega and investor Warren Buffett — though most of the time, it's firmly in Gates' possession.

Amazon stock has settled down slightly, and Bezos is now in the No. 2 slot, according to the constantly fluctuating lists compiled by Forbes and Bloomberg.

Read more: Jeff Bezos briefly dethrones Bill Gates as world's Richest Person

Jeff Bezos Was (Briefly) World's Richest Man

Forbes notes one key difference between the wealth of Gates and Bezos:
"Bezos would be nowhere close to being the world's wealthiest person had Gates not given so much of his fortune to philanthropy. Gates, who created the Giving Pledge with Buffett to encourage billionaires to give at least half of their wealth to charitable causes, had given away $31.1 billion over the course of his lifetime through end of 2016. Forbes estimates that Bezos, who has not signed the pledge, had given approximately $100 million to charity through the end of 2015."
Bezos' rise to wealth has been powered by the extraordinary success of Amazon, the online retailing giant he founded out of his garage in 1995.

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