How old 14 of the world's richest people were when they first became billionaires

AP/Jae C. HongSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel became a billionaire at 25.
  • Not all billionaires join the three comma club at the same age.
  • Bill Gates may be richer than Mark Zuckerberg, but the Facebook CEO became a billionaire when he was nearly a decade younger.
  • Oprah Winfrey became a billionaire at age 49.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Bill Gates became a billionaire in 1987 at 31, he was the youngest person to ever join the three comma club. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg took that title when he reached billionaire status at 23.

But not all of today’s wealthiest entrepreneurs saw such success at a young age: Larry Ellison was 42 when he made his first million and 49 when his net worth reached the billions.

Using an analysis of the Forbes’ 2020 Billionaires List by British sports betting firm OLBG, we’ve broken out the ages at which Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, and 11 more of the world’s richest people became billionaires. Here they are, listed in order from oldest to youngest at the time they reached billionaire status.


Warren Buffett: 56

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Today’s estimated net worth: $US79.7 billion

The investing legend and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway became a self-made billionaire in 1986 at age 56, Business Insider previously reported. His net worth passed $US1 billion after Berkshire Hathaway sold class-A shares for the first time.


George Lucas: 52

Getty Images

Today’s estimated net worth: $US5.7 billion

Lucas may be the brains behind two of the most well-known film franchises of our time, but he made most of his money by selling his production studio Lucasfilm to Disney for $US4.05 billion in cash and stock in 2012, according to Bloomberg. He first became a self-made billionaire in 1996 at 52.


Carlos Slim: 51

UN Geneva/ Flickr

Today’s estimated net worth: $US51.2 billion

The Telecom magnate became a self-made billionaire in 1991 at 51. Real-estate investments contributed to Slim’s fortune. In 2015, he was the second-richest person in the world.


Larry Ellison: 49

Oracle

Today’s estimated net worth: $US71.4 billion

The founder of Oracle became a self-made billionaire in 1993 at 49, Business Insider previously reported. Since stepping down as Oracle’s CEO in 2014, Ellison has earned a reputation as a jet-setting, yacht-racing playboy.


Oprah Winfrey: 49

Mike Windle/Getty

Today’s estimated net worth: $US2.5 billion

The media mogul and queen of daytime television became a self-made billionaire in 2003 at 49, per Forbes. Winfrey’s media empire led her to become the first Black female billionaire in history, Business Insider previously reported.


Meg Whitman: 42

HP

Today’s estimated net worth: $US5.1 billion

The former eBay and Hewlett-Packard CEO and current Quibi CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 42. Whitman’s net worth exceeded $US1 billion after she took eBay public, per Forbes.


Sir Richard Branson: 41

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Today’s estimated net worth: $US4.6 billion

Britain’s high-profile billionaire earned his first billion in 1991 at 41, per Forbes. The Virgin Group founder became a self-made billionaire thanks to the success of his many companies – he has overseen approximately 500.


Elon Musk: 41

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Today’s estimated net worth: $US68 billion

The cofounder of PayPal and Tesla Motors and founder of SpaceX reached self-made billionaire status in 2012 at 41 as the value of Tesla’s stock soared, per Forbes.


Mark Cuban: 40

Reuters

Today’s estimated net worth: $US4.2 billion

The “Shark Tank” investor and Dallas Mavericks owner became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 40, per Forbes. Selling his first company, Micro Solutions, made Cuban a millionaire – selling his second company, Broadcast.com, made him a billionaire.


Jeff Bezos: 35

Mike Segar/Reuters

Today’s estimated net worth: $US188.1 billion

Amazon’s founder and CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1999 at 35, when the value in Bezos’ Amazon shares catapulted him from millionaire to billionaire status. Bezos, now 56, later became the world’s first centibillionaire, Business Insider previously reported.


Bill Gates: 31

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Today’s estimated net worth: $US113.5 billion

The Microsoft cofounder and noted philanthropist, now 64, became a self-made billionaire in 1987 at 31. When the value in Gates’ shares surpassed $US1 billion, he became the youngest billionaire ever at the time, Business Insider previously reported.


Larry Page: 30

AP

Today’s estimated net worth: $US66.8 billion

Google’s cofounder, now 47, joined the three comma club in 2004 at age 30, when the company’s IPO sent Page’s net worth over $US1 billion for the first time.


Evan Spiegel: 25

Michael Kovac/Getty ImagesEvan Spiegel.

Today’s estimated net worth: $US4.5 billion

The Snapchat cofounder and CEO became a billionaire in 2015 at 25, when the value in Spiegel’s Snapchat shares reached $US1 billion, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires. Spiegel is now 30, per Forbes.


Mark Zuckerberg: 23

Robert Galbraith/ReutersMark Zuckerberg.

Today’s estimated net worth: $US99.6 billion

The Facebook cofounder and CEO became a billionaire at age 23 after the social network’s IPO in 2008, making Zuckerberg the youngest self-made billionaire in history at the time.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.