Born to Paris in France, Liliane Bettencourt is currently the world's wealthiest female, with a net work of 39.5 billion US dollars.
The 94 year old is one of the main shareholders of the famous cosmetics company 'L'Oréal', owning 33 percent of the company. For second year running, she has been titled the richest woman in the world, and the 14th richest person in the world according to 'The World's Billionaires' 2017 list by Forbes.
The french cosmetics company; L'Oréal was founded by the father of Liliane Bettencourt; Eugene Schueller, in 1907. He was a french chemist who prepared and manufactured his own products, and sold to Parisian hair dresses before registering his company in 1919, which eventually went on to become the famous cosmetics brand that we know today.
The brand began by selling hair-colours but branched out to various other beauty products. Today, L'Oréal is a marketer of over 500 brands and thousands of independent products under the beauty business.
Lilian Bettencourt accompanied her father and became a part of his cosmetics company when she was just 15 years old. In 1957, after the death of Eugene Schueller, Lilian Bettencourt inherited the fortune of L'Oréal, and became the principal shareholder of the company.
The 94 year old currently suffers from dementia and was replaced as board director of L'Oréal by her grandson Jean-Victor in 2012 . Because of her declining mental health, her fortune is currently guarded by her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers. However as mother and daughter are battling conflicts, one of her grandsons was named her personal guardian, whilst the other grandson is looking after her health and personal life after a ruling by a judge.
Liliane Bettencourt is the top female billionaire in the world, as well as the richest person in France.