James Jay Carafano
We will see how the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bernard Arnault hold up over the long run of history. Of course, there is a case to made for the giants of the industrial revolution like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, as well as inventors like Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs. Or go deeper back into history to King Croesus, who invented minting coins, creating liquidity and cash flow. We considered all these but when it comes to amassing wealth, changing the world, revolutionizing the nature of work and the road prosperity, we handed the title to William Knox D’Arcy.
Who was William Knox D’Arcy? He was born in England (1849), but his family moved to Australia where he finished law school. He became involved in bank and business dealings, helping a local consortium fund a gold mining project. With the project mining little more than debt the partners were happy to unload their shares on D’Arcy, right before the company hit pay dirt, over night turning D’Arcy into one of the richest people in the world. He returned to England, bought a mansion, and lived the life of Riley.