Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history with a fortune of $150bn (£113bn).
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr Bezos’s fortune is $55bn ahead of the second richest man, Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Gates hit the $100bn mark in 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom, which would be worth $149bn in today’s money.
It means Mr Bezos is richer than anyone else on earth since at least 1982, when Forbes first published a wealth ranking.
Soaring technology stocks have fuelled huge growth in the worth of entrepreneurs such as Mr Bezos and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who at 34 is number four on the Bloomberg list after investor Warren Buffett.
Mr Bezos, 54, founded Amazon in 1994 when it began as an online bookshop before it expanded into selling a massive variety of products.
He smashed the wealth record as Amazon was preparing to start its 36-hour summer sales bonanza, Prime Day.
The event got off to a rocky start after the website and mobile app experienced technical problems.
Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali at Forrester Research called the glitch a “huge deal.”
She said: “This is supposed to be one of their biggest days of the year.
“I am shocked this caught them off guard. But I guess the lesson is to not have a big unveil during the middle of the day when everyone comes to your site all at once.”
Amazon said it was working to resolve the glitches and added that many of its customers were “shopping successfully”.
It said that in the first hour of Prime Day in the US, customers ordered more items over the same period than last year.
Top ten wealthiest people:
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder, $151bn (£113bn)
2. Bill Gates (Microsoft) $95bn (£71.6bn)
3. Warren Buffet (business magnate) $83bn (£62.5bn)
4. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) $82bn (£61bn)
5. Amancio Ortega (Founder of Inditex fashion group) $74.8bn (£55.7bn)
6. Bernard Arnault (LVMH luxury goods company) $74.7bn (£55bn)
7. Carlos Slim (business magnate) $63.1bn (£47.4bn)
8. Larry Page (co-founder of Google) $57bn (£42.9bn)
9. Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google) $56bn (£41.9bn)
10. Larry Ellison (co-founder of Oracle Corporate) $54.8bn (£40.7bn)