Why isn't Bill Gates richer

I’ve heard figures like 10 million to 50 million per kid.

More than enough to lead a very upper middle class lifestyle, but still a drop in the bucket of his total fortune

I’m glad Gates does so much charity work. I think Warren Buffet said he was going to give most of his estate to the Gates foundation too.

Steve Jobs didn’t own nearly as much Apple stock as Gates owned MS stock.

Jobs’s wealth at time of death was actually majority due to his ownership of Pixar and eventual sale to Disney. He owned 5.5 million shares of Apple (only about 0.1% of it) and 138 million shares of Disney, worth about $330m and $5.5b respectively, at the time of his death.

Well Bill Gates may be getting significantly poorer: he and his wife Melinda are getting divorced:

It will be so hard to get by with $30B when you are used to $60B.

Was anyone elses’s first thought on hearing of the divorce “Who gets the Foundation?”

The $50 billion that was donated to charity, is the corpus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they still control. They approve all of the investment decisions and what gets distributed. The Foundation assets are estimated at about $47 billion. But Bill and Melinda received huge tax deductions when those donations were originally made, before the limit on charitable contribution deductions went into place. Also Warren Buffet has made annual pledges to the Foundation.

People who try to rank the ultra-wealthy from various eras sometimes tend to use proxies–for example, the percentage of national GDP that the person’s fortune represents. To the extent that such things can be calculated at all, there seems to be a consensus that Rockefeller was (at minimum) one of the top-10 richest individuals in all of history. Some lists place him at #1.

It’s far more than a mere $30 billion loss: There was no pre-nup and Washington is a community property state. So with total assets of $146 billion and losing half of that he and Melinda each end up with $73 billion–thus a loss of $73 billion.