Meet the reclusive Spanish billionaire who just beat out Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world

caption
Amancio Ortega is the richest man in the world.
source
Getty Images / Xurxo Lobato

Despite claiming the title of the richest man in the world, Zara’s founder, Amancio Ortega, is a man of mystery.

On Wednesday, Ortega beat out Bill Gates to become the richest person on Earth, Forbes reported. Ortega currently has a $200 million edge over Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, due in part to a particularly good week for the stock of Inditex, Zara’s parent company.

According to Forbes, Ortega has crowded the world’s richest person three other times – but has always surrendered the No. 1 position within a day.

Despite Ortega’s enormous net worth, many people have never heard of him. He is an incredibly private man, is rarely seen in public, and has given just a handful of interviews throughout his incredibly successful career.

That career began when Ortega founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975. Today, his retail company Inditex SA – which owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear – has 7,385 outposts around the world.

While Ortega is immensely private, we do know a fair amount about him. Here’s everything you need to know about the richest man in fashion.

Ashley Lutz and Mallory Schlossberg contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.


Amancio Ortega is the richest man in the world, with a net worth estimated at $85 billion.

source
Getty Images / Xurxo Lobato

Source: Bloomberg


In the last few months, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have battled with Ortega for the No. 1 spot.

source
Jeff Vinick/Getty Images

Ortega was born in the town of Busdongo de Arbas, Spain, in March 1936.

source
José Antonio Gil Martínez

This is his second wife, Flora. The couple has been married since 2001.

source
born-rich.com

Source: Bloomberg


In August 2013, his ex-wife and Zara cofounder, Rosalia Mera, died at 69. She was Spain’s richest woman. Ortega and Mera married in 1966, and were divorced in 1986.

Source: Associated Press


This is one of his daughters, Marta. The socialite is married to Spain’s top showjumper, Sergio Álvarez Moya.

source
Getty Images

Source: ThinkSpain.com


Ortega and his wife live in a discreet apartment building in La Coruña, Spain, near a major port of the Atlantic Ocean.

source
Wikimedia Commons

Source: Forbes


The Duchess of Cambridge is a huge fan of Zara’s designs and is often photographed in its clothing.

source
Getty

Source: Publico.es


Ortega is known for being immensely private. In 2012, Bloomberg noted that he had only granted interviews to three journalists.

Source: Bloomberg


He also dresses modestly. He usually wears a simple uniform of a blue blazer, white shirt, and grey trousers — none of which are Zara products.

source
how-rich.org

Source: Bloomberg


He goes to the same coffee shop every day and eats lunch with his employees in the company cafeteria. Here’s a picture of one of Zara’s shops.

source
Reuters

Sources: Publico.es and adlatina.com


In his free time, Ortega is known to enjoy horseback riding and owns an equestrian center in Finisterre in Galicia, Spain.

caption
Ortega with his daughter, Marta.
source
Getty Images

Source: Elite Choice


On the weekends, Ortega reportedly raises goats and chickens at his country home in the Spanish province of Galicia.

source
Shutterstock/Miguel

Source: Fortune


His immense wealth has allowed him to hobnob with celebrities and royalty. Here he is pictured with Princess Letizia and Crown Prince Felipe of Spain in 2008. The pair are now King and Queen of the country.

source
Reuters/Miguel Vidal

He also bought one of the tallest skyscrapers in Spain, the Torre Picasso in Madrid. The building stands at 515 feet and cost $536 million.

source
Wikimedia Commons

Source: Elite Choice


He also bought the Epic Residences and Hotel in Miami, considered to be one of the best luxury hotels in the US.

source
Epic Hotel

Source: Elite Choice


Ortega drives an Audi A8 luxury sedan that is said to be more about comfort than luxury.

source
Audi

Source: Elite Choice


He also owns The Global Express BD-700, a private jet designed by Bombardier, one of the leading manufacturers of luxury private jets. The plane carries a price tag of $45 million.

source
Wikimedia Commons

Source: Elite Choice


But he rarely jets off on vacation. He says he loves working too much to take time off.

source
Xaume Olleros/Getty Images

Source: adlatina.com