Zara’s mysterious founder, Amancio Ortega, just surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world.
Shares of the Spanish retailer’s parent company, Inditex, rose 2.5%. That boosted Ortega’s fortune to $79.5 billion, according to Forbes.
Bill Gates’ net worth is $78.5 billion.
Despite Ortega’s impressive net worth, many people have never heard of him.
The 80-year-old Spaniard fiercely guards his privacy and gives few interviews to the press.
Ortega founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975. Today, his retail company Inditex SA — which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear — has over 6,600 outposts around the world.
In August 2013, his ex-wife and Zara cofounder, Rosalia Mera, died at 69. She was Spain's richest woman.
This is his daughter, Marta. The socialite is married to top Spanish equestrian Sergio Álvarez Moya.
Ortega and his wife live in a discreet apartment building in La Coruña, Spain, near a major port of the Atlantic Ocean.
Ortega is known for being private. In 2012, Bloomberg noted that he had only granted interviews to three journalists.
He also dresses modestly. He usually wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and grey pants -- none of which are Zara products.
In his free time, Ortega enjoys horseback riding and owns an equestrian center in Finisterre in Galicia, Spain.
He also bought the tallest skyscraper in Spain, the Torre Picasso in Madrid. The building stands 515 feet and cost $536 million.
He owns The Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, considered to be one of the best luxury hotels in the US.
He also owns The Global Express BD-700, a private jet designed by Bombardier, one of the leading manufacturers of luxury private jets. The plane carries a price tag of $45 million.
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