Guess who the richest drug dealer of all-time was ...
History has a way of glorifying criminals, especially those crooks that became almost sympathetic figures of their time.
Al Capone, for instance, was a man of extreme violence, but he was also known to make countless charitable donations, and you can’t get past even the second paragraph of his Wikipedia page without drawing the phrase “modern-day Robin Hood.”
The notorious gangster was dead by the time he was 48, but where wealth is concerned, his man-of-the-people approach appears to have been the right one.
According to a new list estimating the net worth of some of history’s richest criminals, many of the top names were very public men with reputations for giving back.
CelebrityNetWorth.com, which is kind of like an amateur Forbes in that you’d have to take its figures with a large grain of salt, recently put out a list of the 20 richest drug dealers of all-time.
The numbers are estimations, of course, but have been adjusted for inflation and at least offer a look at the most successful drug crooks there ever were.
Up and down the list are many familiar names: “Freeway” Rick Ross, the L.A. cocaine kingpin of the 1980s with a rapper named after him today; George Jung, the dope dealer played by Johnny Depp in the movie Blow; Khun Sa, the notorious Burmese drug lord that once famously offered to sell his heroin empire to the Australian government for $50 million a year.
But among the most prominent entries are those men we discussed above, brutal criminals that found, in some way, to inspire empathy from their communities.
The aforementioned Capone comes in at no. 10 (est. net worth: $1.3 billion), ten spots ahead of Frank Lucas, the Harlem heroin magnate played by Denzel Washington in American Gangster. In the film, though such liberties have since been questioned, Lucas is famously portrayed helping hand out Thanksgiving turkeys to his neighbourhood; a man of the people in full effect.
Yet the richest drug dealer of all-time, by CelebrityNetWorth’s count, is of course Pablo Escobar, the Colombian tycoon that accrued a fortune as large as $30 billion in his time.
Escobar was killed in a gunfight with lawmen in 1993, but before his death he seemed to be as much an angel as he was a menace to the Colombian people. As legend goes, Escobar used his wealth to pay for the construction of many hospitals, schools and churches in western Colombia, endearing him to his people.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money