The Rise of Billionaire Amancio Ortega

On March 28 in the year 1936, the wealthiest man in Europe was born in Leon, Spain. His name is Amancio Ortega Gaona, the co-founder of Inditex, the mother company of Zara clothing retail shop. As of August, 2021, he has a net worth of $81 billion, according to

Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega (Photo Credit:

Amancio Ortega was the son of a railway worker. At age 14, he stopped going to school after the family moved to A Coruna, a city in northwestern Spain. There, he started working in a local shirt maker. After learning the trade, he and his wife Rosalia began designing and making clothes at home and selling them to nearby stores.

In 1975, at the age of 41, Amancio opened the first Zara store with the help of her wife Rosalia. It offered fashionable clothing at low cost. Armed with the strategy of staying ahead of the competition in terms of new styles, he opened branches after another not only within Spain but also in other countries. In 1985, he incorporated Industria de Diseno Textil S.A. or Inditex as the holding company for the retail and the manufacturing operations. Soon, his stores added footwear. Then, he created the company Pull and Bear, a casual menswear company. In 1995, Inditex gained full control of Massimo Dutti, a high-end brand.

In 2001, Inditex was floated on the stock exchange of Madrid. With additional capital, the company went into a faster pace of expansion. It launched lingerie items that same year and home products in 2003. Its international expansion went into overdrive with the opening in 2008 of its 4,000th store in Tokyo.

Amancio Ortega has three children with former wife Rosalia Mera. He is now living with his new wife Flora.


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