Jeff Bezos just leapfrogged Bill Gates to become the richest human on Earth…for about 6 hours

Update Thursday, July 27 4:30 p.m. EST:

Jeff Bezos’ claim to the title proved short-lived Thursday afternoon when an earnings miss dragged Amazon’s stock down.

As of market closing time, Bloomberg’s billionaire wealth index had Bill Gates back on top with Bezos down to $89.8 billion from $90.6 billion earlier in the day.

We’ll be sure to update this space again if Gates happens to announce any surprise charity mega-pledges tonight.

Original story:

In 1998, The New York Times wrote a little story called, “Amazon.com is Expanding Beyond Books.” Nearly two decades later, the founder of that company has more money than anyone else on the planet.

Jeff Bezos passed Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates as the richest human on Earth on Thursday morning after Amazon’s stock jumped just high enough, according to Bloomberg.

Gates has been on top of the cash world for a little more than four years, and there’s a chance he could quickly regain that spot if Amazon’s soon-to-come quarterly earnings report don’t go well for whatever reason.

Both tech gurus have a net worth of around $90 billion, more money than the GDPs of, for example, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.

Bezos got to the top as his company has continued to expand to the point that it’s now hard to define. Amazon still sells books, but it also sells just about everything else, in addition to providing cloud computing and recently buying Whole Foods.

All hail Bezos, champion of capitalism.

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