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World's Richest Person? Not Bill Gates, But Jeff Bezos

  • VOA Staff

FILE - Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle.

The founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, has overtaken Bill Gates of Microsoft and is now the world's richest man, based on Thursday's stock prices for the corporations that make up the bulk of their wealth.

Forbes magazine, which tracks the world's biggest personal fortunes, said Bezos' net worth is now a bit over $90.5 billion, ahead of Gates, whose wealth was measured at just over $90 billion.

Bezos, who is 53 years old, owns around 17 percent of Amazon.com Inc. The world's largest online retailer, founded in 1994, has been expanding and growing into a diversified technology firm active in cloud computing, online video, computing hardware and artificial intelligence.

The company also announced this year that it will acquire U.S. grocer Whole Foods, which could help expand Amazon's online food-shopping services.

Bezos became the first multi-billionaire to surpass Gates in seven years, in monetary terms. Gates, who is 61, has been No. 1 for 18 of the past 22 years; he has stepped down from his former Microsoft chairmanship and now devotes more time to the charities that have received over $30 billion from him in recent years.

Amazon.com founder Bezos is only the sixth person to hold the "world's richest" title in the 30 years that Forbes has been tracking personal fortunes. In addition to his huge holdings of Amazon.com stock, Bezos also personally owns The Washington Post corporation news and founded the space technology company Blue Origin.

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