Jeff Bezos briefly became the richest man in the world Thursday, bumping neighbor Bill Gates off the top.
The Amazon CEO had a net worth of $90.6 billion when the markets opened Thursday, putting him above the $90 billion of Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist.
That makes Bezos the seventh person to hold the title of richest person in the world and the third American, according to Forbes, which has tracked fortunes since 1987.
(Gates and Warren Buffett were the other two Americans.)
Bezos has gained tens of billions of dollars over the last year as Amazon shares surged more than 40 percent, The New York Times reported. They were trading at about $1,063 Thursday. Amazon’s stock prices dropped Thursday afternoon, putting Gates back in place as richest person in the world.
Bezos first appeared on Forbes’ list of America’s 400 Richest People in 1998 with $1.6 billion. He ranked third on the March list of World’s Billionaires with $72.8 billion. He has been near the top of the Forbes list of billionaires for 18 out of the last 23 years.
Part of the reason Bezos skyrocketed up the list of wealthiest people is because Gates has given away $31.1 billion throughout his life, according to Forbes. Gates created the Giving Pledge in partnership with Buffett to encourage billionaires to give away at least half of their money to charities.
Bezos has not taken the pledge with 16 others in the uber-rich realm but he donated about $100 million through 2015.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653