Yes, you read this headline correctly, the richest human being in history is indeed an African king. According to researchers at Celebrity Net Worth, the 14th century West African king, Mansa Musa I of the Mali had a personal net worth of $400 Billion at the time of his death in 1331. Celebrity Net Worth explained their findings are based upon them adjusting for inflation "For example, $100 million in the year 1913 is equal to $2.299.63 billion in 2012 dollars thanks to the annual rate of inflation of 2199.6%."
Mansa Musa's immense wealth was due his Malian Empire's production and trade of gold and salt. He inherited his empire via his role as deputy of the king, when the previous ruler never returned from an expedition on the Atlantic Ocean. Mansa Musa I, a devout muslim, used some of his wealth to build statuesque mosques that are still standing to this very day and a university in Timbuktu to attract scholars and encourage education.
Legend has it that Mansa Musa I was a generous king who believed in spreading the wealth to the commoners and elders. He put Mali on the map during his hajj/ pilgrimage to Mecca when he gave away gold freely to those he encountered along the way. Within two generations of Mansa Musa's death, his heirs were unable to successfully defend the kingdom from invading conquerors and civil wars and as such, his wealth was lost.
Quick Facts about Mansa Musa I
|Catalan Map of Mansa Musa 1375, with translation|
- Mansa means "king" or "leader."
- Mansa Musa I lived from 1280-1331.
- Mansa Musa I was a descendant of the Mandingo ruler, Sundiata Keita (Sunjata), who was the founder of the Mali empire.
- He ruled West Africa's Malian Empire (modern day Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali).
- To manage successfully, his empire was broken into provinces and villages, with each village having a mayor to help manage government.
- He was a devout muslim who allowed freedom of religion and occupation.
- Mansa Musa I's army guarded the gold mines and also guarded the section of the Trans-Sahara Trade Route that passed by Mali.
- He was highly cultured and encouraged education, even building an impressive university in Timbuktu
- Mansa Musa brought back from hajj/ pilgrimage an Arabic library, religious scholars, and the Muslim architect al-Sahili, who built the great mosques at Gao and Timbuktu and a royal palace.
|Mansa Musa's Mosque of Djenne|
Celebrity Net Worth's List of the 25 Richest People in History
#1 Mansa Musa I – Net Worth $400 Billion
#2 The Rothschild Family – Net Worth $350 Billion
#3 John D. Rockefeller – Net Worth $340 Billion
#4 Andrew Carnegie – Net Worth $310 Billion
#5 Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov – Net Worth $300 Billion
#6 Mir Osman Ali Khan – Net Worth $230 billion
#7 William The Conqueror – Net Worth $229.5 Billion
#8 Muammar Gaddafi – Net Worth $200 Billion
#9 Henry Ford – Net Worth $199 Billion
#10 Cornelius Vanderbilt – Net Worth $185 Billion
#11 Alan Rufus – $178.65 billion
#12 Bill Gates – Net Worth $136 Billion
#13 William de Warenne – Net Worth $147.13 Billion
#14 John Jacob Astor – Net Worth $121 Billion
#15 Richard Fitzalan 10th Earl of Arundel – Net Worth $118.6 Billion
#16 John of Gaunt – Net Worth $110 Billion
#17 Stephen Girard – Net Worth $105 Billion
#18 A.T. Stewart – Net Wort $90 Billion
#19 Henry Duke of Lancaster – Net Worth $85.1 Billion
#20 Friedrich Weyerhauser – Net Worth $80 Billion
#21 Jay Gould – Net Worth $71 Billion
#22 Carlos Slim Helu – Net Worth $68 Billion
#22 Stephen Van Rensselaer – Net Worth $68 Billion
#23 Marshall Field – Net Worth $66 Billion
#24 Sam Walton – Net Worth $65 Billion
#25 Warren Buffett – Net Worth $64 Billion