Nelson Bunker Hunt Dies
Nelson Bunker Hunt, receiving the winners trophy from The Queen on 27 July, 1974Central Press/Getty Images

The world's former richest man Nelson Bunker Hunt, who amassed a £16bn fortune, has died aged 88.

The Texas oil tycoon and Derby winning horse owner died in modest circumstances at an old people's home in Dallas after battling Alzheimer's.

He was once considered the world's richest man before he lost billions when the silver market collapsed in the 1980s. He had invested huge sums of money into the market and had at one stage controlled up to half of the world's supply of silver.

He was later fined $10m (£6.2m) and banned from trading in the commodity markets after being charged with conspiring to manipulate the silver market.

The New York Times reported that when confronted by his sister Margaret who demanded to know what he had hoped to achieve, he replied: "I was just trying to make some money."

Prior to that Hunt played a significant role in the development of oil fields in Libya, which were later seized by Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.

He also owned 8,000-acre Bluegrass Farm in Lexington, Kentucky and raced thoroughbreds in Europe and North America.

He was given the title of "legendary owner-breeder" by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. He bred 58 stakes winners and owned 25 champions, and was best known in British racing for providing Lester Piggott with his seventh Derby victory on Empery in 1974.

He lived out his days modestly with his wife Caroline in Dallas with their four children before being moved to a care home after suffering with Alzheimer's, according to his family.