Gates, 62, who has a net worth of $86.8 billion according to the Bloomberg index, although Bloomberg indicates he would be worth more than $150 billion if he hadn't given $700 million Microsoft Corp. shares and $2.9 billion of cash and other assets to charity.
Reaching the new landmark was shortlived, however.
In a stark reminder of wealth inequality in the USA, it emerged this month that the combined fortunes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos (roughly $248.5 billion) exceeds the net worth of 160 million Americans, or 53 million U.S. households.
Mr Bezos started Amazon in his basement in Seattle 22 years ago, after he quit his job as a hedge fund manager in NY.
Incident at London's Oxford Circus station over
Armed police have arrived on the scene to handle the situation after a gunman was reported to be firing shots. British Transport Police (BTP) received reports at 4.37pm of gunfire on the westbound Central Line platform.
Gate, 62, still holds second place with a net worth of $88.9 billion, while Warren Buffet, 86, of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. remained in third with a net worth of $78.9 billion, according to the index on November 24.
Commentators point out that Amazon's upswing followed Friday's broad market push that saw the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index hit another record at 2602, the first time it has closed above 2600. The bulk of his wealth is generated from these shares. Amazon's shares surged by more than two percent due to Black Friday sales. Bezos also owns The Washington Post through a holding company.
On October 27, 2017, the 53-year-old had surpassed Bill Gates on the Forbes list of billionaires with a net worth of over $90 billion. The stock got a lift from reports that online shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday jumped 18 per cent compared with past year.
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