Jeff Bezos becomes world's richest person - for a morning

Dip in Amazon stock puts Bill Gates back at the top of the pile

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, who became the richest man in the world on Thursday for a few hours. EPA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO
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At least for a morning, Jeff Bezos was the richest person on earth.

By the time the markets had closed for the day, the Amazon chief executive’s fortune had dipped along his company’s stock and he was again trailing in the financial wake of tech billionaire Bill Gates.

Amazon shares jumped 1.6 percent at the start of trading on Thursday boosting the net worth of Mr Bezos by $1.4 billion according to Forbes, to reach a fortune of $90.6 billion.

The value of stock dipped by lunchtime with the publication of the company’s second quarter earnings – and along with it the tycoon’s number one ranking.

In addition to his own net worth of $90.1 billion, Mr Gates has given away more than $30 million to charitable courses by the end of 2016, according to Forbes which tracks the finances of the world's wealthiest people.

Mr Bezos, who bought the Washington Post in 2015 and has ploughed millions into a space travel project, posted a tweet last month asking for suggestions on his own philanthropic strategy.