Zara Founder, Amancio Ortega Gaona Becomes The World's Richest Man, Beating Bill Gates

Yesterday,the business world was in shock as Bill Gates was briefly eclipsed as world's richest man by the Spanish-born businessman,Amancio Ortega Gaona,who is the founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops.

His father was a railroad worker and his mother was a maid(what we call in our local parlance "housegirl")

Their poverty level was so bad that he had to drop out of school at the age of 14 so as to work and support the family.

He worked as a laundry boy washing clothes with his hand and ironing them among other menial jobs.

At the age of 26,he started a clothing company that hand makes bathrobes for people.

This was how he founded his Zara clothing line.

Four notable things about him are that:

(1) he is a workaholic who doesn't even go on vacations

(2) he is a modest man who shuns parties and any publicity of any kind- only 3 photographers have ever successfully taken his pictures
Of this he says

 'In the street, I only want to be recognised by my family, my friends and people I work with'

(3) he is a very compassionate person with a very large heart.
Of his charitable heart he said

'My true and simple desire is that, through the strategies and activities of The AMANCIO ORTEGA FOUNDATION, the results of my life experience, both personal and professional, may reach all those members of the society who might be in special need of backing and encouragement.
The life experiences which have made me grown as a human being, an entrepreneur and a citizen are based upon a number of principles which I deem deeply valuable: Solidarity, Understanding, Commitment, Hard-work Reliability and Faithfulness'
He was decorated by the church  with grand cross of civil merit corated with "Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit"

In 2012,he donated about 30 million euros to charity through the Roman Cathlolic Church(of which he is also an ardent member)For food, pharmaceutical aid, housing and school material to Spain's most needy people.

Earlier this year,he  donated €17 million to cancer care and diagnosis in his native region,Galicia

There seems to be a connection between being Catholic and being philanthropic because if you can recall Bill Gates who is the most philantropic person in the world is also Catholic.


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