The first billionaire in the world might not be whom you expect. Chances are — even if you googled it — you’re wrong.

On September 16, 1916, newspapers all across the United States proudly announced John D. Rockefeller as the first billionaire.

However, recent calculations of Rockefeller’s net worth have found that he never reached ten-figure status. Even more, according to multiple sources, his son even issued a statement at the time claiming the media was exaggerating the numbers.

Now, more accurately, historians acknowledge that Henry Ford was the first billionaire. 

The founder of the Ford Motor Company reportedly hit the milestone in 1925. While the accomplishment is impressive, Ford added other feathers in his cap on the way there. 

The first billionaire had a bright future before the Model T

Most notably, Henry Ford is recognized as the developer and manufacturer of the first affordable automobile — the Model T. Nonetheless, there were earlier indications that Ford was going to be above average. 

Henry Ford began having an interest in mechanics at only 12 years old and built his first engine by the time he was 15. 

As a result of his engineering skills, young Henry was hired at the Edison Illuminating Company. Here, Thomas Edison became a lifelong mentor and friend to the future first billionaire. 

During this time, Henry Ford started venturing into the automobile industry.

Your Cadillac is really a Ford 

After a foray into building race cars, the entrepreneur founded the Henry Ford Company. 

He left the enterprise and it became the Cadillac Motor Company in 1902. When even the projects you cast aside create legacy brands, it’s no wonder that he became the one to break out of the millions. 

In summary, we can now formally acknowledge Henry Ford as the first billionaire. He worked hard, strengthened his skills, and associated with trailblazers. 

Let that be the takeaway for anyone chasing the 1000-mill status. 


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