It might come as a surprise to some that Bill Gates, who had dominated "world's richest" lists for well over a decade, is currently is second place. For a while, he slipped into a neck-and-neck battle with Jeff Bezos, where, depending on the day and the stock market, each could land in the top spot. These days, though, there really isn't much of a battle.
As co-founder of Microsoft, Mr. Gates still holds a 2.4 percent stake in the company, along with a portfolio of diversified assets through a number of publicly traded companies across multiple business sectors, including Canada's biggest railroad operator. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Giving Pledge, Mr. Gates has pledged a large portion of his fortune to help solve some of the world's most pressing public health problems.
Born: October 28, 1955 Seattle, Washington, USA
Spouse: Melinda Gates
"The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of. Amazing developments in communications, collaboration and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice people who would never have been heard of."
- Bill Gates