When you look at the list of the richest people in the world, it tends to be male-dominated. In fact, the 10 richest people in the world are all men, but there are plenty of women who are still in the top 100. Out of those women, there are five that truly stand out as being the wealthiest, and here are their details.
Born Miriam Farbstein on October 10, 1945, in Tel Aviv, Miriam Adelson grew up in the city that her parents fled to from Poland during the beginning of World War II and the Holocaust. Adelson became a doctor and married fellow doctor Ariel Ochshorn. After the couple divorced in 1980, she made her way to New York City where she continued her studies. It was at this time that she met Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson was a Boston-born businessman who made most of his money in Las Vegas as he founded the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. He also owned the Las Vegas Review-Journal prior to his death in 2021. The couple had just celebrated 20 years of marriage at the time of his death, and she inherited the businesses that her husband owned. This launched her into fifth place of richest women in the world with a net worth of over $38 billion.
Julia Koch was already doing well for herself long before she had begun a relationship with one of the richest men in the world. Her parents operated a clothing store in Arkansas and after she graduated from college, she moved to New York City where she worked in the fashion industry as both a model and a fashion designer. Born as Julia Flesher, she had rubbed elbows with higher-ups, including former First Lady Nancy Reagan.
In 1991, she met David Koch, and though the two didn’t get along that great in the first meeting, they ended up dating in the same year and the couple married in 1996. David had been the Vice President of Koch Industries, joining the family company in 1970. With a revenue of over $125 billion, Koch Industries is a massive conglomerate. David owned 42 percent of the business, and upon his passing in 2019, Julia Koch took his place in the business and amassed a net worth of over $46 billion.
MacKenzie Scott had wanted to be a writer while she was growing up and displayed her skills in high school so well that she was able to get accepted into the prestigious Princeton University. In 1992, Scott obtained her bachelor’s degree and, like the previous two women on the list, moved to New York City. It was there that she met Jeff Bezos, and the two worked in finance before moving to Seattle.
Scott was instrumental in starting Amazon alongside Bezos after the two got married in 1993 but was less of a figurehead as she wanted to raise a family and focus on writing during the mid-1990s. Scott reemerged in the public eye in 2019 when it was announced that she and Bezos had filed for divorce after 26 years of marriage. The divorce settlement instantly made her one of the richest people in the world with a net worth of over $50 billion.
The top two richest women in the world were born into extremely wealthy families, with the first being Alice Walton, who was born in Newport, Arkansas on October 7, 1949. Walton is the only daughter of the late Sam and Helen Walton, the founders of Walmart. Along with brothers Rob, John, and Jim, Alice Walton inherited a massive fortune when her father passed away in April 1992.
During her career, Walton hasn’t been too involved in the operations of Walmart or Sam’s Club, but she has kept very busy. Walton founded her own investment company in 1988 that lasted for a decade before shuttering. She’s also been an avid art collector and has been involved in healthcare and plenty of philanthropy. With a net worth of over $60 billion, she’s the second-richest woman in the world.
Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
With a net worth of over $70 billion, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers takes the mantle of the world’s richest woman. Meyers is the only child of Liliane Bettencourt, who was the only child of Eugene Schueller. Schueller was the founder of L’Oreal, a personal care company that started in 1909 and now has assets of well over $40 billion. With the line of succession, Meyers became the richest woman in 2017 after Liliane Bettencourt’s passing.
The reason that the assets of L’Oreal are so much lower than Meyers’s net worth is that she also inherited a vast fortune from her family’s investments in the process. She still owns one-third of the company, and her net worth has only risen over the years to put her well ahead of any woman and nearly into the top 10 overall.