Bill Gates has long been the richest man alive.
Sure, he isn’t always on top—as the wealth of people in this caliber fluctuate by the billions, he has had his rank drop to second, even third at times. But these periods have always been brief; he has always returned to the title of World’s Wealthiest Man. (Also, his dips in monetary value are often due to his spending on philanthropic efforts, such as his foundation, not losing money on poor investments or having others best him.)
The founder of Microsoft, Gates is now worth a staggering $90 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s as rich as he has ever been, though not as rich as any man has ever been—Mansa Musa I of Mali, a king who ruled West Africa in the 14th century, had a net worth that peaked around $400 billion (inflation-adjusted). There was also John D. Rockefeller ($340 billion), William the Conqueror ($230 billion), and motor vehicle pioneer Henry Ford ($200 billion), among others.
At $90 billion, Gates places himself tied for 18th with Alexander Turney Stewart—the investor of mail-order shopping in the 19th century—for wealthiest people of all time.
Other tech titans on the billionaires list include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (4th at $66 billion), Mark Zuckerberg (5th at $55 billion), and Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (11th and 12th with around $40 billion each).