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Thu 10 Mar 2011 12:41 PM

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The top 25 richest people on the planet

Meet the world's wealthiest people who made it to the top of this year's Forbes Rich list

The top 25 richest people on the planet
24. Sergey Brin (USA) - $16.7bn (as of Nov 2011), Google -- Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google
The top 25 richest people on the planet
24. Larry Page (USA) - $16.7bn, Google
The top 25 richest people on the planet
23 Thomas & Raymond Kwok & family (Hong Kong) - $20bn -- the brothers inherited Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's largest real estate developer, in 1990 following their father's death
The top 25 richest people on the planet
22. S. Robson Walton (USA) - $21bn, Wal-Mart -- he is the eldest son of Helen Walton and Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer
The top 25 richest people on the planet
21. Alice Walton (USA) - $21.2bn, Wal-Mart -- Alice is an heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune. She is the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton
The top 25 richest people on the planet
20. Jim Walton (USA) - $21.3bn, Wal-Mart -- is the youngest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and the Chairman of Arvest Bank
The top 25 richest people on the planet
18. David Koch (USA) - $22bn, diversified businesses -- Koch is a businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer
The top 25 richest people on the planet
18. Charles Koch (USA) - $22bn, diversified businesses -- Charles is co-owner, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries Inc, the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the US
The top 25 richest people on the planet
17. David Thomson & family (Canada) - $23bn, Media -- David was the chairman of Thomson Corporation since 2002 and after the acquisition of Reuters, he is now the chairman of the merged entity, Thomson Reuters
The top 25 richest people on the planet
16. Sheldon Adelson (USA) - $21.5bn, Casinos -- Adelson is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp
The top 25 richest people on the planet
15. Liliane Bettencourt - $23.5bn, L'Oreal. She is is a French heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist. She is one of the principal shareholders of L'Oréal
The top 25 richest people on the planet
14. Vladimir Lisin (Russia) - $24bn, steel tycoon
The top 25 richest people on the planet
13. (far right) Stefan Persson (Sweden) - $24.5bn, H&M, Persson is the chairman and main shareholder in fashion company Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
12. Karl Albrecht (Germany ) - $25.5bn, Aldi. Karl founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo
The top 25 richest people on the planet
10. Li Ka-shing (Hong Kong) - $26bn, diversified. Li is the Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings
The top 25 richest people on the planet
10. Christy Walton & family (USA) - $26.5bn, Wal-Mart\n\nChristy Walton is the widow of John Walton, who was the son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Sam Walton built the global Wal-Mart empire from a single dime store in Arkansas. It is now the world's largest retailer (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
9. Mukesh Ambani (India) - $27bn, petrochemicals, oil and gas\n\nA chemical engineer by training, Mukesh, 53, dropped out of an MBA from Stanford University and joined Reliance in 1981.\n\nMukesh, who said in 2009 he would take a two-thirds pay cut after the Indian prime minister's comments on "vulgar salaries," gave his wife a private jet on her birthday. He also splashed out $1bn on a 27-story home (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
8. Eike Batista (Brazil) - $30bn, mining, oil\n\nA half-German college dropout who for years struggled to emerge from the shadow of his well-known father, Batista has long said he wants nothing less than to be Brazil's and the world's richest person. Everything about the 53-year-old - from the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car he keeps as decoration in his parlor to the "X" in the name of all his companies that represents wealth multiplication - screams of unashamed ambition (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
7. Amancio Ortega (Spain) - $31bn, retail\n\nAmancio Ortega, 74, started his clothing business in the 1960s making dressing gowns in his garage in La Coruna. His company Inditex owns the Zara fashion house and is now the world's biggest clothing retailer. Ortega closely guards his privacy and does not give media interviews. He announced in January that he plans to step down as chairman of the company (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
6. Lakshmi Mittal (India) - $31.1bn, steel\n\nLondon-based steel tycoon Mittal, 60, runs ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel manufacturer.\n\nMittal's firm is largely funding a $29 million spiraling red tower, designed by Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and taller than New York's Statue of Liberty, that will soar over London's Olympic Park for the 2012 games (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
5. Larry Ellison (USA) - $39.5bn, Oracle Corp\n\nEllison, the flamboyant Oracle founder and CEO, is known for his free, public outbursts against rivals such as German software maker SAP AG. The executive, supposedly a model for the "Iron Man" movie character Tony Stark, late last year attacked Hewlett Packard and its board for the abrupt and - he said - unfair sacking of longtime friend Mark Hurd. Ellison then hired him (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)\n\n
The top 25 richest people on the planet
4. Bernard Arnault (France) - $41bn, LVMH\n\nArnault, 62, a friend of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was educated at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique and joined his father's construction company at 25. He earned the reputation of a ruthless corporate raider after pushing out shareholder rivals when he started building the LVMH group in the 1990s with the Louis Vuitton, Moet and Hennessy brands. It is now the world's biggest luxury goods group\n(Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
3. Warren Buffett (USA) - $50bn, Berkshire Hathaway\n\nBuffett, 80, has run his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate since 1965. Its interests run from railroads to ice cream.\n\nIn 2006 he pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. So far he has given $8bn to the Gates Foundation (Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
2. Bill Gates (USA) - $56bn, Microsoft\n\nSensing the start of a personal computer revolution, Gates, 55, dropped out of Harvard University in 1975 to start Microsoft and pursue a vision of a computer on every desk and in every home. Microsoft went public in 1986 and by the next year, the soaring stock made Gates, at age 31, the youngest self-made billionaire\n(Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)
The top 25 richest people on the planet
1. Carlos Slim (Mexico) - $74bn, telecommunications\n\nSlim, 71, first showed a business talent as a 10-year-old selling drinks and snacks to his family. After studying engineering, he founded a real estate company and worked as a trader on the Mexican stock exchange. Cigar-smoking Slim is known for a "Midas touch" in acquiring struggling firms and turning them into cash cows\n(Text: Reuters/ Images: Getty)