DEFINITION of 'Mogul'

A mogul is a person who dominates an enterprise or industry. Mark Zuckerberg became a mogul when his social media creation, Facebook, became the dominant global online social network. Jack Welch is considered a mogul for his success as former chairman and CEO of General Electric Company, one of the world's largest conglomerates. Mogul Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile industry with his assembly-line production method and the Model-T car.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mogul'

Many business moguls are household names, but this kind of fame is not necessary to be considered a mogul. Such individuals possess innovative ideas, a willingness to take risks, and the keen business sense that it takes to make their ideas possible and their risks profitable. Moguls might also be called business magnates, barons, tycoons or captains of industry, while the term media mogul is often applied to a person who dominates or controls a large media enterprise. Prominent examples of media moguls include Oprah Winfrey and Steve Forbes.

Historical Moguls

The term mogul is often used when referring to major historical figures who were business magnates during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the following:

  • Andrew Carnegie in the U.S. steel industry
  • John D. Rockefeller in the oil industry
  • J.P. Morgan in the banking industry
  • Cornelius Vanderbilt in the shipping and railroad industries

Other historical figures who are often called moguls include Henry Ford for automobiles, Aristotle Onassis for shipping and William Randolph Hearst for publishing. In contemporary times, well-known moguls include Donald Trump for real estate; Sir Richard Branson for airlines and telecommunications; Jay Z for media and the music industry; and Warren Buffett for business and finance.

Mogul Influence

Moguls commonly exercise a great deal of influence in the political, economic and social spheres, often providing large sums of money to political candidates, new business ventures and charitable causes. Through Berkshire-Hathaway, Warren Buffett has invested enormous sums of capital in a wide swath of businesses in industries from insurance to restaurants, exerted a high degree of influence in U.S. political affairs, and donated billions of dollars to charitable causes. Bill Gates, the founder and former CEO of Microsoft, along with his wife Melinda Gates, has been a powerful charitable force in Africa and other regions. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent billions of dollars to eradicate contagious diseases such as polio with extensive vaccination programs.

Elon Musk, a South-African born Canadian-American billionaire, has effected a somewhat unique influence by focusing his efforts on major innovations that most others have found too risky or pie-in-the-sky, such as the proposed Hyperloop transportation system, the VTOL supersonic jet aircraft, and the Musk electric jet. In 2004, Musk became the chairman of Tesla Motors, an innovative manufacturer of electric-powered automobiles. In 2014, Musk stated that anyone acting in good faith could use Tesla's technology to speed up the use and adoption of electric cars.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Philanthropy

    Philanthropy is charitable giving to human causes on a large ...
  2. Social Good

    A social good is an act that benefits the largest number of people ...
  3. Charitable Donation

    A charitable donation is a gift, which may be cash or other property, ...
  4. Warren Buffett

    Known as "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett is Chairman of Berkshire ...
  5. Social Sentiment Indicator

    A social sentiment indicator analyzes aggregated social media ...
  6. Media Effect

    The media effect describes how certain stories that the media ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Industry At A Glance - Auto Parts

    Auto parts companies have a bad reputation, but times change and value is value.
  2. Investing

    Zuckerberg's Net Worth Surpasses Buffett's

    The tech industry accounts for about 20% of the $5 trillion in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
  3. Insights

    Elon Musk's New Media Company May Be Called 'Thud'

    Sources say former employees of The Onion are working on a secret creative project funded by Musk in Los Angeles.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Top 9 States With The Most Billionaires

    Have you ever wondered where in the United States the billionaires are living? You might be surprised at the answers.
  5. Small Business

    Three Steps Elon Musk Took To Become Successful

    What steps did Elon Musk take to become the person he is today? We explore three steps that are accessible to all of us.
  6. Taxes

    Is The Billionaire Charity Pledge A Good Idea?

    Will Bill Gates' call for billionaires to become more active in charitable giving do all the good it could?
  7. Investing

    Elon Musk Buys $25 Million in Tesla Stock Amid News of Layoffs

    Tesla announced June 12 that it was laying off almost 10% of its workforce; Musk reportedly bought $25 million in Tesla stock June 12 and 13.
  8. Small Business

    How Elon Musk Became Elon Musk

    An overview of the early life and education of Elon Musk, one of the great innovators of our time.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the largest charitable donation Warren Buffett ever made?

    Learn about Warren Buffett's biggest financial contributions and how his estate is to be divided between charity and Buffett's ... Read Answer >>
  2. What is Warren Buffett's annual salary at Berkshire Hathaway?

    Learn more about how much Warren Buffett receives in salary and how he continues to stay involved with his company and his ... Read Answer >>
  3. How did Warren Buffett get started in business?

    Warren Buffett may have been born with business in his blood, but it was a brush with Benjamin Graham that put him on his ... Read Answer >>
  4. What did Warren Buffett mean when he said, “Diversification is protection against ...

    Learn what Warren Buffett meant when he stated that diversification is for ignorant investors and does not help those who ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center