Gates ranks as the world's richest person; Carlos Slim next, MJ makes debut on the Forbes list



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FILE - In this May 5, 2014 file photo, Microsoft co-founder and Berkshire Hathaway board member Bill Gates speaks during an interview with Liz Claman on the Fox Business Network in Omaha, Neb. Forbes on Monday, March 2, 2015 said that Gates's net worth rose to $79.2 billion in 2015 from $76 billion last year. That put him at the top of the magazine's list of the world's billionaires for the second consecutive year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)


NEW YORK — The world's richest person got even richer this year. And a basketball superstar-turned-owner made the list for the first time.

Forbes said Monday that Bill Gates's net worth rose to $79.2 billion in 2015 from $76 billion last year. That put him at the top of the magazine's list of the world's billionaires for the second consecutive year. The co-founder of Microsoft Corp. has topped the list for 16 of the last 21 years.

In second place is Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $77.1 billion. He had topped the list in 2013.

Next is investor Warren Buffett, who moved up one slot this year with a net worth of $72.7 billion. In fourth place was Amancio Ortega, the Spanish co-founder of clothing retail chain Zara, with a net worth of $64.5 billion. Rounding out the top five was Larry Ellison, founder of technology company Oracle Corp., with $54.3 billion.

Forbes said there were 1,826 billionaires on its list this year, up from 1,645 in 2014. Added together, they were worth a combined $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion last year.

Most of those on the list were men. But there were 197 women, up from 172 a year ago. The highest-ranking woman was Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, a son of the founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. She has a net worth of $41.7 billion, according to Forbes.

The world's youngest billionaire was 24-year-old Evan Spiegel, the CEO and co-founder of mobile messaging company Snapchat, with a net worth of $1.5 billion. Snapchat's other co-founder, 25-year-old Bobby Murphy, had the same net worth as Spiegel. Other tech billionaire newcomers were two co-founders of taxi-ordering app Uber and one of its executives. Three co-founders of Airbnb, the vacation-home rental website, also made the list.

Basketball legend Michael Jordan joined the list for the first time this year, thanks to his ownership in basketball team Charlotte Hornets and payouts form his Nike brand. Jordan had a net worth of $1 billion, the magazine said.

This is the 29th year that Forbes has released its billionaires list. The magazine said it calculated each person's wealth based on stock prices and exchange rates on Feb. 13, 2015.

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