Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became the only billionaire in the world to have a twelve-digit fortune on Monday morning, when his net worth topped $100 billion for the first time, according to Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaire Rankings, which calculates his wealth at $100.2 billion as of 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday, up more than $600 million from Friday, November 24.
The last time a someone crossed the $100 billion mark was at the height of the dot com boom. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates was briefly worth $100 billion in April 1999, when Microsoft stock hit a peak. Now, nearly twenty years later, Gates is the second richest person in the world behind Bezos, worth $89.4 billion – excluding the more than $35 billion he has given to his foundation in his lifetime.
Bezos’ rapid rise to become the richest person in the world and the only person with a $100 billion fortune has been driven by Amazon’s stock, which is up nearly 60% in 2017 and hit a record high of $1,213.41 a share on Monday.
Bezos briefly became the richest person in the world in July, for a mere four hours before dropping back to second place. Then on October 27, Bezos once again surpassed Gates to become the world’s richest person, with a surge in Amazon stock adding $10 billion to his fortune in a single day. He has maintained that number one spot ever since, and is now $10.8 billion richer than Gates.
When Forbes published its annual rankings of the 400 richest Americans in October, Bezos was worth $81.5 billion, $7.5 billion less than Gates. In the two months since, Amazon’s surging stock has added nearly $20 billion to his fortune. Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 in 1998 with a $1.6 billion fortune, one year after Amazon went public.