Following the world’s richest people.
Over the past decade, the Forbes Billionaires list has swelled from 1,011 members to 2,100, collectively worth some $8.7 trillion. This elite group is ever-changing—247 billionaires fell out of the ranks last year alone, replaced by 195 newcomers—but some have left their mark. From Alibaba’s Jack Ma to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, these billionaires commanded headlines in the 2010s, for better or worse.
Here are some of the biggest milestones:
The Death of Steve Jobs
Image source : forbes
In October 2011, Jobs died at age 56 after a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He had stepped down as CEO of Apple two months prior, handing the reins to then-Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.
Jobs launched the company with high school friend Stephen Wozniak in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976. He was ousted in 1985 but returned in 1997 and spent the following years revitalizing the company, first launching the iPod in 2001 and then the iPhone in 2007 — and earning the reputation of a tech visionary. By the time of his death, Apple’s market capitalization topped $350 billion.
Jobs was survived by his three daughters, a son and his spouse, Laurene Powell-Jobs. His widow is now the 42nd-richest person in the world with a net worth of $23.8 billion, having inherited the late Jobs’ Apple and Disney stock.
Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi Resigns As Prime Minister
image source : Forbes
hree-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned in November 2011 after losing control of parliament. He had pledged to step down after the passing of austerity measures, intended to combat Italy’s debt crisis.
Berlusconi was first elected prime minister in 1994, six years after first making Forbes’ billionaires list, largely thanks to his media group Fininvest—which includes Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster. By 2011, his net worth had sunk to $6 billion, less than half its peak of $12.8 billion in 2000, as Berlusconi faced trials for tax fraud, corruption and paying for sex in with a minor. He was later found guilty of all three charges, though he was subsequently acquitted on appeal in the prostitution case.
Elon Musk Becomes A Billionaire
image source : Forbes
Musk debuted on Forbes’ billionaires list with a net worth of $2 billion in 2012 following a jump in the share price of his electric car company, Tesla Motors, which went public in 2010. Tesla unveiled its first SUV, the Model X, in February 2012. His 29% stake in Tesla was worth more than $1 billion. The rest of his fortune was tied up in his other moonshots: solar panel firm SolarCity and aerospace outfit SpaceX, which is building reusable rockets.
“If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic—being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago,” Musk told Forbes in 2012. “So engineering is, for all intents and purposes, magic, and who wouldn’t want to be a magician?”
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