Occupation: Tycoon, civic leader
Like Mexico's Carlos Slim, Batista is a self-made billionaire, but he's more than that. Fluent in five languages, Batista made his $30 billion fortune via mining and the shrewd investments of his Brazilian holding company EBX. Along the way he became one of the most important cheerleaders of the Brazilian boom and the pivotal ascent of emerging economies like the BRICs. He's rare among Latin America's notoriously uncivic-minded superrich in that he makes a point of giving back to his nation, especially his adopted city of Rio de Janeiro, which he helped to snare the 2016 Olympics.