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Jeff Bezos Surpasses Bill Gates as World’s Richest, Then Loses Title

Shuffling and reshuffling at the top.

Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world for a few hours. The Amazon founder had reached a net worth of $92.3 billion, or nearly $2 billion more than the $90.8 billion of Microsoft’s founder. Then Amazon’s stock reversed, losing 3.4% in after-hours trading, which again relegated Bezos to second place.

Bezos’s climb to the top of the world’s richest started off from a Seattle garage in 1994, where he founded the online Amazon bookstore with a Princeton engineering diploma to his credit. Since then, Amazon has conquered the world, triggering a revolution in shopping patterns. The next challenge is now the conquest of the grocery market: an industry worth $600 billion and one characterized by consumers who still prefer to buy groceries in person.

Groceries represent an ambitious challenge, but according to analysts, one achievable for Amazon, which has so far surprised observers time after time. Bezos started 2017 as the fourth richest man in the world, then passed Zara’s Amancio Ortega and then Warren Buffett. Now the momentary overtaking of Gates, who remained at the top of Forbes’ 2017 list that was published in March.

It should be noted that Gates, with Buffett, is the creator of the Giving Pledge, an initiative to encourage billionaires to donate at least half of their fortune to charity. So far Gates has donated $31.1 billion, a figure that makes the $100 million donated by Bezos to philanthropic causes seem quaint.

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