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

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Amancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, is the richest man in the world. Here's the scoop on the secretive billionaire.

Amancio Ortega is the richest man in the world. play

Amancio Ortega is the richest man in the world.

(Getty Images / Xurxo Lobato)
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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.

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

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

(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.

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

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

(Jeff Vinick/Getty Images)


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

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

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

(José Antonio Gil Martínez)


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

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

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

(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.

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. play

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.

(Todd Williamson/Invision AP)

Source: Associated Press



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

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

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

(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.

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

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

(Wikimedia Commons)

Source: Forbes



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

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

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

(Getty)

Source: Publico.es



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

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

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.

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. play

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.

(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.

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. play

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.

(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.

Ortega with his daughter, Marta. play

Ortega with his daughter, Marta.

(Getty Images)

Source: Elite Choice



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

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

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

(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.

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. play

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.

(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.

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. play

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.

(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.

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

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

(Epic Hotel)

Source: Elite Choice



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

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

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

(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.

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. play

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.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Source: Elite Choice



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

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

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

(Xaume Olleros/Getty Images)

Source: adlatina.com