Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos – who was the youngest billionaire? The true ages 14 of the world's richest people joined the three-comma club revealed
When Bill Gates became a billionaire in 1987 at the age of 31, he was the youngest person to ever join the three-comma club. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg took that title when he reached billionaire status at 23.
But not all of today’s wealthiest entrepreneurs saw such success at a young age: Larry Ellison was 42 when he made his first million and 49 when his net worth reached the billions.
Using an analysis of the Forbes’ 2020 Billionaires List by British sports betting firm OLBG, we’ve broken out the ages at which Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, and 11 more of the world’s richest people became billionaires. Here they are, listed in order from oldest to youngest at the time they reached billionaire status.
Warren Buffett: 56
Today’s estimated net worth: US$79.7 billion
The investing legend and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway became a self-made billionaire in 1986 at age 56. His net worth passed US$1 billion after Berkshire Hathaway sold class-A shares for the first time.
George Lucas: 52
Today’s estimated net worth: US$5.7 billion
Lucas may be the brains behind two of the most well-known film franchises of our time, but he made most of his money by selling his production studio Lucasfilm to Disney for US$4.05 billion in cash and stock in 2012, according to Bloomberg. He first became a self-made billionaire in 1996 at 52.
Carlos Slim: 51
Today’s estimated net worth: US$51.2 billion
The Telecom magnate became a self-made billionaire in 1991 at 51. Real-estate investments also contributed to Slim’s fortune. In 2015, he was the second-richest person in the world.
Larry Ellison: 49
Today’s estimated net worth: US$71.4 billion
The founder of Oracle became a self-made billionaire in 1993 at 49. Since stepping down as Oracle’s CEO in 2014, Ellison has earned a reputation as a jet-setting, yacht-racing playboy.
Oprah Winfrey: 49
Today’s estimated net worth: US$2.5 billion
The media mogul and queen of daytime television became a self-made billionaire in 2003 at 49, according to Forbes. Winfrey's media empire led her to become the first black female billionaire in history.
Meg Whitman: 42
Today’s estimated net worth: US$5.1 billion
The former eBay and Hewlett-Packard CEO and current Quibi CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 42. Whitman’s net worth exceeded US$1 billion after she took eBay public, according to Forbes.
Sir Richard Branson: 41
Today’s estimated net worth: US$4.6 billion
Britain’s high-profile billionaire earned his first billion in 1991 at 41, according to Forbes. The Virgin Group founder became a self-made billionaire thanks to the success of his many companies – he has overseen around 500.
Elon Musk: 41
Today’s estimated net worth: US$68 billion
The co-founder of PayPal and Tesla, and founder of SpaceX, reached self-made billionaire status in 2012 at 41 as the value of Tesla’s stock soared, according to Forbes.
Mark Cuban: 40
Today’s estimated net worth: US$4.2 billion
The Shark Tank investor and Dallas Mavericks owner became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 40, according to Forbes. Selling his first company, Micro Solutions, made Cuban a millionaire – selling his second company, Broadcast.com, made him a billionaire.
Jeff Bezos: 35
Today’s estimated net worth: US$188.1 billion
Amazon’s founder and CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1999 at 35, when the value in Bezos’ Amazon shares catapulted him from millionaire to billionaire status. Bezos, now 56, later became the world’s first centibillionaire.
Bill Gates: 31
Today’s estimated net worth: US$113.5 billion
The Microsoft co-founder and noted philanthropist, now 64, became a self-made billionaire in 1987 at 31. When the value in Gates’ shares surpassed US$1 billion, he became the youngest billionaire ever at the time.
Larry Page: 30
Today’s estimated net worth: US$66.8 billion
Google’s co-founder, now 47, joined the three-comma club in 2004 at age 30, when the company’s IPO sent Page’s net worth over US$1 billion for the first time.
Evan Spiegel: 25
Today’s estimated net worth: US$4.5 billion
The Snapchat co-founder and CEO became a billionaire in 2015 at 25, when the value in Spiegel’s Snapchat shares reached US$1 billion, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires. Spiegel is now 30.
Mark Zuckerberg: 23
Today’s estimated net worth: US$99.6 billion
The Facebook co-founder and CEO became a billionaire at age 23 after the social network’s IPO in 2008, making Zuckerberg the youngest self-made billionaire in history at the time.
This article originally appeared in Business Insider.
An analysis of Forbes’ 2020 Billionaires List by British sports betting firm OLBG has revealed the real ages that some of the world’s richest people first clocked a billion dollars in the bank – ranked here from oldest to youngest