He would be worth $88 billion today, head and shoulders above his biggest competitors Carlos Slim and Warren Buffet, if he hadn’t given away so much of his fortune to philanthropic efforts, mainly his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Instead his fortune today is estimated at a paltry $49 billion.
In what is no doubt a secret bid to retain the number one spot, Gates is also the architect of the Giving Pledge, which lobbies billionaires to pledge to give over half of their assets to philanthropy over their lifetime. After all, if all billionaires gave as much as Gates, he would again be the world’s richest man. Yes, that’s the only plausible explanation.
Seriously though, Gates has often said that he was uncomfortable with the number-one spot and all the attention it brings, so he can’t be missing it. In fact, he probably found the best way to get rid of it, along with a second act that has the potential to eclipse the first, amazing one.