Who is Jeff Bezos?
Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, computer engineer, and commercial astronaut. He is the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, where he previously served as the president and CEO.
In 1992, he moved to Silicon Valley and worked for a number of technology companies including Fitel, Bankers Trust and D. E. Shaw & Co., an investment firm. He next founded an Internet-based business, which initially sold and shipped books online from a variety of independent bookstores. This was followed by the launch of an online bookstore in late 1995 that sold books from Amazon’s own inventory based in Bellevue, Washington, named “Amazon Books”, but later renamed to “Amazon.com Books” in 2007). In 1996 Bezos founded his own space exploration company Blue Origin; he remains its CEO as of 2018 .
Bezos has been involved in philanthropy since 1997, when he began to donate to nonprofit organizations and causes. He later founded his own charitable organization, the Bezos Center for Innovation at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry.
In 2013, Bezos launched his first investment fund, Bezos Expeditions. In 2018, he launched a second investment fund valued at $2 billion called Bezos Opportunity Fund that is focused on social welfare projects.
Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was raised as a child in Houston and Miami. In 1986, Bezos graduated from Princeton University with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduation, he worked on Wall Street in trading technologies for six years for firms including Fitel, Bankers Trust, D. E. Shaw, and Bache & Co.
In 1992, he worked on developing a different internet-based business. He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle and founded Amazon.com in his garage with a $300,000 loan from his parents. The company began as an online bookstore and has expanded to a diversified e-commerce retailer. Amazon now hosts and produces television shows is a producer of feature films and plays an active role in the development of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). In 2013, Bezos purchased “The Washington Post” newspaper for US$250 million in cash. Bezos manages other business investments through his venture capital fund, Bezos Expeditions.
Bezos has been involved in philanthropy since 1997, when he began to donate to nonprofit organizations. He is a donor to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an investor in “Business Insider”. Bezos is a member of the board of directors of TheDream.US and The Planetary Society.
Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen to Jacklyn (née Gise) and Ted Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the youngest of four children. His maternal ancestors were settlers who lived in Texas, and over the generations acquired a 25,000-acre ranch near Cotulla. Bezos’s maternal grandfather was a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. He retired early to the ranch, where Bezos spent many summers as a youth, working with him. At an early age, he displayed mechanical aptitude—as a toddler, he even dismantled his crib with a screwdriver.
Bezos’ mother Jacklyn was an electronics buyer at JCPenney and came from a “long line of Texas merchants.” In June 1988 she married Miguel Bezos, a Cuban who immigrated to the U.S. alone when he was 15 years old. Miguel worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, married Jacklyn, and legally adopted her two children from a previous marriage, Jeffrey and her daughter, Rachel. After the wedding the family moved to Houston. Miguel’s marriage to Jacklyn created a family with substantial wealth; it also made Jeff Bezos certain that he wanted to follow in his stepfather’s footsteps and start his own business—a realization that would later prompt him to drop out of Princeton University.
When Bezos was 4 years old, he spent several months in Ecuador with his maternal grandfather, who was a missionary and engineer. He spent his childhood summers at the family ranch in Texas, near Houston. Bezos often displayed scientific interests and technological proficiency; he once rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger sister out of his room. He was the first person to see that the trunks of trees were good for more than just climbing, and he developed a fascination with computers. His mother later said, “He would dismantle anything he could get his hands on—electrical appliances, lawn mowers, even our phones.”
Bezos was a voracious reader as a child; at one point he read “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, which may have contributed to his later announcement that Amazon would carry the controversial book “Fifty Shades of Grey.” In high school, Bezos studied at the International School of Houston, where he was valedictorian.
How did Jeff Bezos get rich?
Jeff Bezos is also the founder, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, the world’s largest online shopping platform. He is a highly-educated man who graduated from Princeton University and holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He founded Amazon in 1994 after leaving his job as a vice president at D.E. Shaw, a Wall Street firm where he worked for six years without drawing a salary or benefits.
In 2017, Forbes estimated Jeff Bezos’ net worth at $81.6 billion and ranked him as the richest person in the world; by January 2018 he was worth $99 billion. In September 2017, Bezos launched an aerospace company called Blue Origin that aims to make space travel affordable for everyday people; in November of that year he also purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. Finally He has also made donations to Princeton University, Oregon State University, and Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Finally Bezos is married to novelist MacKenzie Bezos and they have four children together. The family lives in a 28,000-square-foot home in Medina, Washington; it is the largest private home in the state.