For a few hours on Monday, Jeff Bezos’ fortune surpassed the $151 billion mark. That was a new (and brief!) record high not just for Bezos, but also for all of the billionaires Forbes has tracked over the past three and a half decades. At the end of the day, Bezos’s fortune did hit a new record -- one that is just below $150 billion.Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon climbed sharply early Monday, a day that coincided with the start of the company’s annual Prime Day, during which members of Amazon Prime are offered special deals to encourage more purchases. (In a rare glitch, Amazon's website crashed on Monday afternoon, and was still down as of 6:30 pm ET) In late afternoon trading, Amazon shares fell back a bit, leaving Bezos with a net worth of $149.7 billion, according to Forbes Real Time Rankings. Bezos’ fortune has skyrocketed up by more than $45 billion since the beginning of 2018 -- including a nearly $11 billion climb in a little over a month. The Amazon founder owns 16% of the company’s shares. He’s sold several billion dollars worth of shares over the past few years and has stated that he uses that money to fund his rocket company, Blue Origin. Bill Gates, the number two richest on Forbes rankings, is worth about $56 billion less, or $93.6 billion. Gates has given more than $35 billion to philanthropy in the past several decades, mostly via gifts of Microsoft stock and primarily to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Forbes excludes charitable giving from individuals’ net worth.) At one point in 1999, Gates’ net worth briefly hit $100 billion -- which would be worth $151.2 billion today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bezos first appeared on the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people in 1998 with a net worth of$1.6 billion -- one year after Amazon went public. He overtook Bill Gates as the number one richest on Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires in March this year, and has just kept climbing. The Amazon founder has been far less generous in his philanthropic giving than Bill Gates. In January this year, Bezos gave $33 million in January to TheDream.US, an organization that funds scholarships for undocumented immigrant high school students who live in the U.S. with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status. Last year,
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017 ">
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017 ">Bezos crowdsourced ideas on Twitter for philanthropic causes he should support. He has yet to declare any big plans, but he has said he is closer to doing so. June 14, 2018 ">In a tweet in June, Bezos announced that he has settled on two areas for his philanthropic giving and aims to announce them before the end of the summer.