The Metal Billionaires Who Have Ruled the World

The Metal Billionaires Who Have Ruled the World

29th June 2020

Throughout modern history, the people who have controlled metals have been among the planet’s richest and most powerful leaders. The following are a few of the metal billionaires who have amassed incredible fortunes over the years.

Andrew Carnegie

One of the wealthiest men in the history of humanity, Carnegie was born to a poor family in Scotland. He made his fortune when he moved to the US and dominated the steel industry as the country grew at an incredible pace, long before CE marked fabrications and other modern enhancements appeared on the scene.

Carnegie sold his business for $480 million in 1901, and then dedicated the rest of his life to philanthropy. He is believed to have given away as much as 90% of his vast fortune, with his passion for education ensuring that this was one of the main areas that he ploughed money into.

Carnegie’s legacy can be seen in the huge number of buildings that still bear his name, and among them are hundreds of public libraries in many different countries. He was also massively influential in changing the way we think about philanthropy and how the richest should use their wealth for the benefit of society in general.

Simón Iturri Patiño

His name might not be as widely remembered around the world as that of Carnegie, but the man known as the Andean Rockefeller was one of the richest industrialists on the planet in the first half of the 20th century. As the tin industry boomed and prices soared, he was the man who reaped the benefits.

Born into poverty in Bolivia, he was broke and out of luck when looking for silver in the mountains of his home country, but then stumbled upon a fabulously rich vein of tin. He would go on to control the tin production and distribution of almost the whole planet.

He did this by shrewdly buying up tin smelters around the world. Patiño eventually became known at the King of Tin and was worth some $81 billion during the Second World War, enough to be classed as one of the top 30 richest people in history.

Vladimir Sergeyevich Lisin

Many of Russia’s billionaires made their money through steel and other metals. In the case of Lisin, he is currently ranked as the richest man in Russia, with an estimated fortune in the region of $20 billion.

He is a leading authority on various metallurgical processes and holds many different patents on the subject. His career began humbly, in a coalmine in 1975, and he rose through numerous jobs in the industry before reaching the heights when he and his partners gained control of the country’s steel and aluminium industry.

Gina Rinehart

Another mining success story, Rinehart inherited the family business from her father, Lang Hancock, who had discovered the planet’s biggest iron deposit, in Western Australia. She continued to build it up and earn even more money year after year.

She is now believed to have a fortune of over $13 billion to her name and is considered one of the richest women on Earth.