While there seems to be a fascination over the life and times of the celebrities throughout the world, it’s interesting to see how little their actual fortunes are compared to the individuals that have founded their own companies or have taken a role in some of the leading industries of the world. Celebrities often make headlines for all of their over-the-top expenditures and time in the limelight so it’s easy to overlook the people that are actually signing their checks. This is just one way to look at how there are a variety of individuals that are operating behind-the-scenes and accumulating a huge amount of money.
From people that have founded their own companies to computer scientists and programmers that have revolutionized the world, the stories behind the people that have made their fortunes are extremely exciting. From being the only woman on the list to being one of the youngest billionaires in the world, these stories are just further evidence that anyone can build a vast fortune with the right skills and circumstance. Check out our list of the 15 richest billionaires in the world in 2017 and see how the one percent have been able to build their fortunes.
15. Rob Walton – $34.1 Billion
Samuel “Rob” Walton is an American businessman that is the eldest son of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. While there are other chain stores that have come and gone over the years, Walmart has evolved to become the world’s largest retailer. Although there have been some controversies surrounding the Walmart company, the success of this chain is undeniable. There are Walmarts throughout the world and Walton ran the retailer for 23 years after the death of his father. Sam Walton died in 1992 and Rob Walton took over as the chairman before retiring in 2015. His place as chairman of Walmart was taken over by his son-in-law, Greg Penner. As of 2017, Samuel “Rob” Walton had an estimated net worth of $34.1 billion.
14. Liliane Bettencourt – $39.5 Billion
Although there are a number of female billionaires throughout the world, Liliane Bettencourt has the prestigious title of being the only female billionaire on our list 15 richest billionaires. Bettencourt is a French heiress and socialite that has proven to be an amazing businesswoman. She is a major shareholder of the famed L’Oréal brand. As the founder of the brand, her claim to fame has been to evolve the L’Oréal brand to become one of the largest cosmetics and beauty companies in the world. Her estimated net worth for 2017 is around $39.5 billion, which makes her the richest woman in all of the world. While there are other cosmetics brands that have been able to evolve over the years, none have come close to the L’Oréal brand.
13. Sergey Brin – $39.8 Billion
Sergey Brin is a computer scientist that is the other half of the brainchild that created Google. Along with Larry Page, Brin has helped to create and evolve the Google company and became the President of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Brin went to the prestigious Stanford University to obtain his PhD in computer science and it is there that he met his future business partner, Larry Page. In 2007 he married Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder, and CEO of 23andMe but the two ultimately divorced in 2015. Brin is best known for running the Google X division that many blamed for the bumbled Google glasses product that is seen as one of the failures of the Google endeavors. In 2017, Brin is stated to have an estimated net worth of $39.8 billion.
12. Larry Page – $41.5 Billion
Not many people are as familiar with Larry Page as they are with other names on the Forbes’ billionaire’s list like Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. Yet, when it’s revealed that Page is the CEO of Alphabet, that is bound to perk a few interests. Before you go thinking that there is actually someone out there that owns the alphabet, keep in mind that Page is actually one of the co-founders of Google. Google’s parent company is called Alphabet, which Larry Page serves as its CEO. Like so many other billionaires, Page doesn’t only seem to focus on the computer science industry to continue to build his fortune. He reportedly invested in the Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk startups to try and bring forth the flying car and has an estimated net worth of $41.5 billion in 2017.