How do people get so rich? And I don’t mean just rich, I mean super-mega-rich, with gazillions and gazillions of dollars to roll around naked in. Most often it’s an inheritance, isn’t it? Old money, properties and assets going back generations. Or it could be years and years of hard work and more than just a little luck in choosing the correct things to invest in. Or sometimes it’s a combination of the two, like receiving a small loan of $1 million from your father and then building a whole empire on top of that.
Anyway, once you become part of the ultra-wealthy elite of the world, it’s almost like you have acquired superpowers. And now you get to choose the path you want to take. You can use your powers for good: to aid noble causes like ending world hunger and finding a cure for deadly diseases, fighting climate change, and protecting nature and endangered species. Or, you could go the completely opposite way and become a super villain!
Honestly, it’s not hard to imagine some of the world’s richest people as super villains. With secret labs underground where they hatch their nefarious plans for world domination and give orders to their minions who are to carry said plans out. And their maniacal laughter echoing through the chamber as they sit on their golden thrones sipping on some weird, but ridiculously expensive, green drink in a martini glass…
Check out this list, compiled by Ranker, and you’ll see that if there really was such a thing as a super villain in this world, these people would definitely be the most likely candidates.
1. Gina Rinehart
Gina Rinehart is an Australian mining magnate. Her father founded Hancock Prospecting, the company Gina is currently the chairman of, having inherited a 76% share in it upon his death in 1992. The 63-year-old, who was Australia’s wealthiest person from 2011-2015, isn’t a very big fan of poor people. In 2012, she made a case for a $2 a day pay. And if you don’t like that kind of generosity, maybe you should take Paris Hilton’s advice and just stop being poor.
2. Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild
Has there ever been a more villainous name than Baron Rothschild? Don’t think so. The British investment banker is the head of the Rothschild family, and they are infamous for allegedly running all the banks in the world. And he’s said to be part of the secret society of the Illuminati! Most of the rumors against the baron probably stem from antisemitic propaganda, but it’s a fact that his family has a long history in the world of European banking.
3. Jim Bob Duggar
Jim Bob Duggar is an American realtor, politician, and television personality. He is perhaps best known for having 19 children with his wife Michelle Ruark and the reality TV show aptly named 19 kids and Counting. Another thing he is very famous for is covering up sexual abuse, perpetrated by his eldest son, Josh Duggar, against five underage girls. If that doesn’t scream villainous behavior, nothing will.
4. The Koch Brothers
Koch Industries is the second largest privately owned American company. It was founded by Fred Koch and is devoted to the manufacturing and distribution of petroleum-based products and energy. Only two of the four brothers who inherited and fought over their shares in the business still remain with the company: David and Charles Koch. Their other brother, Bill, is an oddball who spends his time and money renovating an old Western village for his own amusement. Meanwhile, Koch Industries is one of the biggest polluters in the world, and its owners are said to be the ones funding the ‘climate change isn’t real’ campaign. The brothers are also well on their way to destroying America’s democracy and converting it into an oligarchy, as well as destroying Earth and humanity with the heavy pollution and toxic waste of their facilities.
5. The Walton Family
The Walton family is one of the richest families in the world, having inherited Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. The seven Waltons (Christy, Jim, Alice, Lukas, Rob, Anne, and Nancy) are richer than the bottom 41% of Americans combined. This alone would not merit a spot on the list of super villains. The fact that they are featured on it is due to their donations to causes that undermine public education.
6. Peter Peterson
Peter Peterson is an American businessman and investment banker whose name would sound more fake only if he was called John Smith. The Greek-born billionaire is the co-founder of the private equity company Blackstone Group and has been known to use his wealth to fund campaigns against Medicare and Social Security, citing concerns over “unsustainable” federal budget deficits.
7. Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch is an Australian media tycoon and founder of News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate. He is deserving of his status as a supervillain thanks to his spreading of fear, misinformation, intolerance, and contempt of ordinary people via his company. He was the center of a hacking scandal recently. Apparently, his employees would do anything for a story, including bribing officers of the law and hacking the phone of a murdered schoolgirl.
8. Stephen A. Schwarzman
Stephen Schwarzman is Peter Peterson’s business partner and co-founder of The Blackstone Group. He is known for his love of partying. That is, extremely lavish partying. In 2007 he threw himself a birthday party which cost over $3 million! If you’re wondering how you can spend that much money on one party, you’re not the only one. Among other things, there was a marching band and a 50-foot silkscreen re-creation of Schwarzman’s own $40 million apartment. Sweet! But are his extravagant tastes enough to land him on this list? Well, if you also take into consideration that he once compared the raising of the taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans to Hitler invading Poland, then yes, his place here is well deserved.
9. Mark Zuckerberg
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Mark Zuckerberg is an American programmer and businessman famous for founding a relatively well-known social media service called Facebook. Since its conception back in the mid-2000s, the site has gained massive popularity all over the world and, as of June 2017, it has over 2 billion active users. It’s no wonder why people seem to have fallen in love with Facebook, as it offers incredible benefits: it uses your photos in ads and it shares your location and you don’t even have to tell it to do that! No, Facebook’s very clever like that – it takes initiative and it goes and does things right behind your back! Why bother you with such inconsequential information anyway? And there is, of course, the best feature of all: it sells your browsing content to advertisers! Again, it operates on a need-to-know basis, and you don’t really need to know about any of that!
10. Silvio Berlusconi
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Silvio Berlusconi is an Italian media mogul who served as the prime minister of the country in four governments for a total of 9 years. Scandals have dogged his every step, and he’s been often accused of corruption and sexual misconduct. The 81-year-old is known for limiting the press freedom in Italy, he is rumored to have connections to the Sicilian mafia, and he is notorious for his bunga-bunga parties which were basically orgies, some of which included underage prostitutes. Indeed, he was charged and found guilty of paying a minor for sex, as well as abuse of power and tax-fraud, but managed to avoid going to prison.
11. Kanye West
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To say that Kanye West doesn’t come across as the nicest of people might just be an understatement. While on the villainometar the rapper is currently hovering somewhere around ‘jerk’ (which is a long way from a supervillain), he might just be a few of those infamous Kanye-rants away from jumping to the next stage of the scale. After all, he has already nailed the emotionless facial expression worn by anyone who deserves the top title of supervillain, and he’s got a giant ego to boot!
12. Steve Wynn
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Steve Wynn is an American real estate entrepreneur, best known for his involvement in the most luxurious hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The 75-year-old seems to be a firm believer in the ‘birds of a feather’ phrase, and since he is extremely rich, he only likes hanging out with extremely rich people. However, the businessman doesn’t only apply this rule to those close to him personally, but to everyone who intends to visit his establishments as well. He has explicitly admitted that his fancy hotels aren’t designed for the masses on purpose. In 2016, during a press call about one of his projects in Everett, Massachusetts, Wynn said:
“But unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market by making our standard so high that everybody wants to in the building. Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people. Nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.”
13. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise may well be the Hollywood superstar who cares the most about giving viewers the most spectacular experience possible. He has even risked his life on more than one occasion doing his own stunts just to make sure the scenes he films are believable; it’s not for nothing that his Mission Impossible franchise is one of the most successful action film series ever. The actor is undeniably handsome and nice, even if his smile is a bit creepy. His involvement with Scientology has caused some controversies, but the weirdest thing is that he seems to be getting younger every day, while the rest of the world grows older! Has he discovered the Fountain of Youth, or has he learned a trick or two from Lestat, his character in Interview With The Vampire?
14. Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons is the co-founder, bass guitarist, and co-lead singer of the American rock band KISS. It has to be said, it’s not hard to imagine him as a Bond villain, even without his black-and-white stage makeup. Not only is he prone to misogynistic comments (“As a woman of course you have the ability to sell your body, then get the money, and then, with that, get food,” he said in 2002 in an interview with Terry Gross of the National Public Radio), he has also advised poor people to “be nice to rich people,” and people with depression to off themselves.
15. Vince McMahon
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Vince McMahon is a professional wrestling promoter and has worked behind the scenes of WWE since the ’80s. He built his entertainment empire on the ashes of the smaller wrestling companies he’d destroyed, and the 72-year-old is now the majority owner, chairman, and CEO of WWE. It’s hardly surprising that he’s pals with Donald Trump and that he’s started dabbling in politics.
16. Mitt Romney
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Mitt Romney is an American politician and businessman who ran against Barack Obama for President of the United States in the 2012 elections. He is the co-founder of Bain Capital, one of America’s largest private equity investment companies. The 70-year-old once drove his dog in a kennel placed on top of his car for 12 hours, while the family was going on a vacation from Belmont, Massachusetts, to Beach O’Pines, Ontario. And he also doesn’t seem to be very fond of poor people. During the 2012 elections, he said, “I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.”
17. Jay Z & Beyoncé
Beyoncé and Jay Z are one of music’s most powerful couples. They’ve been married since 2008 and have three children together. But are they just a sweet married couple who want to share their love with their fans? Or are they part of a secret organization that is trying to take over the world? For years there have been conspiracy theories circulating that Beyoncé and Jay Z are members of the Illuminati, claiming that Beyoncé is sending secret signs and signals in her music videos. Most of the time it seems that people who assert that there is a connection there are grasping at straws, but neither the rapper nor the R&B singer have ever denied nor confirmed the veracity of the rumor.
18. Dr. Dre
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Dr. Dre is a rapper and entrepreneur who is credited with the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music. His Beats By Dr. Dre headphones are a hugely popular brand which by 2012 had taken over half the $1 billion U.S. headphone market. But Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, apparently committed fraud against Monster, the company that helped design the headphones in the first place. The 52-year-old is also known for his violence toward women. Once he beat up his then-girlfriend Michel’le so badly that she required plastic surgery. Another time he had beef with TV host Dee Barnes: he repeatedly slammed her against a brick wall because he didn’t like the way she had portrayed him.
19. Dan T. Cathy
Dan T. Cathy is the chairman, president, and CEO of the fast-food chain Chik-Fil-A. His biggest pet peeve is gay people. His company has donated millions of dollars to organizations dedicated to wage war on homosexuality. When the Defense of Marriage Act, which had defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, was struck down in 2013, Cathy tweeted: “Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies.”
20. Paris Hilton
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Paris Hilton is the granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Besides being a businesswoman who makes over $10 million a year from perfume sales, the 36-year-old is most famous for being a reality TV star (and for her leaked sex tape). Even though she is definitely not one of the worst people on this list, Paris has contributed significantly to the dumbing down of society thanks to her reality shows. Who knows how many girls decided to follow in her footsteps and become famous for being famous instead of becoming doctors and scientists?
21. Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin is a Russian-American computer scientist who co-founded Google together with Larry Page. He himself admits that he is a “pretty lousy coder” and “not a very social person.” A withdrawn person with an inferiority complex who also happens to have billions of dollars is basically the definition of a supervillain.
22. Michael Bay
Filmmaker Michael Bay is known for his grand action movies with their frequent and frequently completely unnecessary and impossible explosions. Despite often receiving negative reviews for his films, the 52-year-old is one of the wealthiest directors in the world. His army of robots off the screen would be an absolutely perfect weapon for any supervillain ever.
23. George Lucas
George Lucas is the mind behind two of the greatest film franchises in the world: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. The movie director has been more than generous with his wealth, and has pledged to give away half of his fortune to charity, as part of The Giving Pledge led by Bill Gates. However, since he tinkered with history when he revamped the original Star Wars trilogy (much to the fans’ chagrin) with lots of CGI effects and even changed the plot, who’s to say that he can’t change the history of the whole world with his computer technology?
24. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler is an American actor and comedian. He is almost always portraying characters who aren’t very bright. Similarly to Paris Hilton, he isn’t the worst person on this list. However, his lazy, tacky, and repetitive humor (which isn’t even funny) has had a negative impact on the dumbing down of humor in general, and through it, dumbing down the youth as well.
25. Richard Branson
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Englishman Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group which controls more than 400 companies. The business magnate is now planning to go to space! That’s cool, right? But! What if his super secret villain plan is to build an HQ on the moon from where he will be able to rule the Earth? Or even destroy it on a whim? That sounds quite frightening!