The Death Of The American Billionaire

08/14/2008 05:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

It's not easy being Bill Gates.

First, Yahoo! rejected Microsoft's $44.6 billion buyout offer. Then Gates got absolutely worked in a Guitar Hero competition with Slash. And finally, Gates lost his title as the world's richest man to his sometime bridge partner Warren Buffett. Can things possibly get any worse for the brainiac billionaire?

Actually, they can.

Many people were shocked to see Gates knocked from his No. 1 ranking after 10 years atop Forbes' list of the world's billionaires. (With a net worth of $58 billion, Gates currently ranks third behind Buffett and Mexican telecom baron Carlos Slim.)

But for those who are familiar with Forbes' rankings, the real surprise was not that Gates fell -- but that he didn't fall farther.

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