NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Wednesday Forbes' famous list of the world's billionaires was revealed. This year, the directory included prominent names in business including No. 6, Oracle's (ORCL - Get Report) Larry Ellison and No. 24, Google's (GOOG) (GOOG) Sergey Brin.
This is only the second time since 2001 that the top two spots were not held by the dynamic duo of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Instead, the Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) founder, who saw his net wealth increase by $13 billion last year, had to settle for second place, while Buffett, who saw his fortune increase by $10 billion thanks to his impressive bets on firms like Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and BYD, placed third.Holding regular positions at the top of the Forbes' billionaires list are just one of the many experiences these world famous businessmen have shared. The two men first met in 1991 when Gates was urged by his mother to attend a meeting where the Nebraska investor was present. Although the two hailed from different backgrounds, they still managed to hit it off immediately. Since the initial meeting, the two have developed a close-knit friendship based on a love for philanthropy, the game of bridge and, more recently, trash. The most notable connection these two men have shared over the course of their nearly 20-year friendship has been their desire to help the world's poor and less fortunate. Although Buffett heads his own charitable efforts, including the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the financier made waves when in 2006 when he announced that he would donate the vast majority of his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report) shares to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. At the time of the offer, this gift was valued at more than $30 billion. The aim of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to battle global disease and poverty as well as fund U.S. education projects.