, 1459-1525, was known as Jakob the Rich because his family was among the most wealthy in the world. Fugger lived in Augsburg
, in southern Germany
, then part of the Holy Roman Empire
. The Fuggers owned extensive land and ships, but most of their wealth was from the proceeds of banking and a virtual monopoly in the mining and trading of metals and ores; silver, copper, and mercury in particular.
Jakob is well known for financing the activities of Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V. Charles rewarded Jakob with a title, granted the Fuggers sovereign rights over their lands, and permitted them to coin their own money.
One of Jakob's philathropic experiements was a housing project for the poor. The Fuggerei, in Augsburg, still stands and operates to this day.