Jeff Bezos 2010
|Born||Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen
January 12, 1964
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
|Alma mater||Princeton University (B.S.E)|
|Occupation||Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com|
|Net worth||US$ 25 billion (2013)|
|Spouse(s)||Mackenzie Bezos (m. 1993)|
|Awards||Time Person of the Year 1999|
Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos (//; born January 12, 1964) is an American entrepreneur who played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Inc., an online merchant of books and later of a wide variety of products. Under his guidance, Amazon.com became the largest retailer on the World Wide Web and the model for Internet sales.
Early life and career
Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen and Ted Jorgensen. His maternal ancestors were settlers who lived in Texas, and over the generations acquired a 25,000 acre (101 km2 or 39 miles2) ranch near Cotulla. Bezos' 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, Bezos displayed a striking mechanical aptitude – as a toddler, he tried dismantling his crib.
Bezos was born to a teenage mother in Albuquerque. Her marriage to his father lasted a little more than a year. When Jeff was four, she remarried, this time to Miguel Bezos. Miguel was born in Cuba, migrated to the United States alone when he was fifteen years old, worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, married, and legally adopted Jeff. After the marriage, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel became an engineer for Exxon. The young Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from fourth to sixth grade. As a child, he spent summers at his grandfather's ranch in southern Texas, "laying pipe, vaccinating cattle and fixing windmills."
Bezos often showed intense scientific interests. He rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room. The family moved to Miami, Florida, where Bezos attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School. While in high school, he attended the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida, receiving a Silver Knight Award in 1982. He was high school valedictorian. He attended Princeton University, with an intention to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers and graduated summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was elected to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi.
According to Nick Hanauer (an early investor in Amazon) and "others who know [him]", Bezos is described as a libertarian. In July 2012, Bezos and his wife personally donated $2.5 million to pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington. According to the web site Newsmeat.com, a web site that documents political donations made by "the powerful, rich, and famous" since 1977 (and donations higher than $200), Bezos has donated $16,000 to United States Democrats, $2,000 to United States Republicans, and $55,000 to special interests as of September 6, 2012.
After graduating from Princeton University in 1986, Bezos worked on Wall Street in the computer science field. Then he worked on building a network for international trade for a company known as Fitel. He next worked at Bankers Trust, where he became vice-president. Later on he also worked in computer science for D. E. Shaw & Co.
Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage. He had left his "well-paying job" at a New York City hedge fund when he "learned about the rapid growth in Internet use", which coincided with a "then-new U.S. Supreme Court ruling [that] online retailers don't have to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence"; he had headed to Washington because its relatively small population meant fewer of his future customers would have to pay sales tax.
According to Forbes, Amazon's shares have "defied gravity" in 2011, jumping 55% and adding $6.5 billion to Bezos' net worth.
Bezos is known for his attention to business details. As described by Portfolio.com, he "is at once a happy-go-lucky mogul and a notorious micromanager. ... an executive who wants to know about everything from contract minutiae to how he is quoted in all Amazon press releases."
In 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company, partially as a result of his fascination with space travel, including an early interest in developing "space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people orbiting the Earth." The company was kept secret for a few years until it became publicly known only in 2006 when purchasing a sizable aggregation of land in west Texas for a launch and test facility.
In a 2011 interview, Bezos indicated that he founded the space company to help enable "anybody to go into space" and stated that the company was committed to decreasing the cost and increasing the safety of spaceflight. Blue Origin is "one of several start-ups aiming to open up space travel to paying customers. Like Amazon, the company is secretive, but [in September 2011] revealed that it had lost an unmanned prototype vehicle during a short-hop test flight. Although this was a setback, the announcement of the loss revealed for the first time just how far Blue Origin’s team had advanced." Bezos said that the crash was 'not the outcome that any of us wanted, but we're signed up for this to be hard.'" 
He was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 1999. In 2008, he was selected by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best leaders. Bezos was awarded an honorary doctorate in Science and Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. In 2011, The Economist gave Bezos and Gregg Zehr an Innovation Award for the Amazon Kindle. In 2012, Bezos was named Businessperson of The Year by Fortune Magazine.
He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the Swiss 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He is a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.
As of October 2012, According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index Bezos is listed as one of the wealthiest people in the world with an estimated net worth of US 22.1 billion.  He was recently ranked the second best CEO in world by Harvard Business Review, after the late Steve Jobs of Apple.
Two powerful Saturn V first-stage rocket engines that are believed to be part of the five of the Apollo 11 mission that has taken astronauts to the Moon have been recovered from the Atlantic in a Jeff Bezos-funded expedition. 
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