Riding a wave of positive publicity about Black Friday that saw Amazon's stock rise 2.6% Friday to $1,186 a share and the company's market cap soar to $572 billion, Bezos' personal fortune rose more than $2 billion to about $97.9 billion, at least on paper, according to Bloomberg's billionaire's index.
Bezos owns about 17% of Amazon's stock, meaning his net worth has increased almost $33 billion this year alone, vaulting him past Bill Gates (currently $89 billion) and Warren Buffett ($79 billion) to become the world's richest person. Gates was the first individual to achieve a $100-billion net worth, according to Bloomberg, all the way back in 1999 when Microsoft's stock was soaring, but he has since given away more than $60 billion, mostly in Microsoft shares, to charity.
Amazon's stock is up more than 54% this year as it continues to capture a larger and larger share of online shopping, and also shows rapid growth in Amazon Web Services and other newer businesses. Bezos has recently begun selling about $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each year to help fund his space exploration business, Blue Origin LLC.
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