How the time flies. I remember a time when Bill Gates' fortunate was valued at a mere $40 billion. It seemed like no one could touch him, until a certain business magnate Carlos Slim came along and surpassed him in 2007. Since then, the fortunes of both men have continued to increase, and this week, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index has put Mr. Gates in the lead once again, with a fortune of $72.7 billion. Mr. Slim settles in at $72.1 billion.
It may be easy to assume that the majority of Mr. Gates' wealth stemmed from Microsoft, but that's not the case. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is responsible for only a quarter, or thereabouts; the rest is thanks to his investments made through Cascade Investment.
Of course, Gates isn't someone just sitting along for the ride, watching his wealth grow. He's a well-known philanthropist, and over his lifetime has donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one that aims to improve the quality of life to those in developing countries and give access to the tools those living in poverty in the US need to succeed.
With its updated list, Bloomberg has dished out some interesting facts on each of its entrants, including Bill. Did you know that he once paid the Rolling Stones $10 million for the rights to their song Start Me Up to help promote Windows 95? Or how about the fact that he considers Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman as his hero? Or, that he once took singing lessons with his wife, Melinda?
Gates is certainly someone who lives life to the fullest, and as our fearless leader Dave puts it, Gates' placement as the wealthiest man "couldn’t happen to a nicer guy". For more fun facts, check out our report on Gates' AMA (ask me anything) that he participated in at Reddit a couple of months ago.