1. John D. Rockefeller
Fortune: $336 billion
Rockefeller is the founder of Standard Oil and is estimated to be the richest person in history, eclipsing everyone from the richest royals of ancient times to anyone in the future who might happen to invent magic machines that connect people around the world.
He founded the University of Chicago, Rockefeller University and was a Baptist who tithes ten percent to his church.
2. Andrew Carnegie
Fortune: $309 billion
Carnegie is the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company. He immigrated to the U.S. from Scotland as a boy and his first job was working in a factory making $1.20 a day. Talk about rags to riches!
He funded about 3,000 libraries around the world and built Carnegie Hall in New York City.
3. Cornelius Vanderbilt
Fortune: $185 billion
Vanderbilt is a railroad tycoon. He started his first business at age 16, ferrying freight and passengers between Staten Island and Manhattan. He married his first cousin and had 13 children.
He controlled railroad lines across the U.S., built Grand Central Depot and founded Vanderbilt University.
5. Frederick Weyerhaeuser
Fortune: $79.4 billion
The founder of the Weyerhaeuser Company, a timber company, Weyerhaeuser first worked in the brewery business but left because he said the owner, “often becomes his own best customer.”
Freddie didn’t found a university, but his brother built this library!
7. Jay Gould
Gould is a railroad tycoon who once bought up massive amounts of gold and used his connections with President Grant to artificially increase the price of gold. It caused the markets to crash on a day that’s come to be known as “Black Friday.”
He died in 1892 and willed his fortune to his family and his church and was buried in a massive unmarked mausoleum.
These guys had some serious coin.