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Retail czar passes Gates to top list of wealthy elite

Cyberspace has knocked last year's richest man into second place, to be replaced by the head of a retailing dynasty, according to The Sunday Times' annual list of the world's wealthiest people.

S. Robson Walton, eldest son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, was worth $101-billion, a drop from last year's $118-billion, the paper reported.

Microsoft's Bill Gates, hit hard by the high-tech slump, is now estimated by the British newspaper to be worth $84-billion, down from $119-billion in 2000.

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The only Canadian on the list of the 50 richest people in the world was Kenneth Thomson, whose worth rose to $24-billion in 2001 from $16-billion last year.

Rounding out the three wealthiest people in the world -- all American men -- was Oracle chief Larry Ellison ($65-billion, up from $18-billion last year). Oil baron King Fahd of Saudi Arabia was No. 4 at $45-billion. CP

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