Facebook founder youngest on Forbes list

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the world's youngest self-made billionaire ever, according to Forbes' 2008 Billionaires List. The 26 year old Internet entrepreneur ranked No. 785 on the 22nd edition of the annual list, unveiled Wednesday, with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet claimed the No. 1 spot, dethroning Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who had held the title for the past 13 years.

Although Buffet donates 5% of his earnings every quarter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his net worth is still estimated at $62 billion, or $10 billion more than last year.

Gates dropped to third on the list with an estimated $58 billion net worth, $2 billion up from last year. Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu was named the second richest person in the world by increasing his net worth by $11 billion from last year to a now estimated $60 billion.

"We are in the midst of a phenomenal global boom," said Forbes chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes. This boom may explain why some names on the list dropped in ranking even though their worth climbed.

One such case are Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page who both rose in net worth to $18.7 billion and $18.6 billion, respectively. The pair, however, dropped just below the top 30 grouping they were in last year to spot No. 32 for Brin and 33 for Page.

Charter Communications chairman Paul Allen, who also co-founded Microsoft, dropped more than twenty slots from last year with his estimated net worth of $16 billion, a decline of $2 billion from last year, sending him from rank 19 to No. 41 this year. Allen was ranked the sixth richest person in 2006.

Among other media and entertainment luminaries appearing on the list were director Steven Spielberg and real estate tycoon Donald Trump who tied for the No. 368 spot with an estimated $3 billion each.

Oprah Winfrey ranks as 462th richest with an estimated $2.5 billion.

The amount of billionaires was another first for the list, crossing over into the four digits for the first time to a total of 1,125 world-wide billionaires. This is an increase of 179 from last year's record high of 946. Their total net worth is $4.4 trillion, versus $3.5 trillion last year.
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