Ratcliffe the archetypal rags-to-riches story.
Nowadays, the list contains 145 billionaires - 11 more than past year - and a minimum a £115 million is required to make it into the list's 1,000 entries.
The chemicals entrepreneur - whose firm is now locked in a legal battle with the Scottish government over fracking - has been described as "publicity shy" by the Sunday Times.
Robert Watts, who compiled the 1,000-member strong list, said the list had become more global since its inception in 1989, with more high net worth individuals from various countries moving to London and the United Kingdom.
The highest ranked female on the list, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, who runs the famous Heineken brewery, has seen her wealth rocket by nearly 2.5 billion US dollars in the a year ago to more than 15 billion USA dollars. The billionaire count has risen to 145 - 11 more than a year ago.
The list includes both those from the United Kingdom and those based in the UK.
Together with her husband, financier Michel de Carvalho, she is at the head of a £11.1 billion (€12.5 billion) fortune and has been ranked 6th on the list.
Pharmaceuticals heir Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife, Kirsty, are the biggest fallers in the list.More news: NASA sending a robot helicopter to Mars in 2020
At its inception in 1989, the Rich List contained only 200 entries, and a £30 million fortune would be enough to get you in.
"Jim Ratcliffe epitomises the astonishing change of fortunes and the rise of meritocracy over the past three decades", the List's compiler, Robert Watts, wrote.
Aristocrats and inherited wealth has been elbowed out of the list and replaced by an army of self-made entrepreneurs.
Second on the list are brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, based in London where they head a trading empire started by their father in Mumbai in 1914.
Today's super rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs.
'Meanwhile, technology is also playing a bigger part in helping more young people make their fortunes and small companies to grow. It now takes £115m to join even the richest 1,000 people.
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Trickett attacked the Sunday Times Rich List and accused the Conservatives of deliberately gifting tax cuts "worth tens of billions of pounds" to their "billionaire friends".