Jeff Bezos is Officially the Richest Man in the World

His fortune is more than $90 billion because of rising Amazon stock.

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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The recent surge in Amazon stock has pushed Jeff Bezos’ fortune to over $90 billion, making him the world’s richest man.

CNBC reports that although Bezos has been a billionaire for more than 20 years, his wealth has rocketed in the last two years. When the markets closed Wednesday night, the Amazon CEO had a net worth of over $89 billion, according to Forbes and Bloomberg, while Bill Gates had a net worth of just over $90 billion.

But Amazon’s share price jumped by more than $15 a share overnight, and was recently trading near that level. Meanwhile, Microsoft is still down. If the stocks hold up today, Bezos will add more than $800 million to his fortune — which would put him past Gates. Bezos owns 80 million shares of Amazon.

Of course, this could change due to changes in the stocks, but Bezos will most likely pass Gates in the coming days and weeks anyway, CNBC reports. When he does, Bezos will become the first man to surpass Gates in seven years and only the sixth man to hold the “richest person” title in the past 30 years, according to Forbes.

This rise is symbolic because it signals “Amazon’s unbridled power and value, presenting a new face of outsized wealth to the world and heralding a new kind of billionaire who is skeptical of philanthropy and has massive reach in culture, technology and media.” Gates, meanwhile, dedicates much of his time and money to philanthropy.

Bezos usually avoids talking publicly about his wealth, and like most other tech tycoons, says he’s trying to change the world rather than get rich. He is hyper-competitive and does not show off his wealth in flashy ways. He also owns The Washington Post and founded “Blue Origin,” the space-travel company.

Bezos started selling books from his garage 22 years ago. In his commencement speech at Princeton, Bezos said he got the idea to sell books on the internet while working at a New York hedge fund. He chose to create a start-up rather than stay at the fund.

“I took the less safe path to follow my passion and I’m proud of that choice,” he said in the speech.

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