Facts and Untold Stories About Black History, Culture, Inventions, and the African American Experience

Home News/ Blog Museums Organizations About Us Contact Us

The Richest Person in History is... a Black Man (Worth Way More Than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos!)

Mansa Musa, richest person in history
History's wealthiest person is a Black man named Mansa Musa, who was an emperor of the West African kingdom of Mali from the year 1312 and 1337. He was worth more than $400 billion, making him the number one richest person in history... period! (In comparison, as of 2018, Bill Gates is worth $93 billion, Mark Zuckerberg is worth $77 billion, and Jeff Bezos is worth $143 billion!)
How he obtained his wealth

Well, Musa's empire extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Niger River - a distance of more than 2,500 miles. According to 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., his territory was contained the world's largest depositories of both salt and gold.

He inherited the land when his predecessor, Abubakari II, never returned from a risky expedition across the Atlantic ocean. But his wealth was more than just an inheritance. He was also a clever business man who helped open key trading routes to North Africa.

A visionary

Musa is also known for introducing West Africa to an architect and poet named Abu Ishaq al-Sahili, who was the first to start building domed palaces to Mali's skyline. This made the city look futuristic, and attracted tourists and investors from all over the world.

He also launched diplomatic relations with the nearby African country of Morocco, which brought even more wealth to his empire.

But his biggest win, according to one historian, was that of being able to succeed despite living in a world of racism and prejudice - which often held other leaders back from attaining their financial goals.


Watch his story below:



SHARE THIS PAGE: