It appears that Bill Gates is a virtual proletariat businessman in compared to some. A website called Celebrity Net Worth calculated the wealth of well-known historical and contemporary rich guys and found that 14th century African king Mansa Musa I was the richest person in history.
Mansa Musa I had an estimated $400 billion fortune. In comparison, Gates weighs in with $136 billion. Fourteen of 25 are Americans. Here is the list of the adjusted incomes:
1. Mansa Musa I – $400 billion
2. The Rothschild family – $350 billion
3. John D. Rockefeller – $340 billion
4. Andrew Carnegie – $310 billion
5. Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov – $300 billion
6. Mir Osman Ali Khan – $230 billion
7. William The Conqueror – $229.5 billion
8. Muammar Qaddafi – $200 billion
9. Henry Ford – $199 billion
10. Cornelius Vanderbilt – $185 billion
Musa I lived between 1280 to c. 1337. He was the tenth Mansa or “King of Kings” over territory formerly belonging to the Ghana and Melle (Mali) empires.
Mansa Musa controls key shipping routes and showed great ambition. Arab-Egyptian scholar Al-Umari quotes him as saying:
The ruler who preceded me did not believe that it was impossible to reach the extremity of the ocean that encircles the earth (meaning the Atlantic). He wanted to reach that (end) and was determined to pursue his plan. So he equipped two hundred boats full of men, and many others full of gold, water and provisions sufficient for several years. He ordered the captain not to return until they had reached the other end of the ocean, or until he had exhausted the provisions and water. So they set out on their journey. They were absent for a long period, and, at last just one boat returned. When questioned the captain replied: ‘O Prince, we navigated for a long period, until we saw in the midst of the ocean a great river which flowing massively. My boat was the last one; others were ahead of me, and they were drowned in the great whirlpool and never came out again. I sailed back to escape this current.’ But the Sultan would not believe him. He ordered two thousand boats to be equipped for him and his men, and one thousand more for water and provisions. Then he conferred the regency on me for the term of his absence, and departed with his men, never to return nor to give a sign of life.
The Romney campaign has immediately issued a press release that Mansa Musa “did build that.” However, the Obama campaign has stressed that his tax rate was still lower than the planned increase for top earners in the U.S.