January 12, 1964
New Mexico, U.S.
Source(-s) of wealth
Entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, computer engineer
Who is Jeff Bezos?
Born Jeffrey Preston Bezos is an American investor, the president and chairman of Amazon, the world’s largest online shopping platform. Jeff Bezos is currently the number two richest person in the world and was previously the wealthiest between 2017 and 2021 according to Forbes.
Jeff Bezos is an alumnus of Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He started his career on Wall Street before pioneering Amazon as an online bookstore, which later expanded and became the world’s largest e-commerce shop today.
He is a serial entrepreneur starting different companies such as Blue Origin, a company that manufactures and maintains aerospace vehicles. He owns the largest share of The Washington Post newspaper. He is the co-owner of Altos Labs in 2021.
A brief history of Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos Childhood & Education
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two young parents, a father and mother bore him. Father, Theodore Jørgensen and mother, Jacklyn, 19 and 17 years old, respectively. His father has Danish ancestry and a Baptists background. At two years old, Jeff attended a Montessori in the same city he was born Albuquerque.
Jeff was adopted at the age of four by Miguel Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant that married his mother after their divorce. Jeff’s surname was officially changed from Jorgensen to Bezos. This would go on to become his government name. Jeff moved to Houston, Texas, with his family after his father started working with Exxon as an engineer. He completed his 4 to 6th grade at River Oaks Elementary School. Back then, Lawrence Preston Gise was his maternal grandfather. Lawrence worked at US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as the regional director.
Jeff usually spends many holidays at the Lawrence family ranch at Cotulla, Texas. Jeff would acquire the 25,000 acres ranch and expand it to 300,000 acres. At an early age, Jeff displayed a keen interest in science and technology. To keep his siblings away from his rooms, he was able to rig an electric alarm to achieve that. Jeff attended Miami Palmetto High School when the family moved to Miami, Florida. He also worked as a short-order line cook at MacDonald’s during high school.
Jeff Bezos was one of the 1982 attendees of the Student Science Training Program organized by the University of Florida. He was a National Merit Scholar, a Silver Knight Award winner and a high school valedictorian. He bagged a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.E) from the University of Princeton, where he majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He graduated summa cum laude with a 4.2 GPA.
ABC Business activities
Before venturing into an entrepreneurial journey, Jeff worked and rose to the level of customer service director at Fitel. Fitel is a fintech telecommunication company. Between 1988 and 1990, he worked at Bankers Trust as a product manager. Between 1990 and 1994 he worked at D. E. Shaw & Co, rising to the level of senior vice-president. He was 30 years old at this time.
In 1994 Jeff and his then-wife MacKenzie quit their jobs at D. E. Shaw and started an online bookstore after reading that the internet has a growth rate of 2300% per year. They wrote the business plan while on the road driving from New York to Seattle. Jeff and MacKenzie founded Amazon on July 5, 1994, using a rented garage in Bellevue as an office.
While Jeff was handling the decision-making, his wife MacKenzie handled the daily operations such as records keeping, contract negotiation, and payments. This was the foundation that gave rise to the amazon we have today.
Although Jeff initially went with the name Cadabra but renamed it to Amazon since it began with A. The name Amazon comes from the great Amazon River in South America. Changing the name to Amazon was strategic since website listings at that time were done in alphabetical order. A website with a name starting with the letter A would appear first before others.
Additionally, Jeff hoped that the business would blossom to become one of the largest online bookstores, just like the Amazon River being the largest in the world.
He got a $300, 000 investment from his parents and the business went public after three years. They later added music and videos online sales and some consumer goods to Amazon’s portfolio in 1998. These are the foundation that grew Amazon to the world’s largest e-commerce platform with a net worth of over $112 billion.
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 as a company that offers spaceflight transporting humans to outer space. Blue Origin is a spaceflight company that aims to preserve the earth’s natural resources by making humans live on multi planets. Since its establishment, several attempts have been made to transport humans into space, with the cost per head going as high as $300,000. Jeff Bezos Blue Origin has built several space vehicles which have landed successfully in space. Blue Origin is Jeff’s lifelong vision and dreams since high school.
The Washington Post
Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million through a holding company names Nash Holdings. Jeff Bezos reinvented the newspaper into a company into a profitable media and technology company with a tremendous increased readership. The Washington Post has become more profitable since after the investment by Jeff Bezos.
Jeff Bezos established Bezos Expeditions as a company through which he makes personal investments in other businesses and ventures. In 1998, he invested $250,000 in Google, which is worth over $3.1 billion as of 2017. He has investments in Unity Biotechnology, Juno Therapeutics, Zocdoc, and GRAIL which are worth millions of dollars.
Altos Labs is a biotechnology company that aims to use technology to elongate the lifespan of a human. This company was founded by Bezos and Yuri Milner the owner of Mail.ru in 2021. They have been able to recruit top and noble prize-winning scientists to join the team with a $3 billion capital venture.
What is Jeff Bezos Net Worth?
Jeff Bezos Wealth
Jeff Bezos is currently the second wealthiest man on the surface of the earth, with a net worth of over $135.3 billion as of July 2022. He dropped from world number one to two between 2017 to 2022 following the aftermath of the divorce from his wife, MacKenzie Scott, in 2019.
Bezos’ wealth experienced a massive surge in 2020 during the pandemic. The lockdowns caused an increase in the use of Amazon for ordering household items across the globe. Amazon contributes largely to Jeff Bezos’s wealth, so an increase in orders arising from Amazon translates to an increase in his wealth.