Bezos at the ENCORE awards in 2010
|Born||Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen
January 12, 1964
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
|Alma mater||Princeton University (B.S.E)|
|Occupation||Founder, Chairman & CEO of Amazon.com|
|Net worth||US$49.5 billion (July 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||MacKenzie Bezos (m. 1993)|
Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos (//; born January 12, 1964) is an American business magnate and investor. He is a technology entrepreneur who has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, 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 a top model for Internet sales. In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper. As of March 2015, Bezos's personal wealth is estimated to be US$50 billion, due in part to a recent spike in Amazon's stock price, ranking him 15th on the Forbes list of billionaires.
Early and personal life
Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Jacklyn (née Gise) 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. As of March 2015[update], Bezos was among the largest land holders in Texas. 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 tried dismantling his crib.
Bezos's mother Jacklyn was a teenager at the time of his birth. Her marriage to his father lasted a little more than a year. When Jeff was four, she remarried, to Miguel Bezos, a Cuban who immigrated to the United States alone when he was fifteen years old. Miguel worked his way through the University of Albuquerque, married Jacklyn and legally adopted his stepson Jeff. After the wedding, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel became an engineer for Exxon. The young Jeff 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 displayed scientific interests and technological proficiency; he once rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room. The family moved to Miami, Florida, where he 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 and was a National Merit Scholar.
He attended Princeton University, intending to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers and graduated summa cum laude, with two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was elected to the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also served as the President of the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
After graduating from Princeton 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. Later on he also worked on Internet-enabled business opportunities at 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 after learning "about the rapid growth in Internet use", which coincided with a then-new U.S. Supreme Court ruling holding that mail order catalogs were not required to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence."
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."
On August 15th 2015 the New York Times wrote a scathing article "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace" about Amazon's business practices and Jeff responded to his employees with a Sunday memo claiming it doesn't represent the company he leads and challenged its depiction as “a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is had and no laughter heard" and to contact him directly if true.
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, colonies and small cities 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.'" A profile published in 2013 described a 1982 Miami Herald interview he gave after he was named high school class valedictorian. The 18-year-old Bezos "said he wanted to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit. 'The whole idea is to preserve the earth' he told the newspaper .... The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park."
In 2013, Bezos reportedly discussed commercial spaceflight opportunities and strategies with Richard Branson, multibillionaire founder of Virgin Group and Chairman of Virgin Galactic.
The Washington Post
On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. The sale is personal to Bezos. Amazon.com will not be involved. "This is uncharted terrain," he told the newspaper, "and it will require experimentation." Shortly after the announcement of intent to purchase, The Washington Post published a long-form profile of Bezos on August 10, 2013. The sale closed on October 1, 2013, and Bezos' Nash Holdings took control.
In March 2014, Bezos made his first significant change at the Post and lifted the online paywall for subscribers of some number of U.S. local newspapers including The Dallas Morning News, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Airbnb - sharing economy
- Aviary - software (photo editing)
- Basecamp - software (project management)
- Blue Origin - space travel
- Business Insider - publishing
- Crowdrise - for-profit charitable giving platform
- Domo - software (business intelligence)
- doxo - financial services
- D-Wave Systems - quantum computing
- Everfi - technology for education
- Finsphere - software (authentication)
- General Assembly - technology education
- General Fusion - sustainable energy (nuclear fusion)
- Glassybaby - supports cancer patients
- Juno Therapeutics - cancer biopharmaceuticals
- Kongregate - online games
- Linden Lab - online games (Second Life)
- Lookout - technology (mobile security)
- MakerBot Industries - 3D printers
- MFG.com - manufacturer direct marketplace
- Nextdoor - localized social networking
- Pelago - online games
- Powerset - natural-language search engine
- Pro.com - home services marketplace
- Qliance - health care
- Remitly - financial services
- Rescale - cloud computing simulations
- Rethink Robotics - manufacturing robots
- Sapphire Energy - sustainable energy (crude oil from algae)
- Skytap - cloud computing
- Stack Exchange - technology publishing
- TeachStreet - search engine to find teachers
- Twitter - social networking
- Uber - sharing economy
- Vessel - subscription video service
- Vicarious - artificial intelligence
- Workday - software for business
- Zocdoc - software (healthcare appointments)
Non-profit donations and activities
Under Bezos' direction, Amazon has been criticized as "stingy" in its corporate giving pratices. Amazon has environmental initiatives for improving its internal operations and researching climate change, has used its homepage for disaster relief fundraising, supported writers, has a Wish List functionality for non-profit donations, and Amazon Smile offers a charitable donation of 0.5% on purchases of selected items (criticized as small and possibly counterproductive).
Journalist Shawn McCoy contrasted the philanthropic practices of Amazon and Bezos with the comparatively much more generous Microsoft (also based in Seattle) and fellow billionaire Bill Gates who by 2013 had donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, making it the largest private foundation in the world. McCoy noted that unlike many other billionaire technology entrepreneurs, Bezos had not signed the Giving Pledge to give away half of their personal wealth in their lifetimes. Some found Bezos more similar to Steve Jobs, who was skeptical of philanthropy and made no known major donations.
Non-profit projects funded by Bezos Expeditions include:
- First full-scale prototype Clock of the Long Now, designed to last 10,000 years. - $42 million
- Bezos Center for Innovation at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry - $10 million
- Recovery of two Saturn V first-stage Rocketdyne F-1 engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. They were positively identified as belonging to the Apollo 11 mission's S-1C stage in July 2013.
- Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics at Princeton Neuroscience Institute - $15 million
- Bezos Family Foundation, an educational charity
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.
He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the 2013 conference in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. He is a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012.
As of July 9, 2015, according to Forbes, Bezos is listed as the 15th wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $39.2 billion. He was ranked the second best CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review, after Steve Jobs of Apple.
He was named World's Worst Boss by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), at their World Congress, in May 2014. In making the award Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said "Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are promoting the American corporate model...” 
A series of articles in the Morning Call newspaper described working for Bezos and Amazon in the warehouses as grueling and inhumane.  An article that ran in the New York Times described working for Bezos and Amazon in the offices as a grueling and inhumane experience with many employees regularly being terminated or quitting. 
- Carlson, Nicholas. "Jeff Bezos's Salary Is Only $14,000 More Than The Average Facebook Intern's". Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
- Jeff Bezos Profile. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Bayers, Chip. "The Inner Bezos". Wired. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Whoriskey, Peter (August 12, 2013). "For Jeff Bezos, a new frontier". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Jeff Bezos pronounces his name". The Washington Post. 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Jeff Bezos: Online Commerce Pioneer". TED. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Demery, Paul (January 14, 2013). "Bezos: 'I never expected this'". Internet Retailer. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Farhi, Paul (August 5, 2013). "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- Robinson, Tom (2009). Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Architect. ABDO. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-60453-759-8.
- Parkhurst, Emily (5 August 2015). "Jeff Bezos just sold $534 million worth of Amazon stock". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
- "Biography and Video Interview of Jeff Bezos at Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Hof, Robert D. (December 14, 1998). "The torrent of energy behind Amazon". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- Martinez, Amy; Heim, Kristi (March 31, 2012). "Amazon a virtual no-show in hometown philanthropy". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- "Biography and Video Interview of Jeff Bezos at Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Miami-Dade Winners". Silver Knight Awards. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008.
- Martinez, Amy (March 31, 2012). "Amazon.com's Bezos invests in space travel, time". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "National Merit Scholars You May Know". NationalMerit.org. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- "Jeff Bezos Interview – page 6 / 6 – Academy of Achievement". Achievement.org. April 17, 2008. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Jeff Bezos Fast Facts". Cnn.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
- "Tau Beta Pi Leaders and Innovators". The Tau Beta Pi Association.
- Chip Bayers (July 2003). "The Inner Bezos". Wired.
- Nicholas Carlson (March 10, 2011). "The Life And Awesomeness Of Jeff Bezos". Business Insider.
- Brad Stone: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon; Little Brown, Oct 2013
- "Top Executive Profiles – Jeffrey P. Bezos". Portfolio.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009.
- "Full memo: Jeff Bezos responds to brutal NYT story, says it doesn't represent the Amazon he leads - GeekWire". Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Streitfeld, David; Kantor, Jodi (2015-08-17). "Jeff Bezos Says Amazon Won’t Tolerate ‘Callous’ Management Practices". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Boyle, Alan (December 9, 2011). "Blue Origin Revealed". MSNBC.
- "Taking the long view: Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owes much of his success to his ability to look beyond the short-term view of things". The Economist. March 3, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
Mr Bezos's willingness to take a long-term view also explains his fascination with space travel, and his decision to found a secretive company called Blue Origin, one of several start-ups now building spacecraft with private funding.
- Mangalindan, Mylene (November 10, 2006). "Buzz in West Texas is about Jeff Bezos space craft launch site". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 28, 2008.
- Levy, Steven (November 13, 2011). "Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think". Wired. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Veverka, Mark (May 27, 2013). "Unplugged: Richard Branson's otherworldly space quest". USA Today. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Farhi, Paul (August 6, 2013). "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
- Farhi, Paul (2013-10-01). "The Washington Post closes sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos". Washington Post.
- Luckerson, Victor (2014-03-19). "Jeff Bezos Makes His First Major Move at the Washington Post". Time. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
- "Five Rich Tech Titans And What They". Time. March 9, 2011.
- "Why Amazon Is Smiling and Charities May Be Losing". Huffington Post. December 2, 2013.
- "Five Rich Tech Titans And What They". Time. March 9, 2011.
- Shear, Micheal D. (July 27, 2012). "Amazon's Founder Pledges $2.5 Million in Support of Same Sex Marriage". The New York Times.
- Tweney, Dylan (June 24, 2011). "How to Make a Clock Run for 10,000 Years". Wired. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Plotz, David (June 19, 2012). "Jeff Bezos and the Long Now Foundation's 10,000-year clock". Slate.com. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Pearlman, Robert Z. (July 19, 2013). "Rocket Engine Part Recovered by Amazon CEO Has Apollo 11 History". Space.com (New York). Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- Cooper Ramo, Joshua (December 27, 1999). "Jeffrey Preston Bezos: 1999 Person of the year". Time.
- LaGesse, David (November 19, 2008). "America's Best Leaders: Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com CEO". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved November 25, 2008.
- "Charging ahead: e-book design and popularity win Kindle creators Innovation Award". The Economist. September 19, 2011.
- "Amazon's Jeff Bezos: The ultimate disrupter". Fortune. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Bilderberg 2011 list of participants". BilderbergMeetings.org. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "Executive Committee". The Business Council. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Jeff Bezos Real Time Net Worth". Forbes. July 9, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
- Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Wins ITUC’s World’s Worst Boss Poll (22 May 2014), ITUC Website, http://www.ituc-csi.org/amazon-s-jeff-bezos-wins-ituc-s
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Jeff Bezos|
- Jeff Bezos at TED
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Jeff Bezos at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Jeff Bezos in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Jeff Bezos collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Condé Nast Portfolio Executive Profile – Portfolio.com (August 2007)
- Inside the Mind of Jeff Bezos – Fastcompany.com (August 2004)
- Internet billionaires face off in renewed Texas space race, Bownsville Herald, April 2015.