Unusual Facts About the World’s Richest People

An idiosyncrasy is an unusual feature of a person, which also means odd habit. This term is often used to express eccentricity or peculiarity, a synonym may be known also as quirk. Quirk is an idiosyncrasy, a slight glitch, mannerism or something unusual about the manner of someone’s style or style of something.

1)   Bill Gates

Bill Gates, 59,

Bill Gates, 59,

Bill Gates is best known as a billionaire, Philanthropist and the founder of Microsoft world’s largest software company. a college dropout, and enrolled in 1973 at Harvard College in the autumn. Gates was arrested in New Mexico in 1977, for allegedly beating a red light and driving without a license. In 1985, Bill Gates was named one of  of 50 Most Eligible Bachelors by Good Housekeeping. On January 1, 1994, Gates married Melinda French and together, they have three children, two daughters Jennifer Katharine (born 1996) and Phoebe Adele (born 2002), and son Rory John (born 1999). The Gates family lived in an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina. Gates’s private acquisitions is the Codex Leicester, a Leonardo da Vinci‘s collection of writings, which Gates bought in 1994, for $30.8 million at an auction. Gates is best known as an avid reader, and his large library ceiling’s is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby. Bill Gates loves playing bridge, tennis, and golf. In 1989, Gates founded a digital imaging company, Corbis, and also he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway in 2004, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffet. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg founder and CEO of Facebook, signed a commitment on December 9, 2010, they called the Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge, a commitment by all three to donate at least half of their wealth to charity. On June 27, 2008, Gates bid goodbye to Microsoft, as a full time chairman to take-up a full time role as philanthropist  and devout his time for charity works in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who made his fortune through developing software for personal computer.

2)   Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, 84

Warren Buffett, 84

Warren Edward Buffett an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, and he is best known as the Wizard of Omaha or Oracle of Omaha, or the Sage of Omaha and is noted for his devotion to Value investing and for his being thrifty despite of he is ranked among the wealthiest people in the world, and the most successful investor of the 20th century. Warren Buffett is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway (an American multinational conglomerate holding company based in Omaha, Nebraska, that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies). Buffett is also best known as a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away his fortune of 99 percent to philanthropic causes, through the Gates Foundation. Buffett showed interest in making and saving money since he was a child. Buffet sold chewing gum, Coca-Cola, or weekly magazines door to door.He also worked in a grocery store owned by his grandfather, made money while in high school by delivering newspapers, selling golf balls and stamps and detailing cars, and many odd jobs. In 1952, Warren Buffett married Susan Thompson, and together they had three children, Susie, Howard and Peter Buffet. In 1977, Warren and Susan Buffet began living separately, but they remained married until in July 29, 2004, when Susan Buffett died at the age of 72 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. Susan Buffet was diagnosed with oral cancer, in October 2003, she underwent surgery, radiation therapy and facial reconstruction. Warren Buffett who was then 76 years old, married his longtime companion, Astrid Menks, who was then 60 years old,in 2006, who was living together since Warren’s wife, Susan’s departure to San Francisco in 1977. Susan Buffet had arranged for the two, Warren and Astrid Menks, to meet before she left Omaha to pursue her singing career. All three, Warren, Susan and Astrid were close and send Christmas cards to friends were signed as “Warren, Susie and Astrid”. In 2006, Warren Buffett disowned his granddaughter Nicole, his son Peter’s adopted daughter, after she participated in The One Percent, the Jamie Johnson documentary, although, Nicole was referred to as one of Susan’s adored grandchildren. Warren Buffett wrote Nicole a letter stating, “I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin”. Buffett is a bridge avid player, who plays with fellow fan Gates, and allegedly spends 12 hours a week playing the game. It was reported in December 2006, that Buffett do not bring a mobile phone with him, do not have any computer at his desk, and drives his own Cadillac DTS car. Buffet had an old Nokia flip phone in 2013, and had sent one email in his entire life. Every day, Buffet reads five newspapers, starting reading with the Omaha World Herald, which his company acquired in 2011. The Fast Company in a September 2014’s article featured Buffet’s practice avoid at all cost, used to prioritize personal goals, and the initial, longer list as it may hinder the top five achievements. Buffett also gave advises to people to make a list of the top 25 accomplishments that one individual planned to complete over the next few years of their life, and then pick five of the most-important listed items. Buffett was diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer on April 11, 2012, during a routine test, and announced he would start his two months radiation treatment everyday. Buffett announced on September 15, 2012, that he had completed the full 44-day radiation treatment cycle.

3)  Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim, 74

Carlos Slim, 74

Carlos Slim Helú  is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist was ranked as one of the richest man in the world, also known as the Warren Buffet of Mexico. Slim has large range holdings in a numerous Mexican companies through his corporation Grupo Carso, SA de CV, have increased interests in the fields of communications, real estate, airlines, media, technology, retailing, and finance. Carlos Slim is the chairperson and chief executive of Telmex is a telecommunication company based in Mexico City providing telecommunications products and services in Mexico  and América Móvil, the largest mobile-phone carrier in Latin America since 2010, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim’s wealth by the end of that year. Slim was born in 1940 in Mexico City to a Maronite Catholic parents, Julián Slim Haddad born as Khalil Salim Haddad Aglamaz and Linda Helú, both of Lebanese descent. In 1902, at age 14, his father emigrated to Mexico from Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Empire) and changed his name to Julián Slim Haddad. Linda Helú Atta, Slim’s mother, was born in Parral, Chihuahua, of Lebanese parents who had immigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century. Carlos Slim’s parents, Julián Slim and Linda Helú married in August 1926, and had six children, Nour, Alma, Julián Jr., José, Carlos and Linda. In 1953, Slim’s father, Julián Sr.died. Their father taught the siblings including Carlos Slim, the basic practices of a business and Slim bought shares in a Mexican bank at the age of 12, and he earned 200 pesos a week working for his father’s company at age 17. Carlos Slim developed his own brokerage firm and later expanded to invest in individual businesses, ranging from construction, manufacturing to retail and restaurants. Slim incorporated Inversora Bursátil in 1965 and bought Jarritos del Sur, and the following year, in 1966, his company was already worth US$40 million, and he founded Inmobiliaria Carso, (the Carso name was derived from the name Carlos’ first three letters and the first two letters from his wife’s name Soumaya). After three months,Carlos Slim married Soumaya Domit, in 1967, and they remained married until her death in 1999. Soumaya’s interests were various philanthropic projects, such as the creation of a legal framework for organ donation. Carlos Slim has six children, Carlos Jr., Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa and Johanna. In 1999, Carlos Slim underwent a heart surgery. Slim surpassed billionaire Warren Buffet as the world’s second richest person with an estimated net worth of $53.1 billion on March 29, 2007, compared to Buffet’s $52.4 billion, while Bloomberg L.P. ranked Carlos Slim as the second richest person in the world, on May 16, 2013, after Bill Gates. The Fundación Carlos Slim Helú which was established in 1986, sponsored the Museo Soumaya, a private museum, and admission is free, in Mexico City, named after Soumaya Domit, Slim’s late wife, which publicly opened in 2011. The Museo Soumaya is a non-profit cultural institution with two museum buildings in Mexico City, with over one million visitors in 2012 and also in 2013, and with these ranks, the museum is one the most visited art museum in Mexico and the 56th most visited museum in the world. Carlos Slim do not bother with computers, and according to reports, he is a  meticulous record-keeper, a trait which Slim’s said he inherited from his father, but he never uses computer, and uses notebook instead, and prefers keeping all his notes and records handwritten with pen and paper. Slim is also known wearing plastic wristwatch sometimes. Slim’s Mexico City home has simple furnishings, with 6 bedrooms,with a modest pool. Carlos Slim drives hi own car around the heavily traffic of Mexico City and do not use a private driver, despite of being one of the richest man in the world.

4)  Amancio Ortega Gaona

Amancio Ortega, 78

Amancio Ortega, 78

Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish fashion executive, founder and chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. Ortega was first married to Rosalia Mera, from 1966 to 1986, and has two children, Sandra Ortega Mera, (ranked 4th richest woman after her inheritance of net worth $6.1 billion, when mother Rosalia, died in 2013) and brother, Marcos Ortega Mera (who was born with cerebral palsy). Amancio Gaona is residing in an apartment building in Galicia, Spain with his second wife. Floria Perez Marcote, whom he married in 2001. The couple has one child together named, Marta Ortega Perez. Amancio Ortega is the youngest of four children. He was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain, and grew up there, and moved at age 14 to A Coruña, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Amancio Ortega found a job as a shop hand for Gala, a local shirtmaker during his teens, which still sits on the same corner in downtown A Coruña. He founded in 1972, the Confecciones Goa (his initials in reverse), produced and selling quilted bathrobes using thousands of local women organised into sewing cooperatives.Ortega opened his first Zara store, in 1975, the name he had chosen because the name Zorba which he first preferred was already taken. During the 1980’s, Ortega has opened many big Zara Stores throughout Galicia. Amancio Ortega keeps a very low profile and, no photographs of him has never been published until 1999. Every day, Ortega goes to the same coffee shop, the company’s cafeteria and eats lunch with his employees. Amancio Ortega do not wear a tie and wears a simple typical uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and gray pants, which are none of his Zara products. Ortega made a public appearance as part of the warm-up prior to initial public offering of his company on the stock market in 2001, which made headlines in the Spanish financial press. But Ortega, has only granted interviews to three journalists ever, and his secrecy has led to the publication of books, such as Amancio Ortega: de cero a Zara (From Zero to Zara). Ortega announced in 2001, his forthcoming retirement from Inditex, Zara chain of store’s parent company, said, that he would ask Inditex vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla to take his place at the helm of the textile empire.

5)   Larry Ellison

Larry Elllison, 70

Larry Elllison, 70

Born Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Ellison, born in New York City, but grew up in Chicago, is an American programmer, internet entrepreneur, businessman, adventurer and philanthropist, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Oracle Corporation software company (an American multinational computer technology corporation based in Redwood City, California) since its foundation in 1977 and 2014. In the early 1970’s while working at Ampex Corporation, he became interested on the relational database design researches by Edgar F. Codd, which led to the formation of what became Oracle in 1977, and a successful database vendor to mid- and low-range systems, competing with Sybase and Microsoft SOL Server, which led in 2006, to Ellison being listed by Forbes as the richest person in California. Larry Ellison is also a licensed aircraft pilot, and owned two military jets. Ellison’s father was an Italian American United States Air Force pilot. At the age of nine months, Ellison was nine months old, when his 19 year-old unwed mother, gave him to her aunt and uncle for adoption, after he contracted pneumonia. Ellison was age 48 when he met again his biological mother, but he always remembers his adoptive mother as warm and loving, in contrast to his adoptive father who was austere, unsupportive, and often distant, who adopted the name Ellison to honor his point of entry into the Ellis Island, United States. Ellison has been married to first wife, Adda Quinn from 1967 to 1974, Nancy Wheeler Jenkins from 1977 to 1978, they married six months before Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories. Ellison and Jenkins divorced in 1978, and for $500, she gave up any claim on her husband’s company. Ellison married third wife, Barbara Boothe from 1983 to 1986, who was a former receptionist at Relational Software Inc. (RSI). Together they had two children, David and Megan Ellison, who are Skydance Production and Annapurna pictures‘s film producers. On December 18, 2003, Ellison married romance novelist, Melanie Craft at his Woodside estate. Former CEO and Apple, Inc co-founder, Steve Jobs and Ellison’s late friend, was the official wedding photographer, and officiated by Representative Tom Lantos. The couple divorced in 2010. In 2010, Ellison made a short cameo role in the movie Iron Man 2. Ellison owns exotic cars, such as an Audi R8 and a McLaren F1, but his favorite is the Acura NSX which he was best known to give as gifts each year during its production. According to reports, Ellison is also the owner of a Lexus LFA and a Lexus LS600hL. Ellison was again listed on the Forbes list of billionaires in September 2012 as the third richest American person, behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, with a net worth of $44 billion.

6)   David Koch

David Koch, 74

David Koch, 74

David Hamilton Koch  is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer, who joined the Koch family business, the second-largest corporation, Koch Industries, privately held company in the United States since 1970. In 1979, David Koch became president of the subsidiary Koch Engineering and in 1983, he became a co-owner of Koch Industries, with older brother Charles. David Koch is now an executive vice president and an influential libetarian. David and his brother Charles have donated to political advocacy groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and to political campaigns, like Republican. On February 1, 1991, David Koch is a survivor of the USAir Flight 1493 crash, which accidentally collided with SkyWest Flight 5569 upon landing at Los Angeles. As of 21012, David Koch is the fourth richest person in America and as of 2013, he is the wealthiest resident of New York City, and as of 2014, he is the 9th wealthiest person in the world. David Koch has been a Republican when in 1984 he broke with the Libertarian Party when it supported eliminating all taxes. David Koch was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1992, and underwent radiation, surgery, and hormone therapy, but the cancer returned every time. David Koch is married to Julia Margaret Flesher since 1996and has three children, Mary Julia Koch, David Koch Jr., and John Mark Koch. According to David Koch, he believes his experience with cancer has encouraged him to fund medical research, that his biggest contributions go toward a moon shot campaign to find the cure for cancer, as he stated to his profile on Forbes.

7)  Alice Walton

Alice Walton, 65

Alice Walton, 65

Alice Louise Walton is an American heiress to the Walmart Stores, Inc. and the daughter of  Sam and Helen Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, sister of Rob Walton, Jim Walton and the late John Walton. Alice Walton’s estimated net worth is US$34.3 billion, which makes her the third-richest woman in the world (behind her sister-in-law Christy Walton and Liliane Bettencourt). Alice Walton is a horse-lover, and currently lives in a sprawling one-story, stucco house on the horse ranch. Alice Walton is known to foresee and determine which 2-month-old horses will grow to be champion cutters. Alice Walton arranged and provided the initial capital to finance the airport’s construction. During her younger days, Alice and her mother, Helen Walton, would often paint watercolors on camping trips. Because of her interest in art, Alice Walton, led the Walton Family Foundation to develop Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art built in Bentonville, Arkansas, which was opened in November 2011. In 1974, Alice Walton was first married a prominent Louisiana investment banker, at age 24, but the two were divorced two and a half years later. She married second husband, a contractor who built her swimming pool, but ended shortly in divorce. In 1983, a Thanksgiving and family reunion was held, near Acapulco, Mexico, Alice Walton lost control of a rented Jeep and plunged into a ravine, injuring severely her leg, and was airlifted out of Mexico and underwent numerous surgeries, and said she suffered lingering pain from her injuries. Alice Walton struck and killed 50-year-old Oleta Hardin, who had stepped onto a road in April 1989, however, no charges were filed. In a 1998 incident, Again, in 1998, Alice Walton was reported having hit a gas meter while driving under the influence (DUI), and paid a $925 fine and served no jail time. On her 62nd birthday, on October 7, 2011, she was again arrested for DUI in Mineral Wells, Texas, after a dinner with friends in Fort Worth. Her attorney released a statement about the incident and expressing regret. On September 2013, the Texas prosecutors dropped the charges without formal charges being filed.

8)  Lakshmi Niwas Mittal 

Lakshmi Mittal, 64

Lakshmi Mittal, 64

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is an Indian steel magnate, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. Mittal was the richest man of Asian descent in the United Kingdom in 2007, however, despite being the eighth wealthiest man in Britain in 2002, Mittal does not hold British citizenship. He is also the 47th “most powerful person” of the 70 individuals named in Forbes 2012 Most Powerful People list. Mittal’s daughter Vanisha Mittal‘s married to British Indian businessman Amit Bhatia, and their wedding was the most lavish and second most expensive recorded in history. His father, Mohan Lal Mittal, ran Nippon Denro Ispat, a steel business. Due to the curb of steel production by Indian government, Lakshmi Mittal, who was 26 years old that time, opened his first steel factory in 1976, the PT Ispat Indo in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia. The family’s main assets in India were a cold-rolling mill for sheet steels in Nagpur, India until the 1990’s and an alloy steels plant near Pune. The family business, including a large integrated steel plant near Mumbai, is run by Pramod and Vinod, currently, but Lakshmi has no connection with it. Mittal was accused of slave labour by his employees, after multiple fatalities in his mines, during the explosions in December 2004, where twenty-three miners died in explosions in his mines in Kazakhstan, caused by faulty gas detectors. His residential home at 18-19 Kesington Palace Gardens, which he purchased from Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One boss in 2004 for £67 million (US$128 million), making it the most expensive house in the world at the time. The extravagant house, also referred as the Taj Mittal, is decorated with marble taken from the same quarry, used to build the famous Taj Mahal. His house has 12 bedrooms, an indoor pool, Turkish baths and parking for 20 cars. Lakshmi Mittal is a vegetarian. In 2008,  Mittal purchased the former Philippine embassy at  No. 9A Palace Greens, Kensington Gardens, for £70 million, for his daughter Vanisha Mittal, who is married to a businessman and philanthropist, Amit Bhatia. Being a vegetarian, Lakshmi Mittal threw a lavish vegetarian reception for Vanisha in the Palace of Versailles, France. Mittal owns three prime properties on the Billionaire’s Row, collectively worth £500 million at Kensington Palace Gardens. Mittal also bought a colonial bungalow for $30 million at No. 22, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi, in 2005, the most exclusive street in India, occupied by embassies and millionaires, and rebuilt it as a house. Mittal’s niece got married in December 2013, in a three day celebration that it is reported brought Barcelona to a standstill and cost up to £50m, where 200 butlers, cooks and secretaries were reportedly flown into Spain from India and Thailand while the 500 guests were made to sign confidentiality agreements.

9)   Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson, 81

Sheldon Adelson, 81

Sheldon Gary Adelson  is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, also owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and is the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. Adelson also owns the Israel HaYom, Israeli daily newspaper. The Adelson Foundation, founded by him and his wife, where he is a lifelong donor and philanthropist to a variety of causes. Adelson was born into a poor family and grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Sarah Tonkin who ran a knitting shop and Arthur Adelson, who was a taxi driver. Adelson’s family was of Ukranian Jewish ancestry.  At the age of 12, Adelson started his business career, when he borrowed $200 from his uncle and purchased a license to sell newspapers in Boston, and at age 16, he had started a candy-vending-machine business. He attended trade school, to become a court reporter and subsequently joined the army. After being discharged from the army, Adelson, established a business selling toiletry kits after being discharged from the army then started another business named De-Ice-It, which sold a chemical spray to help clean and clear frozen windshields. He started a charter tours tours business in the 1960’s, and soon become a millionaire, although he had lost a fortune twice during his 30’s. Sheldon  Adelson and his partners purchased the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1988, the former hangout of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The following year, Adelson and his partners constructed the then and only privately owned and operated convention center in the United States, the Sands Expo and Convention Center. While on a honeymoon in Venice in 1991, with his second wife, Miriam, Adelson was inspired to build a mega -resort hotel. He demolished  the Sands and spent $1.5 billion to construct The Venetian, a Venice-themed resort hotel and casino, which opened on May 3, 1999. Adelson opened the $2.4-billion Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on Cotai in August 2007, and announced that he planned to create a massive, concentrated resort area he called the Cotai Strip, after its Las Vegas counterpart. Adelson led a major project to bring the Sands Macao, name to Macau, the Chinese gambling city that had been a Portuguese colony until December 1999, was a one-million-square-foot  and became the first Las Vegas-style casino in the People’s Republic of China, opened in May 2004. Adelson was fighting the legalization of cannabis, as a personal passion of Sheldon Adelson, who believes that cannabis is a gateway drug, who lost a son, Mitchell, to a drug overdose, in 2005, was said to have used cocaine and heroin from an early age. His second wife, Miriam Farbstein Ochshorn, was married formerly to a Tel Aviv physician, Dr. Ariel Ochshorn, with whom she had two daughters until they divorced. From the 1970s, Adelson lived in Massachusetts with his first wife, Sandra, and their three adopted children, Mitchell, Gary and Shelley. They divorced in 1988. Adelson and Miriam Farbstein- Ochshorn,  met on a blind date the following year and married in 1991. 

10)   Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad, 88

Ingvar Kamprad, 88

Ingvar Feodor Kamprad is a Swedish business magbate, founder of IKEA, a Swedish retail company that specialize in furniture, born in Pjätteryd, now part of Älmhult Municipality , Sweden. Kamprad was raised on a farm called Elmtaryd currently standardized Älmtaryd, near the small village of Agunnaryd in Ljungby Municipality in the Småland  province. His paternal grandfather was from Germany, and later moved to Sweden with his family. As a young boy, Kamprad began to earn money by selling matches to neighbors from his bicycle, and discovered he could purchase cheap matches in bulk from Stockholm and can sell them in retail at a low price, and make a good profit. From matches, Kamprad expanded to selling fish, from selling matches, sell Christmas tree decorations, seeds and also ballpoint pens and pencils. His father gave him a cash reward for succeeding in his studies at age 17. In 1943, Kamprad founded IKEA was founded at his uncle Ernst’s kitchen table, and in 1948, Kamprad gave variety to his portfolio, by adding furniture. His IKEA business was mostly purchased or ordered via mail. The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name Ingvar Kamprad, and adding the name of the family farm, Elmtaryd, where he was born, and the nearby village’s name, Agunnaryd. Kamprad resigned from the board of Inter IKEA Holding SA and on June 2013, his youngest son Mathias Kamprad replaced Per Ludvigsson as the chairman of the holding company. According to Swedish business weekly journal, Veckans Affärer (in English it means, The Week’s Business) Ingvar Kamprad, is one of the richest people in the world, which is based on the assumption that Kamprad owns the entire IKEA  company, which both IKEA and the Kamprad family rejected. Kamprad retains little direct ownership in the company, having transferred his interest to Stichting INGKA Foundation is a Dutch foundation founded in 1982, and INGKA Holding. A year later, Kamprad went down to 162nd richest people in the world, after his lawyers produced documents, proving that the foundation he established and heads in Liechtenstein, owns IKEA, and its bylaws bar him and his family to benefit from the its funds. The Stichting INGKA Foundation’s Dutch-registered is named after Ingvar Kamprad (as ING + KA) who owns the parent company INGKA Holding, for all IKEA stores.When Kamprad talks to the employees of IKEA at different locations, he make himself as an example as his main theme as management by example. His theme as simplicity, from the A Testament of a Furniture Dealer, is totally integrated in all IKEA’s activities. From 1976 to 2014, Kamprad resides in Epalinges,Switzerland.Kamprad drives a 1993 model Volvo 240, and a Porsche for many years, travel by plane only in economy class, travel by train in a second class, and never stays in an expensive hotels, encourages employees of IKEA, to always write on both sides of a piece of paper. According to some reports, Kamprad recycles tea bags and is known to pocket the salt and pepper packets at restaurants. Kamprad is also known to visit IKEA for a cheap meal, purchasing Christmas paper and gifts in post-Christmas sales. In his Testament of a Furniture Dealer, Kamprad explain his philosophy as, It is not only for cost reasons that we avoid the luxury hotels. We don’t need flashy cars, impressive titles, uniforms or other status symbols. We rely on our strength and our will! In Switzerland, Kamprad owns a villa, also owns a large country estate in Sweden and a vineyard in Provence, France. Earlier in his career, Kamprad became an alcoholic, while working with furniture manufacturers in Poland, and later announced that his drinking is under control in 2004. In 2011,  Margaretha Kamprad-Stennert, Kamprad’s second wife, died from an undisclosed disease. Ingvar Kamprad announced in June 2013, that he intended to move back to Småland, Sweden by the end of the year. Kamprad have four children, Peter, Jonas, Mathias, Annika Kihlbom.

11)   K.P. Singh

K.P. or Kushal Pal Singh, 83 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

K.P. or Kushal Pal Singh, 83 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Kushal Pal Singh Teotia or K.P. Singh  is an Indian real estate mogul and the chairman and CEO of DLF Limited, largest real estate developer in India, founded by Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh, his father-in-law. It has an estimated land bank of 10,255 acres, with about 3,000 acres being in Gurgaon called DLF City. K.P. Singh was born in Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh in a Jat family (Jat or Jatt people a traditionally agricultural community in Northern India and Pakistan). K.P. Sngh’s father Ch. Mukhtar Singh was a reputed lawyer in Bulandshahr. After Singh graduated in science from Meerut College, Uttar Pradesh, he pursued Aeronautical Engineering in UK where he was subsequently chosen to the Indian Army by British Officers Services Selection Board, UK. Singh was commissioned into the renowned cavalry regiment of ‘The Deccan Horse’ of the Indian Army. Singh joined American Universal Electric Company in 1960, and soon in 1979, he took over as the Managing Director  of this new company after its merger with DLF Universal Limited. Kushal Pal Singh made Gurgaon a world-famous outsourcing destination, within a time period of 10 years, because of his world-class earthquake-proof office buildings, apartments, shopping malls and leisure facilities  and his DLF GaMY Player designed Golf Course. As the Chairman of DLF, the company went for an initial public offering under his tenure in 2007 and made about $2.24 billion. DLF is one of the largest IPOs in India and was soon followed by a sudden rise in the market capitalization of the company to a level of $24.5 billion, making Singh and his family one of the world’s richest clans. The former chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, told in one of his interview that Singh was one of the initiators for the entry of Genera Electric (GE) in India. K.P. Singh is married to Indira Singh, the daughter of Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh, founder of DLF Limited. K. P. Singh has one son, Rajiv Singh, and two daughters, Renuka Talwar and Pia Singh, who are also involved and other family members in running the family business.

12)  David Thomson

David Thomson, 57  (image credit:www.forbes.com)

David Thomson, 57 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

David Kenneth Roy Thomson 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet,  is a Canadian media magnate,son of the late Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet, and his siblings are actress Taylor Thomson and Peter Thomson. In 2006, David Thomson became the chairman of Thomson Corporation at the death of his father and after the Reuters’ acquisition, and in 2008, he became the chairman of the merged company, Thomson Reuters. Thomson currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, and his family are the richest in Canada and 22nd world’s richest person according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Thomson was manager of The Bay Store at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, and President of Zellers, and a founder of Osmington Incorporated, a real estate firm, owned and operated outside of the Thomson empire. Osmington is a partner in True North Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Winnipeg Jets in the National Hockey League and the MTS Centre located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba.Thomson’s bitter divorce action against his second wife, Laurie Ludwick, became Maclean’s magazine’s extensive coverage, however, other media ignored it. Thomson have four children, including two daughters and a son who was designated heir of their company, from his first marriage, after their separation and one daughter with actress Kelly Rowan, whom he was engaged in late 2007. But before the birth of their daughter on April 28, 2008, Thomson and Rowan broke off their engagement. Rowan and Thomson made their first public appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2009, since their alleged split in early 2008. Thomson maintains a low public profile, and has rarely given interviews to the press and the only interview he has given was to James FitzGerald, who wrote a book about the Upper Canada College, the  elite private school, where they both attended in Toronto, according to a July 3, 2006 The New York Times article.

13)  Al-Waleed bin Talal 

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, 59

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, 59

Al-Waleed bin Talal   bin Abdulaziz al Saud, is a Saudi business magnate, investor and best known as a member of the Saudi Royal Family. In 2008, Waleed was listed as one of the annual list of Time 100 of Times magazine, the hundred most influential people in the world. Waleed is a nephew of the late Saudi King Abdullah, a grandson of Ibn Saud, the first Saudi king, and a grandson of Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Riad Al Solh. Prince Al-Waleed is the founder, the chief executive office (CEO) and owner of 95% of the Kingdom Holding Company, a Forbes Global 2000 company with investments in companies within different sectors such as banking and financial services, hotels and hotel management companies, mass media, entertainment, retail, agriculture, petrochemicals, aviation, technology, and real estate. Waleed has the largest individual shareholder of Citigroup, the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation, and also owns Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and part of Plaza Hotel in New York. Because of Prince Waleed’s prominence as a businessman, he was acknowledged by Time magazine as Prince Arabian Warren Buffett. Al-Waleed was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Prince Talal  and Mona Al Solh, daughter of first Prime Minister of Lebanon, Riad Al Sohl. Prince Talal, Waleed’s father was Saudi Arabia’s finance minister in the early 1960’s, before he went into exile due to his arguments of political reform. At age seven, Al-Waleed’s parents separated and he returned to Saudi Arabia with his mother. Al-Waleed would run away for a day or two, from home as a youth,sleeping in the back of unlocked cars. Prince Waleed, later attend military school in Riyadh, where he learned a strict discipline to which he maintained now. Waleed also made large investments in AOL, Apple Inc., MCI Inc, Motorola, Fox Broadcasting, and other companies that involved in technology and media. In 2005, Al Waleed sold his share in Apple. Al-Waleed also has investments with the TWA Airline and Eastman Kodak which both of his investments have performed poorly. In August 2004, Waleed sold half of his shares in Plaza Hotel, and has made investments in Savoy Hotel in London and Monte Carlo Grand Hotel in Monaco.Waleed holds a 10 % shares in Euro Disney SCA currently,the company that owns, manages, and maintains in a new town, Marne-la-Vallée‘s Disneyland Paris, located near Paris, France. Al-Waleed invested $300 million in Twitter in December 2011, through the purchase of secondary shares from insiders, which more than 3% share of the company was given to the Kingdom Holding, which was valued at $8 billion in late summer 2011. Al-Waleed first wife is Dalal bint Saud, a daughter of King Saud, and together they have two children, Reem and Khalid. Waleed and Dalal later divorced. Waleed announced through Okaz/Saudi Gazette for the first time, that he and his wife, Princess Ameera Al-Taweel, which he confirms in an interview recently, but has stated,” she remains a person that I have all respect for.”

14)  Michael Dell

Michael Dell, 49

Michael Dell, 49

Michael Saul Dell  is an American business magnate,investor, philanthropist, and author, founder and CEO of Dell Inc., one of the world’s leading sellers of personal computers (PC). Michael Dell was ranked by the Forbes List of Billionaires as the 41st  world’s richest person on 2012. His remaining wealth of about $10 billion is invested in other companies which is managed by a firm named, MSD Capital, which incorporates the initials of Dell’s name. It was announced on January 5, 2013, that Michael Dell had bid to take Dell Inc. private for $24.4 billion in the biggest leveraged buyout (LBO), a transaction when a company or single asset (for example, a real estate property) since the Great Recession (a term used to describe the general economic decline observed in world markets). Michael Dell was born in Houston, Texas, to parents, Alexander Dell, an orthodentist, and mother, Lorraine Charlotte Langfan, a stockbroker. At age seven, Michael Dell purchased his first calculator, and during his junior high, he encountered an early teletype terminal. At age 15, after playing with computers at Radio Shack, he got his first Apple II computer, which he instantly disassembled to see how it worked. Dell started an informal business, putting together and selling upgrade kits for personal computers while a freshman pre-med student at the University of Texas. He then applied for a license as a vendor to bid on contracts for the State of Texas, which he always wins in bidding, by not having the overhead of a computer store. Dell registered his company in January 1984, as PC’s Limited. which operates outside of a condominium, and his sold between $50,000 and $80,000 in upgraded PCs, kits, and add-on components. Michael Dell incorporated the company in May, as Dell Computer Corporation which he relocated it to a business center in North Austin, and employed a few order takers, and additional few employees to fulfill them, and, as Dell recalled, a manufacturing staff consisting of three guys with screwdrivers sitting at six-foot tables. The capitalization cost for his business venture was $1,000. In 1992, Michael Dell became the youngest CEO of a company at age 17, ranked in the list of the top 500 corporations by Fortune magazine. Dell started selling computers over the Web, in 1996, the same year his company launched its first servers. Dell founded MSD Capital L.P. in 1998, to manage his family’s investments, which includes publicly traded securities, private equity activities, and real estate. The company employs 80 people and has offices in New York, Santa Monica and London. Michael Dell himself is not involved in day-to-day operations. Dell stepped down as CEO, on March 4, 2004, but stayed as chairman of Dell Inc.’s board, while Kevin Rollins, then president and chief operating officer (COO), became president and CEO. Dell returned as CEO on January 31, 2007, at the request of the board, succeeding Kevin Rollins. Dell Inc. agreed to pay a $100 million penalty to settle charges of disclosure at Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and accounting fraud in relation to undisclosed payments from Intel Corporation in July 2010. Michael Dell and former CEO Kevin Rollins agreed to pay $4 million each, former CFO James Schneider to pay $3 million to settle the charges. A timeline of Michael Dell’s life is published in the April 2011’s Mother Jones article, detailed in “American Magnate: Michael Dell: How a homegrown geek outsourced, downsized, and tax-break his way to the top.” The article is about Dell’s spending on luxurious homes and private jet travel with his pursuit of tax breaks and tax holidays, and Dell Computer‘s eventually offshoring or relocating of jobs overseas after receiving the incentives for setting up shop locally. On October 28, 1989, Dell married Susan Lynn Lieberman and together they have four children, Kira, Zachary, Alexa and Juliette Dell. 

15)  Paul Allen 

Paul G. Allen, 62

Paul G. Allen, 62

Paul Gardner Allen  is an American philanthropist, investor and innovator, best known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation with co-founder Bill Gates. Allen was estimated to be the 47th world’s richest person as of January 2015, with an estimated wealth of $17 billion. Allen is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts. Paul Allen has also, a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio which includes technology companies, real estate holdings, and stakes in other technology and media companies, and also owns two professional sports teams, of the National Football League (NFL), the Seattle Seahawks and of the National Basketball Association (NBA) the Portland Trail Blazers, and is part-owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, which joined Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2009. Allen is also the founder of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Allen Institute for Cell Science and Stratolaunch Systems. Paul Allen was born in Seattle, Washington, to parents Kenneth Sam Allen, an associate director of the University of Washington libraries, and Edna Faye Gardner Allen. Allen attended a private school, Lakeside School in Seattle, and befriended Bill Gates, who was almost three years younger than Allen, and shared a common interests for computers. Allen later convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard University in order to create Microsoft. In 1975, Allen co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began marketing a BASIC programming language interpreter. In 1982, Paul Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a type of lymphoma or group of blood cells tumors, in which cancer originates from white blood cells called lymphocytes). After several months radiation therapy, his cancer was successfully treated. However, Allen did not return to Microsoft and started to have distance from the company, and in November 2000, he officially resigned from his position on the Microsoft Board of Directors, but was asked to consult as a senior strategy advisor to the executives of the company and still owns a reported 100 million shares. Paul Allen pledged at least $100 million in 2014, toward the fight to end the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, which made him the largest private donor in the Ebola crisis. Allen also created a website called TackleEbola.org, to spread awareness as well as serve as a way donors can fund projects in need. Paul Allen launch Octopus, a 414 feet (126 m) yacht, secured its position as one of the largest yachts in the world in 2003, which is equipped with two helicopters, two submarines, a swimming pool, a music studio and a basketball court. Allen has loaned Octopus, which is equipped with a submarine and ROV, for a variety of rescue and research operations, which became known for assisting in a searching for an American pilot and two officers whose plane disappeared off Palau, and loaning his yacht to scientists to study a rare fish called a  coelacanths, a rare order of fish that includes two extant species in the genus Latimeria, the West Indian Ocean coelacanth,(Latimeria chalumnae) and the Indonesian coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis). Allen also owns one of the largest yachts in the world named Tatoosh. Allen is best known for throwing big, lavish celebrity-studded parties on his yacht, such as a 2005 New Year’s Eve party in which he and his band played Johnny Cash songs with R&B celebrity singer Usher. During the Cannes film festival, Allen’s band also played at another party he hosted with keyboardist Dave Stewart. At age 16, Paul Allen received his first electric guitar, and was inspired to play it by listening to Jimi Hendrix. Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen are the owners and executive producers of television and film production company, Vulcan Productions, based in Seattle within the entertainment division of Vulcan Inc.

16)  Henry Sy, Sr.

Henry Sy, 90

Henry Sy, 90

Henry Sy, Sr.  is a Chinese Filipino businessman focusing in retailing, real estate, hospitality, banking, mining, education including healthcare services. Henry Sy pioneered the establishment of SM Malls, anchored by Shoemart Department Store and Supermarket, where he earned the title as the Retail King of the Philippines. Sy is the chairman of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the holding corporation for all his business interests in his large business empire. Forbes Magazine listed him as the richest man in the Philippines in 2011. On December 25, 1924, Henry Sy was born to a poor family in Xiamen, China, to Henry H. Sy and Tan O Sia. Sy later immigrated to the Philippines and started his business by selling rejected and overrun shoes from Tondo. Sy established a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila in 1958, that marked the establishment of SM Prime Holdings. The small shoe store became SM Quiapo in November 1972, first standalone department store of SM. He established his first SM Supermall, the SM City North EDSA on December 25, 1985. In 2010, Sy is the richest man in the Philippines, gaining $5 billion, amid the global financial crisis. The company’s huge profit was because to his SM Investments Corporation holding company, which has interests in Banco de Oro, inter alia. As of 2010, Henry Sy was the second wealthiest person in the Philippines, next to Lucio Tan, and the 201st richest people in the world. Sy is considered a tai-pan. The Sy group is the operator of Banco de Oro and owner of Chinabank. Sy bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank in 2006, the Philippines third largest lender, in which he already had a 34% shares, and in 2007 merged it with Banco de Oro. Henry Sy is married to Felicidad Tan and have six children, Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert, and Haley Sy, several of his children hold senior management positions in his companies, although he has groomed daughter Teresita Sy-Coson and his grandchildren Hailey Sy-Coson, Darcie Sy, Lance Harold Sy, Cheska Sy, Honey Sy, Janella Sy, Sarita Sy, Samantha Ong-Sy and Josiah Sy as his successors. Sy’s holding company, SM Investments Corporation, has consistently been cited as one of the Philippines best-managed companies.The SM Mall of Asia or MOA is built in the Pasay City  reclamation area, was opened to the public on May 20, 2006, and is the third-largest mall in the world as of 2012.

17)  Tony Tan Caktiong

Tony Tan Caktiong, (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Tony Tan Caktiong, (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Tony Tan Caktiong , age 62, is a Filipino entrepreneur, founder, chairman and CEO of the Filipino Jollibee fast food chain. Tony Tan Caktiong was born to Chinese immigrant parents from Fujian, China, who migrated to the Philippines to seek for greener pasture, and he is the third child among seven children.Tony Tan Caktiong attended high school at Chiang Kai Shek College, and finished his degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Santo Thomas. Before Tan Caktiong founded the Jolibee, he first planned an ice cream parlor, in 1975, then later, added dishes such as hamburgers, french fries, and fried chicken. In 1978, Tan Caktiong, founded fast food chain Jollibee, and acquired expansion through acquisitions of Greenwich Pizza Corp. which enabled it to enter the venture for pizza-pasta business. In early 2006, Jollibee Foods Corp. bought out the remaining 20% shares of its partners in Greenwich Pizza Corporation, for P384 million in cash. Tan’s fast food chain Jollibee has a total of 1,480 stores worldwide as of August 2008, that includes Jollibee, Red Ribbon, Chowking, Greenwich, Mang Inasal, Manong Pepe’s and Tita Frita’s Uling Uling. Jollibee fast food chain is also available in other countries such as, Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Vietnam. By the year 2020, the Jollibee Foods Corporation aims to double the number of their restaurants to 4,000 outlets worldwide. Prior to founding Jollibee, Tan Caktiong and his brother Ernesto Tan Mantiong, opened two franchises of Magnolia ice cream parlors. The food business were not new to the Tan brothers, since they grew up with their father, Tan Eng Lan was a restaurant chef way back in Davao. Their ice cream parlor has branches of store in Cubao and Quiapo, and soon the brothers add sandwich, since their customers began to ask for more than just ice cream, and found out that more customers were ordering their hamburgers more than the ice cream. And the two brothers then decided to focus their business on selling hamburgers. Tan Caktiong already established a chain of hamburger outlets by 1978, while searching for the business name and a mascot for his first fast food store, and came across his valuable collections of Disney memories and found, a character of a bee, that somehow represent his philosophy of spreading happiness and being productive, and added jolly because they believe that people should be happy with their work and also enjoy working at the same time. Then the hamburger store of Tan Caktiong became known as Jollibee. In 1982, McDonald’s food chain store entered the Philippine market, but Tan Caktiong refused to franchise the fast food giant and compete with McDonald’s instead. The success of Jollibee’s food chain, was attributed to how they were able to customize its menu to suit the Filipino palate with affordable prices. Tan Caktiong decided to go public with Jollibee in 1993, and it became the first food service company to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.The Jollibee Group was the only Philippine company which made it to the rank 16th at the top 20 of Asia’s Best Employers list in a survey. Tony Tan Caktiong is married and have three children.

18)  John Robinson L. Gokongwei, Jr.

John Gokongwei, 88  (image credit:www.forbes.com)

John Gokongwei, 88 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

John Robinson L. Gokongwei, Jr., age 88, born in Gulangyu, Xiamen, Fujian province, China, is a Chinese Filipino businessman, with holdings in telecommunications, financial services, petrochemicals, power generation, aviation and live stock farming. Gokongwei is the 5th richest person in the Philippines, as of September 2014, with a net worth of over $5 billion, ranking behind only to Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Enrique Razon and Andrew Tan. John Gokongwei is the chairman of JG Summit Holdings, one of the largest corporation in the Philippines, and his company signed in 2010, a $3 billion order with Airbus for refleeting of his Cebu Pacific Air airline. From 2003 His Digital Telecommunications Philippines telecom company, spent nearly $800 million for its 3rd largest mobile operator in the Philippines, Sun Cellular mobile carrier, at that time before selling for $1.7 billion to the PLDT group. John Gokongwei is also the owner of Universal Robina Corporation, one of the largest manufacturer of snacks in Southeast Asia.  Gokongwei’s company bought the stake of San Miguel Corporation in MERALCO, in 2013, the largest power distributor in the country, for almost $1.8 billion. Gokongwei also controls one of the biggest property developers in the Philippines,the Robinsons Land, which also operates a chain of malls. John Gokongwei was born in Cebu from a wealthy family originally from Fujian province in China. John Gokongwei was age 13, when his rich father died, and the family’s wealth was lost. He helped support his family by peddling items with his bicycle,  along the streets of Cebu. At age 17 to 19 years old, Gokongwei, traded using a wooden boat, transporting items to Lucena by sea, and then travel by truck to Manila. Gokongwei started his own company called Amasia, after the World War II, importing textile remnants, fruit, old newspapers, magazines, and used clothing from the United States. John along with his brothers and sisters who returned from China, in early 1950’s, John started to import cigarettes and whiskey too. Gokongwei sees that trading would always have low margins and would always be dependent on government policies, the family concern entered the manufacturing period in 1957. Gokongwei started a corn milling plant, named Universal corn products, producing glucose and corn with a loan of 500,000 pesos from Dr. Albino Sycip, then chairman of China Bank, and DK Chiong.The company later expanded into Universal Robina Corporation, and one big customer of the company is San Miguel Corporation. In 1961, His company started to launch an instant coffee brand such as Blend 45 to compete with Nescafe by Nestle. John Gokongwei  is married to Elizabeth, and has six children, a son, Lance Gokongwei, and  five daughters, Lisa, Robina, Faith, Hope and Marcia, and all his children have an active role in the companies owned by JG Holdings and Gokongwei empire. John Gokongwei serves as chairman emeritus, while, Lance Gokongwei, his only son, is now in charge of the Gokongwei Empire, serving as president and COO. Gokongwei’s biography, John L. Gokongwei Jr.: The Path of Entrepreneurship, by Dr. Marites A. Khanser, by the university was launched, on August 29, 2007 at the Ateneo de Manila University and it narrated the story of the tai-pan‘s riches-to-rags-to-riches. Gokongwei stated that a way out of poverty is entrepreneurship. 

19)  Lee Kun-hee

Lee Kun-Hee, 73

Lee Kun-Hee, 73

Lee Kun-hee  is a South Korean business magnate and the chairman of Samsung Group, however, in April 2008,  he resigned as chairman, owing to a Samsung slush funds scandal, but returned on March 24, 2010. Lee Kun-hee can speak Korean, Japanese and English. Lee became a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1996. Forbes lists rank Lee and family as one of the most richest people in the world with an estimated net worth of $12.6 billion. Lee Kun-hee is the third son of Lee Byung-chul, founder of Samsung. In 2013, Lee Kun-hee is named the world’s 41st most powerful person by Forbes Magazine’s List of the World’s Most Powerful People, the second highest among Koreans richest person, after Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.  In 1968, Lee Kun-hee joined the Samsung Group and on December 1, 1987, he took over the chairmanship, just two weeks after the death of Samsung founder, his father, Lee Byung-chul. In 1993, Lee famously quoted, Change everything except your wife and kids and true to his word attempted to reform the profoundly Korean culture that had pervaded Samsung until this point, believing that the Samsung Group, was focused on producing massive quantities of low quality items, which is not prepared to compete in quality. Lee tried to adopt a more international attitude to doing business, so foreign employees were brought in and local employees were shipped out. The company has been transformed from a Korean budget name into a major international force and became the most prominent Asian brand in the world, under Lee’s management. Samsung Electronics, one of the Samsung Group subsidiaries, is now one of the leading developers and producers of semiconductors, in the world and was listed in Fortune magazine’s 2007’s list of the 100 largest corporations in the world. The Korean police raided Lee’s home and office  on January 14, 2008, in a controversial ongoing probe, into accusations that Samsung was responsible for a slush fund used to bribe influential South Korean’s prosecutors, judges, and political figures. However, on April 4, 2008, Lee denied allegations against him in the scandal, after the South Korean’s prosecutor’s second round of questioning. On April 11, 2008, Lee was quoted by reporters as saying, I am responsible for everything. I will assume full moral and legal responsibility. South Korean president  Lee Myung-bak pardoned Lee, months later, so he could remain on the International Olympic Committee. His son Lee Jae-yong, is the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics as of 2010, while his eldest daughter, Lee Boo-jin, is president and CEO of luxury hotel chain, Hotel Shilla, as well as president of a theme park and resort operator, Samsung Everland, that is seen widely as the de facto holding company for the corporation made up of a number of different companies that operate in diversified fields, according to Associated Press. The son of Lee’s eldest brother is the chairman and CEO of the CJ Group currently, a company holding businesses in food, beverages and entertainment, while the son of Lee’s second eldest brother manages Saehan Media, one of the largest blank media producers. Lee’s older sister is the owner of Hansol Group, South Korea’s largest paper manufacturer and producer of electronics and telecommunications. Koo Ja-hak, brother of a former LG Group chairman and he, himself a former chairman of LG Semiconductor is married to one of Lee’s sister and is currently running one of South Korea’s largest food services firms. Lee Myung-hee, Lee’s younger sister, is chairwoman of the Shinsegae Group, the South Korea’s largest retail company, with major holdings such as the Shinsegae Department Store and E-Mart. In November 18, 2005, Lee’s daughter, Lee Yoon-hyung  committed suicide at age 26, by hanging herself in her Astor Place apartment in the East Village, Manhattan, while her father was in the U.S. undergoing lung cancer treatment. Ms. Lee was a graduate student at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Some reports said, that Ms. Lee was forbidden to marry her Korean boyfriend by her father. Mr. Lee and his wife, did not attend her funeral, which is South Korean customary beliefs when the child is unmarried.

20)  Aliko Dangote

Aliko Dangote, 57

Aliko Dangote, 57

Aljaji Aliko Dangote, MFR, GCON born in Kano, Nigeria, is a Nigerian business magnate, who owns the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities, which operates in Nigeria and several other countries in Africa, also in Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia. Dangote is ranked as the world’s 23rd richest person by Forbes, and the richest in Africa. In 2013, Dangote surpassed Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, a Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire by over $2.6 billion to become the world’s richest person of African origin. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, a northerner from Kano State, Nigeria, into a wealthy Muslim family. Dangote had interest on business since he was a young boy, stating, “I would go and buy cartons of sweets sugar boxes and I would start selling them just to make money”. Dangote studied business in Cairo, Egypt at the Al-Azhar University, and returned to Nigeria after his studies at age 21, to borrow from his uncle Sanusi Abdulkadir Dantata, who provided him a loan of ₦500,000 (Naira, NGN). In 1977, the Dangote Group was established as a small trading firm, and currently a multi-trillion naira group of corporation with many of its operations in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. Dangote has currently expanded his line of businesses, which also cover food processing, manufacturing of cement, and freight, which also dominates  the sugar market in Nigeria and is a major sugar supplier to the soft drinks companies, breweries and confectioners in Nigeria. The Dangote Group has expanded from being a trading company to being the Nigeria’s largest industrial group, which includes, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Cement and Dangote Flour. Dangote company has also diversified into telecommunications and has started building 14,000 kilometers of fibre optic cables to supply the whole of Nigeria. In January 2009, Aliko Dangote was honored as the leading provider of employment in the Nigerian construction industry, and stated, “Let me tell you this and I want to really emphasize it…nothing is going to help Nigeria like Nigerians bringing back their money. If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work.” Aliko Dangote has four children, Zainab, Halima, Fatima, and Salma.

21)  Ananda Krishnan

Ananda Krishnan, 76 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Ananda Krishnan, 76 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan, 76,  is a Malaysian businessman and philanthropist. best known as A K, or Tak, he is estimated currently, to have a net worth of US$11.7 billion according to list of wealthiest people by Forbes’ latest annual list, making him the second wealthiest in Southeast Asia behind Robert Kuok, and number 82 in the world’s richest person. Ananda Krishnan was born in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Tamil parents, from Sri Lankan origin. Ananda Krishnan, began building in the early 1990’s, a multimedia empire that now includes two telecommunication companies known as Maxis Communications, MEASAT Broadcast Network System and SES World Skies, and has three communication satellites circumnavigating the earth. Krishnan effected the purchase of 46% of  Malaysia’s largest cellular phone company, the Maxis Communications, from British Telecom, AT&T Corporation, Orange S.A., Belgacom, Royal KPN N.V. and Mexican telecommunications company, América Móvil for $1,180 million, raising his shares to 70%. Maxis has more than ten million subscribers, with about 40% market share in Malaysia, and also owns shares in Aircel, Axis, and Sri Lanka Telecom.  Ananda Krishnan has three children out of marriage, two daughters and only son, Ven Ajahn Siripanyo, a Buddhist Monk in Thailand. Ananda Krishnan divides his time between Malaysia and France, where his Thai wife resides. Ven Ajahn Siripanyo, Krishnan only son, a Buddhist monk in Thailand, and a second generation Sri Lankan Tamil, and his mother is a Thai, based in France, and refused to work with his father’s empire. Ven Ajahn Siripanyo, son of the business tycoon has chosen to eliminate the materialistic pleasures and went on to lead a life with very basic needs. Siripanyo studied in UK and can speak 8 different languages. He has two sisters, and as he grew up in the United Kingdom, it made him open to new and different cultures and that is how he was drawn to Buddhism.

22)  Andrew “Andy” Beal

Andy Beal, 62, (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Andy Beal, 62, (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Daniel Andrew “Andy” Beal ,62, is an American banker, businessman, investor, poker player, and amateur mathematician. He is a Dallas-based businessman who accumulated wealth in real estate and banking. Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, he is the founder and chairman of Beal Bank and Beal Bank USA, as well as other affiliated companies. Beal is a self-taught number theorist, or Arithmetic, and he is also known for the Beal conjecture, also been referred to as the Tijdeman–Zagier conjecture. a mathematical generalization of Fermat’s Last Theorem.  Beal grew up in Lansing, Michigan, where his mother worked in state government and his father was a mechanical engineer, and have an older brother and a younger sister. Beal has been married twice. He has two children with his first wife. In 1996, he married Simona Beal, an Estonian immigrant, and together they have four children. In 2010, Simona filed for divorce. Beal won one of the largest single hands in poker history, $11.7 million at the Las Vegas Bellagio on May 13, 2004. Then on February 1 to 5, 2006, Beal returned to Las Vegas to again take on The Corporation in a $50,000/100,000 Limit Hold ‘Em match at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino, where famous rich opponents included Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, and others. Beal was down USD $3.3 million on February 5, 2006, and a week later he returned to the Wynn Casino, and won approximately $13.6 million from the Corporation during daily poker sessions from February 12 to 15. Then the games resumed February 21–23, with world champion American professional poker player, Phil Ivey, age 39, representing the Corporation against Beal at limits of $30,000/60,000 and $50,000/100,000. Andy Beal lost $16.6 million to Ivey during these three days games. Andy Beal  publicly stated a new mathematical hypothesis in 1993, that implies Fermat’s Last Theorem, which his hypothesis has become known as the Beal Conjecture. No counterexample has been found to the conjecture, and so to encourage research on the conjecture, Andy Beal has personally funded a standing prize of USD$1,000,000 for its proof or disproof. The American Mathematical Society held the funds in trust, and an informational website on the Beal Conjecture (www.bealconjecture.com) is hosted by the University of Texas. However, the prize for the search of Beal Conjecture, remains unclaimed as of April 2014.

23)  David de Rothschild

David de Rothschild, 36

David de Rothschild, 36

David Mayer de Rothschild, 36,  is a British adventurer, ecologist and environmentalist, and head of Sculpt the Future Foundation, a charity that supports innovations and creativity in social and environmental impact efforts. David is a member of the Rothschild banking family of England, the youngest of three children of Victoria Lou Schott (born 1949) and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (b. 1931). David’s middle name Mayer, is taken from the name of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild family banking empire. David de Rothschild had started his own music merchandising business at age 20, and sold it. De Rothschild bought a 1,100 acre organic farm in New Zealand, in 2001, and was invited to take part in a Polar expedition, where this experience turned him, into an enterprising eco-adventurer. David de Rothschild crossed the Arctic from Russia to Canada and spent over 100 days, in 2006, which saw him become one of only 42 people, and the youngest British person, to ever reach both geographical poles.David de Rothschild developed a mission to raise awareness of the Pacific Garbage Patch in late 2000, in which he invented Plastiki, a new form of sustainable ship boat at a lab on Pier 31 in San Francisco, named after a raft named Kon-Tiki, used by Thor Heyerdahl, a Pacific Norwegian explorer. He launched the Plastiki boat, in March 2010, a 60-foot catamaran built from approximately 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and Seretex, a unique recyclable technology, which was developed by de Rothschild and his team, was meant to reuse PET in a novel way, finding new uses for a waste product. The unique ship, Plastiki and its crew sailed over 8,000 nautical miles or 15,000 km across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia,which completed its journey successfully to Sydney on July 26, 2010. The ship’s construction is notable not only for its use of recycled plastic bottles as a primary building material, but also for using reclaimed and environmentally friendly materials through all parts of the ship. David Mayer de Rothschild, told Good Morning America in April 2010, that, “Every part of the boat, even down to the glue we used to stick the boat together, the glue we made and had to engineer specifically for this project, is made of cashew nuts and sugar, every part of the boat, from the interior with reclaimed materials, reclaimed fabric, is all trying to do our best and showcasing there are a lot of solutions out there.”

24)  Forrest Edward Mars, Sr.

Forrest Mars, Sr.  age 95

Forrest Mars, Sr. age 95

Forrest Edward Mars, Sr. (born March 21, 1904 – died July 1, 1999) was an American businessman and the driving force of the Mars candy empire, best known for producing M&M’s and the Mars bar, as well as orchestrating the launch of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Forrest Mars, Sr. was the son of Mars, Inc. candy company founder Frank C. Mars and his first wife Ethel G. Kissack Mars. Forrest Mars was born in Wadena, Minnesota, and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada after the divorce of his  parents when he was just a child. Forrest Sr., rarely saw his father, and as an adult, he was reunited with his father at Mars, Inc. However the Forrest and his father, Frank, had a disagreement when Forrest wanted to expand business abroad while his father disagree. Forrest Mars, Sr. then took a buyout from his father and moved to England, where he created the Mars bar in 1933, while estranged from his father. Mars worked briefly for Nestlé  and the Tobler company while in Europe. Mars started his own food business after he returned to United States, the Food Products Manufacturing, where he established the Uncle Ben’s Rice line and Pedigree, a gourmet food business. In 1940, Mars developed M&M’s, the chocolate candy coated in a crunchy shell which melts in your mouth, not in your hands, in partnership later with Bruce Murrie. It is believed that Mars got the idea when he saw soldiers eating a similar coated candy during the Spanish Civil War, a candy which he discovered during a visit in Spain in 1930’s. Then in 1954, the Peanut M&M’s were introduced, although Forrest had been allergic to peanuts his entire life. Bruce Murrie later left the business. Forrest Mars took over the Mars, Inc. family business, after the death of his father, merging it with his own company in 1964. On June 15, 1989, Forrest Sr. was married to Audrey Ruth Meyer in Washington, D.C. (born in Chicago on May 25, 1910), and together they had three children, Forrest Jr., John and Jacqueline. In 1973, Mars retired from Mars, Inc., turning the company over to his children. Mars died at age 95 in Miami, Florida, having amassed a $4 billion fortune. Forrest Sr., was ranked as 30th in the list of richest Americans in Forbes magazine, followed by his sons Forrest, Jr. as the 29th and John as the 31st richest American.

25)  Forrest Edward Mars, Jr.

Forrest Mars Jr. , age 83 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Forrest Mars Jr. , age 83 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Forrest Edward Mars, Jr. , 83,  is the eldest son of Forrest Mars, Sr. and Audrey Mars, and the grandson of Mars, Inc., the confectionary company, founder, Frank C. Mars.  Forrest Jr. was first married to Virginia Cretella, divorced in 1990, they have four children, Victoria, Valerie Anne, Pamela Diane and Marijke Elizabeth. Forrest Jr. married to second wife, Deborah Adair Clarke, divorced in early 2010.

26)  Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson

Richard Branson, 64, by David Shankbone

Richard Branson, 64, by David Shankbone

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English businessman and investor, best known as the Virgin Group founder which comprises more than 400 companies. At the age of sixteen Branson’s first business venture was a magazine he called Student when he was 16 years old, then he set up a mail-order record business in 1970, he opened a chain of record stores in 1972, called Virgin Records, later called as Virgin Megastores. In the 1980’s, Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Branson was born in Blackheath, London, the eldest of three children born to Edward James Branson (1918 – 2011) a barrister, and Eve Branson (born 1924), a former ballet dancer and air hostess. Branson has two younger sisters. Branson has dyslexia and as a student, he had poor academic performance, his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told Branson he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire during his last days in school. Branson then started seling records in Virgin store in Oxford Street in London, and was questioned in 1971, in connection with the selling of records in Virgin stores that had been declared export stock. The matter was never brought before a court and Branson agreed to repay any unpaid tax and a fine. Branson’s mother, Eve Branson, re-mortgaged the family home to help pay the settlement. Branson launched  in 1972, the record label Virgin Records earning enough money from his record bar with Nik Powell, and bought a country estate north of Oxford, in which he installed a residential recording studio, known as The Manor Studio. Virgin Records signed Sex Pistols, a controversial bands which other record companies were reluctant to sign. Virgin Records also gained praise for exposing the public to such obscure avant-garde music as Faust and Can, and has also introduced Culture Club to the music world. Virgin purchased Heaven, the gay nightclub in the 1980’s. To keep his airline company in circulation, Branson sold the Virgin label in 1992 to EMI for £500 million, and he said, that soon the sale was completed, he wept, because the record business had been the very start of the Virgin empire. Branson later created V2 Records or V2 Music record label, to re-enter the music business, that was purchased by Universal Music Group in 2007, then in 2013, by PIAS Entertainment Group. In 1984, Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways, in 1999 launched Virgin Mobile and in 2000 Virgin Blue in Australia, now named Virgin Australia. Branson entered a railway business in 1993, what many saw as being one of his riskier business exploits, the Virgin Trains, won the franchises for the former Intercity West Coast and British Rail Cross-Country sectors. In 1996, Virgin acquired Euro Belgian Airlines, a European short-haul airline and renamed it Virgin Express.The airline was merged with SN Brussels Airlines forming Brussels Airlines in 2006, and started a national airline based in Nigeria, known as Virgin Nigeria, and Virgin America, which started in August 2007, flying out of San Francisco International Airport. Branson has also developed a Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka brand, which failed as enterprise. In August 2007, Branson announced in August 2007, that he bought a 20-percent stake in Malaysia’s AirAsia X formerly AirAsia X Berhad (previously known as FlyAsianXpress Sdn. Bhd.) operated as AirAsia X,  a long-haul budget airline based in Malaysia and a sister company of AirAsia. After 1985, Branson made several world record-breaking attempts, when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he attempted the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing. In the Virgin Atlantic Challenger, Branson’s first attempt led to the capsizing of the boat in British waters and a rescue by RAF helicopter, which gained wide media coverage. Some newspapers asked for Branson to reimburse the government for the cost of the rescue. In 1987, a year later, Branson’s hot air balloon the Virgin Atlantic Flyer, crossed the Atlantic. Branson is a fan of Star Trek, thus he named his new spaceship VSS Enterprise in honor of the famous Star Trek ships, and reportedly offered actor William Shatner a ride on the inaugural space launch of Virgin Galactic in 2006. He is also a fan of fictional character, Peter Pan. Branson launched Virgin Mobile in March 2008 in India and during that period, he even played a cameo role in London Dreams, in a Bollywood film. Branson was first married to Kristen Tomassi from 1972 unti they divorced in 1979. Then in 1989, he married Joan Templeman, upon their daughter, Holly’s suggestion when she was 8 years old, at Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.  Branson has three children, a daughter named Holly and a son named Sam and his youngest daughter, Claire Sarah, who died in 1979 when she was just 4 days old.

27)  Li Ka-Shing

Li Ka-Shing, 86

Li Ka-Shing, 86

Sir Ka-shing Li,is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, and as of April 16, 2014, he is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $31.9 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ka-shing Li is the Chairman of the Board of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings as of 2008, making him the world’s largest operator of container terminals and the largest health and beauty retailer in the world. In 2001, Li was named Asia’s Most Powerful Man, Li Ka-Ching by Asiaweek and considered as one of the most powerful figures in Asia. Li is best known for a reputation for leading a no-frills lifestyle, in spite of his wealth, and is known to wear simple black dress, shoes and an inexpensive Seiko wristwatch, which is at odds with the house he owns in one of the most expensive precincts in Hong Kong, the Deep Water Bay in Hong Kong Island. Li is famously known as a Hong Kong tycoon plainly dressed wealthy person. Li wore a $50 timepiece from Citizen Watch Co. in the 1990’s and plain ties, but now, he wears a Seiko wristwatch. Li is best known as one of the most generous philanthropists in Asia, for his donations over US $1.41 billion to charity and other various philanthropic causes. In Hong Kong, Li is often referred to as Superman because of his business prowess,and because of his wealth, Li is regarded as a celebrity, and even has a wax statue in his honor (the only non-artist to have one in Hong Kong). Li Ka-shing was born in 1928 in Chaozhou, in Guangdong province, China, to Teochew or Chaozhou people descendants. Li was forced to leave school before the age of 15 after his father died, and found a job in a plastics trading company where he worked for 16 hours a day. Li started his own company in 1950, Cheung Kong Industries. From manufacturing plastics, Li developed his company into Hong Kong’s leading real estate investment company, from manufacturing plastics company, that was listed in 1972 on the Hog Kong Stock Exchange, then the Cheung Kong expanded by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa 1979 and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited in 1985. Li has also made a business venture into the technology business, where his investment and venture capital firm Horizon Ventures is specifically designated towards backing new internet and technology startup company, bought shares in doubleTwist,  a digital media company. Li’s other company, the Li Ka Shing Foundation bought a 0.8% shares in Facebook, a social networking website, for $120 million in two separate rounds. and invested an estimated $50 million in music streaming service, Spotify, a commercial music streaming service that provides digital rights management-restricted content from record labels that includes Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. Li’s two sons, Victor Li work directly to his father as the managing director and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited’s vice chairman, and Richard Li, is the head of the largest telecom company, PCCW,and both sons are also Hong Kong’s prominent figures in the business scene.They are both Canadian citizens. Li remains physically fit, and says that no matter what time he sleeps at night, he gets up before 6 am each morning to play golf for about an hour and a half in spite of his age. Li’s partner in playing golf, Raymond Chow, is Hong Kong movie mogul and Hong Kong film producer, and presenter. Li’s  preferable sleeping amount of time is eight hours, and also said that he walks on the treadmill for fifteen minutes a day at noon.

28)  Lee Shin Cheng

Lee Shin Cheng, age 75  (image credit:www.forbes.com)

Lee Shin Cheng, age 75 (image credit:www.forbes.com)

 Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng is a Malaysian Chinese business magnate, who is involved in the plantation industry, and is best known as head of IOI Corporation Berhad or better known as IOI Group, as its executive chairman. Industrial Oxygen Incorporated Sdn Bhd (IOI) Group was a palm oil and real estate developer in Malaysia, with projects such as townships, shopping malls, condominiums, office towers and resorts. IOI Group owned refineries in the US and the Netherlands and won a $322 million bid for a 6-acre plot in downtown Singapore for the residential buildings, which is listed in Bursa Malaysia, (previously known as Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange)is one of the world’s leading corporation managing oil palm plantations, specialty fats, oleochemicals (chemicals derived from plant and animal fats) and property development activities in Malaysia, Indonesia, United States, and Europe. IOI refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands is the largest palm oil refinery in Europe. IOI’s oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia produces palm oil and palm kernel oil, which these oils are made into specialty oils, metallic stearates and fats that are used in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and food additives. Lee grew up northeast of Kuala Lumpur on a rubber plantation, where his father ran a small Chinese food shop. To help support his family, at age 11, Lee left school by selling ice cream on a bicycle for four years before returning to finish high school. He then sought work for a supervisory job with one oil palm plantation company, but was turned down, with the reason given, Lee do not speak fluent English, which was important then because Europeans still own most of the plantations. Lee, who 22 years old that time, was not discourage with the rejection with Dunlop Estate. He went on to apply and was hired as  field supervisor with at another palm oil company. Lee saved enough financial about twenty years later, and planned to buy up Dunlop Estate. He recalled in 2008, that his happiest day of his life, during an interview with the New strait Times, “My happiest day was in 1989 when I bought over Dunlop Estate from Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd. This was because during the late 1960s, I had applied for a job at Dunlop Estate but they did not employ me because I was not qualified. If they had employed me, I would probably not have owned the entire asset of Dunlop Estate today. This purchase marked a significant milestone in my life,” he said. As early 1960’s, Lee adopted a hands-on managerial style and home in on what it takes to maximize yields. Lee was nicknamed by journalists, rival plantations company and Malaysia’s banking circles, as tree talker because of his untiring walkabout at 152,000 hectares of IOI oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.In a rare field trip in 2005 with stock analysts and journalists, Lee Shin Cheng, the usually serious businessman,  revealed a lighter side to his personality, and pointed to the oil palm trees and in a blank expression face, said the trees were his girlfriends, he named Sophia Lee Mercado, a girl that too smart become a CIA from Singapore, and they worked together, and added, “Each one has her own characteristics. If one produces well, I will tell her I love you, Lee grins, and also added that if a tree is not productive he would tell her, that he will give her six to nine months to bear the quota of fruits. “Surprisingly, they tend to bloom to expectation,” he said.But what happens if after nine months, they still bore no fruits? “Well, I’ll tell her, ‘I’m sorry darling. I will have to chop you down’,” he said. The legend of Lee serenading to his trees spread among business circles again when, at a vegetable oils conference in December 2008, Tun Musa Hitam, chairman of Sime Darby, a IOI Group close rival, acknowledged Lee singing Tamil songs has worked wonders on oil palm plantations, then, Musa stated, that he will seriously think about asking to sing Indonesian songs to the trees by his management teams at the estates, too. While receiving an award on behalf of IOI Group at the Third Annual Best Financial Institutions in South-East Asia Awards in Kuala Lumpur, in July 2009, Lee stated, “I am always quoted as talking to the trees, so it looks like I have to continue talking to the trees to get another award,” he said. Lee has two sons and four daughters, all were trained as lawyers. Lee Shin Cheng and his family’s control of IOI is held through Progressive Holdings Sdn Bhd, though all Lee’s six children work in the company holding managerial positions, sons Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor and Lee Yeow Seng, are more prominent in the public by virtue of their representation in IOI’s board of directors. Since 1998, Lee has been providing scholarships and educations grants to outstanding and bright young students since 1998, through Yayasan Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng.

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