Some things never change: Bill Gates is still the richest person in the world. He’s been among the wealthiest since Microsoft went public in 1986, and he only got richer as the company's software became the de facto standard on computers around the world.
Gates' net worth today sits at$87.4 billion, according to new Wealth-X data on the world's 50 richest people. That makes Gates more than $20 billion richer than runner-up Amancio Ortega, the man behind Spanish fashion behemoth Zara.
Despite a pledge to donate half of his wealth — his personal lifetime giving already exceeds $27 billion and makes him the most generous person on earth — Gates is still earning money faster than he can give it away.
"I'm certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes," he saidin a 2013 Telegraph article. "Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world."
Since stepping down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, Gates has shifted his focus to global philanthropy. He and his wife Melinda run one of the most powerful charitable organizations in the world, controlling an endowment of more than $40 billion. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation regularly donates millions to causes in agricultural development, emergency relief, urban poverty, global health, and education. The foundation made its largest single donation ever in 2014 — a $50 million gift to fight the spread Ebola in West Africa.
Gates is one of 29 Americans and 12 tech moguls to make the cut for the 50 richest people in the world.
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