In 2017 the Oxfam report concluded that the top eight wealthiest people on the planet have as much combined capital as the poorest half of the world's population. Great wealth has come to these men--for there are no women on the list this year--through advances in technology, retailing, internet sales, and a diverse portfolio of investments. The most recent Forbes listing of the world's wealthiest people included 2,208 billionaires, a record, with the total wealth estimated at $9.1 trillion.
In 1975 William Henry Gates, 64, along with Paul Allen, launched a company called Microsoft, which would become the world's largest and most valued PC software provider. Bill Gates was the company's main shareholder until 2014 when he stepped away from company leadership to fund the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which carries on charitable activities around the world. At various times since 1987, when he first made the Forbes list of wealthiest people, Gates has been cited as being the richest man in the world. As of November 16 of 2019, Bill Gates beat Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man and is estimated to be worth $110 billion today.
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