If you read all of these, you will not come out the same person you came in (and I mean in a good way).
Here is a list of all the books written by billionaires.
I have looked all over the Internet for a list and I have yet to find a list that even comes close to what I’ve compiled here. The reason is simply because no one seems to be as plugged into the billionaire universe and the books out there as me. Nor have many people set out a goal to read most or any of them.
Note: Richard Branson made a good point in his book that news and internet estimates of net worth are usually wildly off in both directions. I tried my best with this list by giving more weight to people many magnitudes over a billion and people who are obvious (Bill Gates or Phil Knight, founder of Nike). Finally, I also put more weight on the only two net worth sources I trust: Forbes Net Worth Billionaire List and Fortune.
If you know of a book by a billionaire not on this list, leave a comment. I will keep updating this page.
If you go through my Amazon link here to buy a book, I will get a commission at no extra cost for each purchase.
All Books Written By Billionaires:
- My Life and Work by Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motors)
- Today and Tomorrow by Henry Ford
- Made in America by Sam Walton (founder of Walmart)
- Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc (founder of McDonald’s)
- Business @ the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft)
- The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
- Lean In For Grads by Sheryl Sandberg (female billionaire, one of the first employees at Google and Facebook)
- Lean In: Work, Women and The Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
- Lean In for Grads by Sheryl Sandberg
- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by Phil Knight (founder of Nike)
- Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start – and Run – Your Own Successful Business by Fred Deluca (founder of Subway, $3 Billion)
- Simply Rich by Rich Devos (founder of Amway)
- Zero To One by Peter Thiel (tech investor)
- The Essays of Warren Buffett
- The Virgin Way:Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson
- Screw It Let’s Do It:Lessons In Life, Like A Virgin by Richard Branson
- Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
- Screw Business As Usual by Richard Branson
- Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson
- Reach for the Skies by Richard Branson
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
- Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson
- What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey (black, female talk show host)
- The Snowball (biography of Warren Buffett)
- Leading By Design: The Ikea Story by Ingvar Kamprad (Net Worth of $33 Billion according to Forbes)
- The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie
- Winners Never Cheat by Jon Huntsman
- Eat More Chikin by S. Truett Cathy (the founder of Chick-Fil-A, Net Worth of $6.2 Billion at the time of death according to Forbes.)
- Wealth: Is It Worth It? by S. Truett Cathy
- How did you do it, Truett? by S. Truett Cathy
- It’s Better to Build Boys than Mend Men by S. Truett Cathy
- It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail by S. Truett Cathy
- The Generosity Factor: Discover the Joy of Giving Your Time, Talent, and Treasure by Ken Blanchard (author of One Minute Manager) and S. Truett Cathy (this is a mini-parable explaining the benefits of generosity.)
- Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dollar Start-Up That Took On Microsoft by Jim Clark (a.k.a. James H. Clark – net worth $1.3 billion, founder of three billion dollar tech companies)
- Built from Scracth by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank (the Home Depot founders)
- Barefoot to Billionaire: Reflections on a Life’s Work and a Promise to Cure Cancer by Jon Huntsman Sr. (Net Worth of $1 Billion according to Forbes, after giving away $1.2 billion)
- Ralph Lauren by Ralph Lauren (the polo t-shirt company. I have a few of their shirts.)
- The Gospel of Wealth by Andrew Carnegie
- The Entrepreneur: 25 Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager by William Heinecke (net worth of $1.7 Billion according for Forbes)
- The Entrepreneur: Twenty-One Golden Rules for the Global Business Manager by William Heinecke (it seems to be an older version of the same book)
- How To Win At The Sport of Business by Mark Cuban
- Onward by Howard Schultz (Starbucks)
- Steering Clear by Peter George Peterson (COE of Lehman Brothers, 1.6 Billion net worth)
- Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built A Company One Cup At a Time by Howard Schultz
- Bloomberg by Michael Bloomberg (Made his money from Bloomberg terminals)
- The Business of Happiness by Ted Leonsis
- Billionaire: Secrets to Success by Bill Bartmann
- Pizza Tiger by Thomas Monaghan (founder of Pizza Hut)
- How To Be Rich by J. Paul Getty (Fortune named him the richest living American in 1957.)
- How to be a Successful Executive by J. Paul Getty
- As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty
- My Life and Fortunes, the Autobiography of One of the World’s Wealthiest Men by J. Paul Getty (apparently he wrote two autobiographies?)
- The Joys of Collecting by J. Paul Getty (this is more about his priceless art collecting hobby)
- Charles Schwab’s Guide To Financial Independence by Charles R. Schwab (net worth of $5.3 Billion)
- You’re Fifty, Now What? by Charles Schwab
- How to be Your Own Stockbroker by Charles Schwab
- Reinventing the Market by Charles Schwab
- Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman (investor)
- Dream No Little Dreams by Clayton L. Mathile
- The Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham (a curation of Warren’s shareholder letters)
- Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s partner)
- Call Me Ted by Ted Turner (media business)
- The First Billion Is The Hardest by T. Boone Pickens
- Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn (investor)
- Soros on Soros by George Soros (probably the densest and most difficult of them all. This guy was born with a genius mind for macro-economists far beyond my comprehension.)
- Direct from Dell by Michael Dell
- The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
- The Science of Success by Charles G. Koch (net worth of $42 billion. #7 richest man in the world according to Forbes.
- Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies by Charles G. Koch
- Better India: A Better World by Narayana Murthy
- Compassionate Capitalism: How Corporations Can Make Doing Good an Integral Part of Doing Well (2004) by Marc Benioff (net worth $3.9 Billion+)
- The Business of Changing the World: Twenty Great Leaders on Strategic Corporate Philanthropy (2006) by Marc Benioff
- Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry by Marc Benioff
- How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud by Ken Fisher
- The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don’t by Ken Fisher (I highly disagree with many points in this book; I prefer Warren Buffett’s style and Ken’s father’s book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits)
- The Little Book of Market Myths: How to Profit by Avoiding the Investing Mistakes Everyone Else Makes by ken Fisher
- Plan Your Prosperity: The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need, Starting Now–Whether You’re 22, 52 or 82 by Ken Fisher
- Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It — Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money-Killing Myths by Ken Fisher
- Markets Never Forget (But People Do): How Your Memory Is Costing You Money—and Why This Time Isn’t Different by Ken Fisher
- The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!) by Ken Fisher
- Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently by Ken Fisher
- Battle for Investment Survival by Ken Fisher
- 100 Minds That Made the Market by Ken Fisher
- How Google Works and The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Alphabet (formerly Google), 138th richest man in the world. (What I find interesting about him is that he doesn’t consider himself an entrepreneur. He considers himself a manager that helped Larry and Sergie create their dream of Google. You don’t have to be a CEO or founder guys!)
- Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich (Net worth of $1.5 billion according to Wikipedia)
- PAPA: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza by John H. Schnatter (Net worth of $1 billion according to Forbes)
- The Art Of the Deal by Donald Trump
- Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki
- Think Like A Champion by Donald Trump
- Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men, One Message by Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki
- Am I Being Too Subtle?: The Adventures of a Business Maverick by Sam Zell (Net worth of $5 Billion according to Forbes)
- Lui Che-woo: Creating Value: The Journey of a Self-Made Billionaire: The Authorized Biography by Lui Che woo by Lui Che-woo (Net worth of $15 Billion according to Forbes)
- Against All Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson (Net worth of $4.3 Billion according to Forbes)
- A History of Great Inventions by James Dyson
- Whatever the Odds The Incredible Story Behind DLF by Kushal Pal Singh (also known as K.P. Singh, Net worth of $5.3 Billion according to Forbes)
- Lim Goh Tong: My Life Story (Net worth of 4.2 billions dollar according to Forbes when he died, richest Malaysian at the time)
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard (Net worth of $1 Billion according to Forbes, founder of Patagonia, more of his books are in the Honorable Mention section)
- The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years by Yvon Chouinard
- Billions to Bust and Back: How I Made, Lost and Rebuilt a Fortune by Thor Bjorgolfsson
- In for a Penny: A Business Adventure by Peter Hargreaves ($2.9 Billion)
- Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market by Jorge Perez ($2.8 Billion)
- Threshold Resistance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retailing Pioneer by Alfred Taubman ($3.1 Billion)
- A Passion to Win by Sumner Redstone (chairman of Viacom, Net worth of $5.4 Billion according to Forbes)
- Making It Big by Binod Chaudhary (from Nepal, net worth of $1.32 Billion according to Forbes)
- Mochtar Riady: My Life Story (from Indonesia, the founder of Lippo Group; net worth of $1.83 Billion according to Forbes)
- Everything is Possible: Life and Business Lessons from a Self-Made Billionaire and the Founder of Slim-Fast by S. Daniel Abraham (net worth of $2.1 Billion according to Forbes)
- The Z Factor: My Journey as the Wrong Man at the Right Time by Subhash Chandra (net worth of $4.4 Billion according to Forbes)
- A Passion to Build: a Memoir of David M. Consunji (net worth of $3.5 Billion)
- Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (net worth of $17 Billion according to Forbes)
Less Helpful Books by Billionaires
Let’s be honest. One of the key reasons we read these is to earn more money. Therefore, there are quite a few books by billionaires that I didn’t feel fit to include in the main list because their topic is far off from any advice on earning money. They will go in this list:
- Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod and Reel by Yvon Chouinard
- 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless by Yvon Chouinard
- Climbing Ice by Yvon Chouinard
- Peace is Possible: Conversations with Arab and Israeli Leaders from 1988 to the Present by S. Daniel Abraham
Books Written By Billionaires In Languages Other Than English
- Chairul Tanjung Si Anak Singkong by Tjahja Gunawan Diredja (net worth of $4.9 Billion according to Forbes) – written in Indonesian.
Billionaires That Lost It All
When I see people rise up quickly to become millionaires in the lime-light but do so in flamboyant, excessive ways, I wonder … but will they stay millionaires? Lately, there have been a lot of young people who have done just that through social media, like Rice Gum or Tai Lopez. While 99% of the world has bought into the idea that they’re gods, history proves differently. I believe time will tell. If you give anyone a couple decades, you’ll find out who stood the test of the time.
The same applies to billionaires. There have been a few who have reached this point and fallen back down. Some even committed suicide. Therefore, I haven’t deemed the books written by the billionaires who fall into this category worthy to be placed into the main list. Their overall strategy failed them, so we shouldn’t take their advice point blank. Nonetheless, we can still learn from their failures so we don’t make the same ones.
That’s why I prefer the advice of Warren Buffet. He’s a billionaire who has consistently stayed rich for over six decades, but preaches the values and qualities of being a good person and living a life beyond money. His whole motto revolves around sacrificing any extra money that can be made if it means a potential loss of reputation or potential catastrophic loss of money.
O X Da Questão by Eike Batista: This book is written in Portuguese. In 2012, he was the richest person in Brazil with a net worth of $30 Billion. Due to risky investments, he loss all of his money and plunged to a negative billion dollar net worth. Many of his cars, including a white Lamborghini Aventador were seized.
Billionaires That Lost It All And Got It Back
Donald Trump is the one billionaire I know who plunged into multiple billions into debt, but managed to pick himself back up and make it back. He details the story in his books. Rather than giving up, he persevered and even ended up becoming President of the United States. His books are in the main list.
Books About Billionaires But Not Written By Billionaires
This list includes books that were:
- written by people that barely missed the billionaire mark.
- written by people directly related to billionaires.
- were written about billionaires, but not by the actual billionaire.
- recommended by billionaires.
Life and Happiness Advice
- The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune (not written by Chuck himself. It’s a biography)
- Getting There by Zoe Gillian Segal
- Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh (founder of Zappos)
- 21 Secrets to Success and Happiness by John Templeton (one of the best investors in history)
- How I Did It: Lessons From The Front Lines of Business (Pulls from multiple columns of the Harvard Business Review and features multiple billionaires including Kevin Plank and Eric Schmidt)
- Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life by Lisa Chaney – This one is written about a female founder of a multi-billion dollar fashion company, Chanel. It is put here because it is questionable whether or not she actually hit a billion dollar net worth during her lifetime and it wasn’t written by her. Having said that, she did create an incredible company. The book seems to be more about her personal life than business success though.
- Life Is What You Make It by Peter Buffett (Warren Buffett’s son)
- Showing Up For Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime by Bill Gates Sr. (father of Bill Gates)
- Elon Musk’s biography
Business and Wealth Advice
- Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor (not by Charlie, but quoting a lot of his best stuff)
- Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill (studied 200+ of the richest people in the world in-person for 20+ years, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and more)
- Awaken the Millionaire Within You: Lessons from Carlos Wizard Martins by Carlos Wizard Martins (Net worth of $1 billion in 2014 on Forbes but he sold his company for $700 million and isn’t a billionaire anymore).
- Forrest Mars, Jr. (27th richest man in the world, owner of a candy company, net worth $11+ billion) recommends these books according to Fortune (click the link).
- The Everything Store by Brad Stone (It’s about Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com)
- A Passion For Success by Kazuo Inamori (Net worth of $900 million according to Forbes)
- John L. Gokongwei Jr.: The Path Of Entrepreneurship by Marites A. Khanser (Net worth of $6.2 Billion)
- The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success As You Start, Build, or Manage a Business by Martha Stewart (She may have hit a billionaire at some point. Now, it seems she’s dipped below that, especially after giving away to charity.)
- Steve Jobs
- How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis (his net worth was estimated around $100 million when he was alive)
These books were recommended by the billionaire Forrest Mars (9+ billion net worth) :
- General and Industrial Management by Henri Fayol
- Elementsof Administration by Lyndall F. Urwick
- The Principles of Organization by James D. Mooney
“Forrest has the best management system I’ve ever come across. It permits decentralization and encourages initiative–but keeps firm control at the top.” -former Mars Executive, according to Fortune article.
Some of My Favorites (My Recommendations to Start With)
So far, I’ve read quite a few of them and gained some incredible insights. I love doing this because a lot of millionaire advice is contradictory.
I love doing this because a lot of millionaire advice is contradictory. One of the reasons behind this is that millionaires surprisingly are sometimes still struggling to figure things out and sometimes have naive interpretations on how they did it.
I loved these for many reasons. Some of them included that they were conversational, easy to understand, and had advice applicable to life as well as business. Here they are in no particular order:
- Made in America by Sam Walton
- What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
- The Essays of Warren Buffett
- Zero To One by Peter Thiel
- The Virgin Way by Richard Branson
- The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman
- Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle by Matt Symonds (commentary included by billionaire Larry Ellison)
- How to be a Billionaire by Martin Fridson
My Least Favorites
- The Science of Success by Charles Koch because it was short and filled with corporate lingo. I still got a lot out of it though.
- Business @ The Speed of Thought by Bill Gates because it was too dry and focused on specific business organization tactics with a touch of strategy. Plus, you can tell Bill isn’t the best writer. Note: Bill is one of my favorite people, but I think I should still be honest here.
- The Only Three Questions That Count by Ken Fischer. Probably my least favorite. Few people will understand the book unless they’re into money management and fund investing. But the real reason I disliked it was that most of the advice given I didn’t agree with, wasn’t logical, had holes, and went against the entire Buffett philosophy of investing. I have a feeling he made his money by getting tons of investors to give him money and taking a hefty management fee. Nonetheless, not saying he was a completely horrible guy. I liked what he says in his books about giving back and charity.
There’s too many to mention. I’m better off doing an article focusing on billionaire patterns I’ve learned.
One common thing is to prepare and hold your ground for lawsuits. A lot of these people had to battle in the court. It just ends up happening at some point when you get to that size and a lot of people want to sue you for money.
Be prepared to trust your gut and fight back if you believe you were right. Martha Stewart and Richard Branson’s stories stand out in particular. Remember: bad stuff happens and that’s okay.
Did I miss any books by billionaires? Please let me know in the comments because I’d love to add them to the list and read their books.
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