The Getty Kidnapping: How Much is a Grandson’s Life Worth?


Jean Paul Getty refused ransom demand for grandson

Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) was one of the wealthiest man in the world. In 1966 the Guinness Book of Records named him as the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $1.2 billion ($9.1 billion in 2017). He earned his fortune in the oil business, and in 1996 The Wealthy 100 ranked him as the 67th richest American who ever lived. Continue reading

Back When a Billion Dollars Really Meant Something

Richest man in history John D. Rockefeller

When you think of big bucks, names like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg probably come to mind. These guys were comparative paupers compared to history’s biggest bankroll barons.

When adjusted for inflation, John D. Rockefeller’s fortune of $336 billion is more than double that of Bill Gates’ holdings at their peak. While Gates does show up in the list of the 15 wealthiest people of all time, he comes in ranked at #6. Even so, he is the only living person on that list.

Notably absent from the list are historical figures such as King Solomon whose wealth could not be accurately estimated.


chart of richest people in history adjusted for inflation