The son of a poor Bedouin nomad, Gaddafi lived a modest life in his family’s remote desert camp until the age of 9, at which point he went away to school. While a student, Gaddafi was inspired by the speeches of the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and quickly became a committed Arab nationalist. While in school, Gaddafi became involved in organizing his fellow students into revolutionary study groups.
Gaddafi was commissioned into the Libyan army in 1965, where he shortly began laying groundwork for an overthrow of the Libyan monarch – whom he considered a pawn of West-European nations. Gaddafi acted quickly, and in just four years he took control of the army and seized power in a coup d’état, effectively overthrowing King Idris.
Since assuming power, Gaddafi has given strong support to a wide variety of terrorist groups and regimes. Gaddafi saw himself as a revolutionary, and a pious Muslim called upon by Allah to continue the work of Nasser.
Muammar Gaddafi was able to build his unmatched wealth due to his violent control over Libya’s natural resources – specifically the country’s abundant oil. Thanks to the vast supply of Libyan oil, Gaddafi managed to print money for over 40 years. At the time of his death, he had enough money to distribute more than thirty thousand dollars to each of Libya’s 6.6 million citizens. For those not interested in doing the arithmetic – the controversial leader died with an estimated net worth of over $200 billion, spread out all over the world.
At the start of the Libyan conflict, authorities found and seized approximately $65 billion of his wealth, most of which was hidden in bank accounts all over the world. A number of European countries including England, France, Germany and Italy, have all found billions quietly tucked away in their banks. Interestingly enough, the Obama administration also found close to $40 billion hidden (admittedly not too well) in the United States. While Gaddafi has been dead for quite some time now, authorities and U.N investigators are still waiting for many countries to resolve what Gaddafi might have hidden within their borders. While Gaddafi might not have hid his banks accounts as well as he had hoped, billions of dollars worth of gold hidden in Libya is yet to be discovered.
This type of wealth is hard for anyone to fully comprehend. Gaddafi is one of the richest people of all time. To compare – Gaddafi was three times as rich as Carlos Slim, four times as rich as the business tycoon Warren Buffett, and ten times as rich as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Having wealth of this magnitude is sure to get to anyone’s head, as was the case with this troublesome political figure, as well. Gaddafi saw himself as a fashion icon, and he often changed his outfit multiple times a day. He was often spotted wearing all gold everything, and often rocking some quality Versace frames.
Obviously his vast wardrobe was not the only luxury that the colonel allowed himself. He spent his money left and right, often without thinking twice. But then again – who would? With his virtually never-ending stream of cash, Gaddafi didn’t need to worry about ever running out. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the extravagant and lavish purchases that the Brotherly Leader has made throughout his reign.
Among the long list of his assets is a luxurious London mansion. The beautiful eight-bedroom house is also a home to a long list of amenities only the ultra rich can imagine. Besides having a swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, a suede-lined movie theatre, the house also has a fully electric garbage store that raises and lowers eight trash bins into the ground, where a steel plate folds over to hide them discreetly.
While Gaddafi loathed the United States, he still owned some property in New Jersey. His New Jersey mansion comes equipped with a tennis court, a shooting range, and a giant pool.
The revolutionary owned much more real estate, but to shift gears from his houses let’s take a look at some of his transportation means. First on the list is his private airliner – Afriqiyah One – Airbus A340, which cost him approximately $150 million. The aircraft was reported to have silver leather bound armchairs, blood-red and grey carpets on the floor, and nightclub like spotlights scattered all over the interior. Much like with the rest of his belongings, this beautiful plane showcased his extravagant tastes, and tremendous wealth. The only thing more impressive than owning a private jet, is owning two (or three, if you’re Gaddafi.)
Unfortunately the colonel couldn’t enjoy his aircraft too much (at least not from the sky), since Nato imposed a no-fly zone over Libya. While a slight inconvenience, this problem wasn’t much of a concern, as Gaddafi owned a number of beautiful cars that would transport him anywhere he wanted to go.
The most notable vehicle in his collection is a 230-hp V6 beast that Gaddafi designed himself. The car was build as a response to the increasing number of car accident deaths and injuries suffered on Libyan roads. The Libyan Rocket is built with safety being of equal concern to style. The car is equipped with many airbags, an electronic defense system, and specialty, collapsible bumpers that supposedly help in an event of a serious crash. While super safe, Gaddafi didn’t cut any corners with the design of the exterior. The machine has the nose and tail of a rocket, and one needs to see it in its full glory in order to fully appreciate it.
These assets are just the tip of the iceberg, as no one knows for sure exactly what the Gaddafi family owns around the world. What is known for certain is that Gaddafi squeezed all he could out of the Libyan people to support his ridiculously lavish lifestyle.