John D. Rockefeller has been the indisputable wealthiest individual in history for the better part of eighty years. That streak came to an end today.
Until present, no other one individual has had a greater amount of private fortune. For the most of Rockefeller’s eighty-decade run, the only individual who came close was Andrew Carnegie, who was born in the same year. However, even Carnegie, with an inflation-adjusted wealth of $310 billion, was a distant second with a fortune of just $110 billion.
Elon Musk has a net worth of $340 billion at the time of writing this article. In fact, it’s the exact same sum that most historians use when estimating the present equivalent of Rockefeller’s century-old wealth.
As a result, they are precisely tied. If someone were to give Elon a $1 today, he would be the wealthiest person in history, according to theoretical calculations.
John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839 and died in 1937. Beginning with a few thousand dollars and a few oil fields in Cleveland, Rockefeller went on to build Standard Oil into a world-beating petroleum monopoly that still dominates the industry today.
With the help of Standard Oil, Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire who was not adjusted for inflation. That is, he was the first individual in history to have control over a billion dollars in real-time assets and fortune.
Fascinating fact: In 1906, the United States government filed a lawsuit against Standard Oil under the Sherman Antitrust Act. As a result of the government’s case, the Standard monopoly was dismantled and deregulated in 1911.
It’s reasonable to conclude that Rockefeller’s money suffered as a result of the dissolution of his enterprise. NOPE. A Standard Oil audit conducted a decade before the breakup estimated Rockefeller’s net worth to be $200 million at the time.
Rockefeller’s net worth was assessed at $900 million in a Standard Oil audit conducted only two years after the empire was split, with Rockefeller holding portions of each new business. As an example, Mark Zuckerberg is now worth $118 billion, according to Forbes.
Consider the consequences if Facebook were forced to split up and spin off assets such as Instagram and Whatsapp into separate rival firms. Consider what would happen if Mark had a net worth of a little less than $500 billion two years later. In the case of Rockefeller, this is what occurred. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
The Rockefeller family started distributing large sums of money to their children and a charity organisation (which is now known as the Rockefeller Foundation) beginning in 1917 and continued during his last 20 years of life.
In fact, if you include all of the money that was moved to hundreds of trusts, John D. Rockefeller’s highest net worth was quite near to $2 billion.
If you use an online calculator to convert $2 billion to today’s inflation-adjusted dollars, you’ll come up with a figure anywhere between $25 and $30 billion. However, this does not provide you with the whole picture. One must evaluate a number of parameters, including Rockefeller’s net worth as a proportion of the American Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in order to accurately assess the modern-day counterpart of the Rockefeller wealth.
For example, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States in 1935 was around $74 billion dollars. Rockefeller was worth $1.5 billion at the time of the interview.
As a result, his wealth was equivalent to 2 percent of the whole GDP. A wealth of $200 billion today would amount to less than 1% of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP).
In fact, as we indicated at the outset of this piece, John D. Rockefeller has been widely considered as the wealthiest individual in history for the last 80 years. After accounting for all relevant considerations, the majority of wealth historians estimate John D. Rockefeller’s present comparable net worth to be as follows:
Some estimates place Rockefeller’s wealth a little lower, while others place it a little higher. According to Wikipedia’s list of the wealthiest historical persons, their net worth ranges from $300 billion to $400 billion. However, the most often heard figure is $340 billion, which is a conservative estimate.
As you can see in the picture above, Elon Musk has amassed a net worth of $140 billion, surpassing Jeff Bezos by a substantial margin. As a result, Elon Musk has a net worth equal to that of Bill Gates ($131 billion) and Jeff Bezos ($9 billion) and has $9 billion to spare.
Elon is now wealthier than Warren Buffett ($105 billion), Larry Ellison ($114 billion), and Mark Zuckerberg ($118 billion) put together, plus he has an additional $3 billion in cash on hand. Those three guys are the ninth, eighth, and seventh wealthiest persons on the planet, according to Forbes magazine.