Musa I’s net worth in today’s terms numbers between $400 and $500 billion, just in front of  the Rothschild family of Europe and their considerable wealth. The Mali Empire maintained its economy through gold, salt and copper. There was also the nation’s military strength that kept enemies looking to usurp Musa at bay.

To make another comparison, the richest people alive today are Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Mexican telecom boss, Carlos Slim. Respectively, their fortunes are $79 and 77 billion.

Musa was the first West African Muslim leader to make the 4,000-mile journey to the Holy City of Mecca. It is believed that he died in 1332, although it has been debated by some historians.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Mansa Musa  was originally published on

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