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BILL Gates is one of the richest men who has ever lived and regularly features high on the list of the world's wealthiest individuals.

But how much is the Microsoft co-founder worth and is he still the richest man in the world? Forbes, which publishes a yearly rich-list, estimates Gates' fortune in 2017 to be around £67.5billion (billion) Gates' wealth now has a momentum of its own and is set to accumulate even further.

He chugged along for the following decade, reaching .4 billion in 2007, gradually rising to .4 billion by 2012, ranking him 26th on the list.

But over the past two years, as Amazon's stock has soared, so has Bezos' fortune.

While Gates is regularly named as the richest man in the world, on July 27 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gazumped Gates when his net worth hit a staggering £69billion (.6billion).

Because the vast majority of Bezos' wealth is tied directly to Amazon's stock - his fortune can soar dramatically on certain days.

When he hits the mark, Bezos, who started selling books from his garage 22 years ago, becomes the first man to bump Gates from his perch in seven years and is only the sixth man to hold the "richest person" title in the past 30 years, according to Forbes.

Of course, Bezos avoids talking publicly about his wealth.

Like most tech tycoons, he insists he's trying to change the world rather than get rich.

"I took the less safe path to follow my passion and I'm proud of that choice," he said.

Bezos may not only be the richest man in the world today — he might become the richest man ever, at least measured in pure dollars.

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