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Self-Made Zara Mogul Briefly Beats Bill Gates As World’s Richest Man

It’s a true rags to riches story. Amancio Ortega, who transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny dressmaker from the rainy northern region of Galicia into Spain’s biggest company, Zara, briefly took over Bill Gates late last week to become the world’s richest man.

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At one point last Friday, Forbes put Ortega’s fortune at $79.9 billion, but unfortunately, his winning streak didn’t last for too long. Later in the day, a 10% surge in the share price of Microsoft put Bill Gates back on top.

Amancio Ortega holds a 59.3% stake in Zara, which is now considered the world’s biggest fashion retailer. A far cry from the brand’s humble beginnings, Zara now boasts more than 6,000 stores in some 90 countries, with a capitalization of 104 billion euros.

It all stems from the enigmatic Ortega, a completely self-made man who never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. Proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.

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