Mansa Musa ruled over the empire of Mali, a nation of fabulous wealth. He built many monuments, mosques and schools throughout his empire, and was most famous for his 1324 pilgrimage to Mecca that introduced Mansa Musa and the empire of Mali to the Middle East and Europe. During his pilgrimage, he gave out fabulous wealth to the needy, inadvertently destroying the local economies of the region.
Adjusted for inflation, Mansa Musa's wealth may have made him the richest man in all of history, with a net worth of $400 billion in 2012 dollars. He was so wealthy than in the aftermath of his pilgrimage, when his extravagant gifts had devalued gold so substantially that it affected the economy of the known world, he personally borrowed as much gold as he could find from money lenders at extremely high interest rates to help the price recover. For the only time in recorded history, a single man controlled the price of gold throughout the Mediterranean.
Mansa Musa was responsible for the Djinguereber Mosque in Timbuktu, which remains an important Muslim holy site in 2014. He also was responsible for staffing and funding the University of Sankore, which became an important center of learning for the region.