Bezos at the ENCORE awards in 2011
|Born||Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen
January 12, 1964
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
|Residence||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Princeton University (B.S.E)|
|Occupation||Founder, Chairman & CEO of Amazon.com|
|Net worth||US$71 billion (October 2016)|
|Spouse(s)||MacKenzie Bezos (m. 1993)|
Jeff Bezos (//; born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen; January 12, 1964) is an American technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon.com, which became the world's largest online shopping retailer. an Internet merchant of books and a wide variety of products and services, most recently video streaming and audio streaming, Amazon.com became the world's largest internet sales website. on the World Wide Web and a model for Internet sales.
Bezos' other business interests include aerospace and newspapers. He is the founder and owner of privately-funded aerospace developer and manufacturer Blue Origin (founded in 2000) with test flights to space beginning in 2015, and plans for commercial suborbital human spaceflight beginning in 2018. In 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post newspaper. A number of other business investments are managed through Bezos Expeditions.
As of October 2016, Bezos' personal wealth is estimated to be US$71 billion, ranking him the 2nd richest person in the United States (behind Bill Gates) and the 3rd richest in the world on The World's Billionaires.
Early life and education
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' 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 a teenager at the time of his birth. Her marriage to Ted lasted a little more than a year. In April 1968 (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, who changed his surname from Jorgensen to Bezos. 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 working his grandfather's ranch in southern Texas.
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.
Bezos graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University with two Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. While at Princeton, he was also elected to Tau Beta Pi. He 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 15, 2015, the 'New York Times' wrote an article entitled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace" about Amazon's business practices and Bezos 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 May 2016, Bezos sold slightly more than one million shares of his holdings in the company for $671 million, making it the largest amount of money he has ever raised in a sale of his Amazon holdings. On Aug 4, 2016 he sold 1,000,000 of his shares at a value of $756.7 Million. As of September 21, 2016, Bezos owns 80.9 million shares of Amazon stock. This represents 16.9% of all shares outstanding. The current market value of the shares personally owned by Jeff Bezos is $62,100,000,000.00.
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; 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.
In 2015, Bezos further discussed the motivation for his spaceflight-related business when he announced a new orbital launch vehicle under development for late-2010s first flight. He indicated that his ambitions in space are not location dependent—Mars, Lunar, asteroidal, etc.—"we want to go everywhere, [requiring significantly lower launch costs.] Our number-one opponent is gravity. ... The vision for Blue is pretty simple. We want to see millions of people living and working in space. That's going to take a long time. I think it's a worthwhile goal." In 2016, Bezos opened up the Blue rocket design and manufacturing facility to journalists for the first time, and gave extensive interviews that included an articulation of his vision for space, and for Blue Origin. Bezos sees space as being "chock full of resources" and foresees a "Great Inversion" where there will emerge "space commercialization that stretches out for hundreds of years, leading to an era when millions of people would be living and working in space." He sees both energy and heavy manufacturing occurring in space, having the effect of reduced pollution on Earth, in effect reducing the probability that something "bad happens to the Earth." Bezos has said that he is trying to change the fundamental cost structure of accessing space.
On November 23, 2015, Blue Origin's New Shepard space vehicle successfully flew to space, reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing an historic vertical landing back at the launch site in West Texas. Blue Origin is currently in an extensive flight test program of New Shepard which expects to begin carrying "test passengers" in 2017 and initiate commercial flights in 2018. Blue is currently building six of the vehicles to support all phases of testing and operations: no-passenger test flights, flights with test passengers, and commercial-passenger weekly operations.
In June 2016, Bezos reiterated his long term goal to see nearly all heavy-industry manufacturing factories in space as part of a wide-ranging, but rare, interview. In September 2016, he added that he hoped to colonize the solar system.
The Washington Post
On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. Amazon.com is not to 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's Nash Holdings LLC took control.
In March 2014, Bezos made his first significant change at The Washington 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. Bezos revealed in 2016 that he conducted no due diligence, a type of offset agreement, when accepting the first offer from former The Washington Post owner, Donald E. Graham.
Bezos has refused to settle a black employee's race discrimination lawsuit that also alleged the paper forced out 47 older black employees.
Bezos Expeditions (incomplete list)
- 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)
- 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
- 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)
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.
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 floor 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 October 2016, according to Forbes, Bezos is listed as the 3rd wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of US$72 billion. He was ranked the second best CEO in the world by Harvard Business Review, after the late Steve Jobs of Apple.
He has also figured in Fortune's list of Fifty great leaders of the world for three straight years, topping the list in 2015.
In September 2016, Bezos was awarded the Heinlein Prize for Advances in Space Commercialization which earned him $250,000. The prize money was donated to the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space by Bezos.
Journalist Shawn McCoy contrasted the philanthropic practices of Amazon and Bezos with the comparatively more generous Microsoft (also based near Seattle) and fellow billionaire Bill Gates. Some found Bezos more akin to Steve Jobs, who was skeptical of philanthropy and made few donations.
Bezos 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..."  An article 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 May 13, 2014.
- 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 August 17, 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.
- Boyle, Alan (2016-03-08). "Jeff Bezos lifts curtain on Blue Origin rocket factory, lays out grand plan for space travel that spans hundreds of years". GeekWire. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Farhi, Paul (August 5, 2013). "Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
- Metcalf, Tom (July 21, 2016). "Bezos Tops Buffett as World's Third-Richest on Amazon Rise". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
- Robinson, Tom (2009). Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Architect. ABDO. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-60453-759-8.
- Parkhurst, Emily (August 5, 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.
- "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.
- "Tau Beta Pi Leaders and Innovators". The Tau Beta Pi Association.
- Bayers, Chip (July 2003). "The Inner Bezos". Wired.
- Carlson, Nicholas (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, October 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.
- "BEZOS JEFFREY P Insider Trading Transactions". InsiderMole.com. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "stock ownership". etrade.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- 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.
- Foust, Jeff (2015-09-15). "Bezos Not Concerned About Competition, Possible ULA Sale". Space News. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Berger, Eric (2016-03-10). "Jeff Bezos says he wants to fly into space "as soon as possible"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
Bezos: I want to change the whole cost structure of accessing space.
- "Historic Rocket Landing (video clip)". Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- Foust, Jeff (2016-03-08). "Blue Origin plans growth spurt this year". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Graham, Chris (2016-06-02). "Factories in space: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveils vision for the future". The Telegraph. www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
- NatureWorldNews (2016-09-27). "Jeff Bezos: Blue Origin Wants to Colonize the Solar System". Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- 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 2016-02-20.
- "Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos signed the $250 million Washington Post deal with no due diligence". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
- "The Story of Jeff Bezos' $250,000 Investment into Google in 1998".
-  Archived June 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
- DEI Creative in Seattle, Washington. "Bezos Expeditions". bezosexpeditions.com.
- "EverFi - Critical Skills for Life". everfi.com.
- "Home". finsphere.com.
- "Rethink Robotics - Advanced Robotics Technology - Collaborative Robots". Rethink Robotics.
- "Amazon.com: Amazon & Our Planet". amazon.com.
- "Why Amazon Is Smiling and Charities May Be Losing". Huffington Post. December 2, 2013.
- 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.
- "Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Flip the Switch on New Bezos Center for Innovation at MOHAI, Kicking Off Saturday Launch Celebration". mohai.org.
- DEI Creative in Seattle, WA. "F-1 Engine Recovery - Bezos Expeditions". bezosexpeditions.com.
- 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.
- "Princeton University - Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos donate $15 million to create center in Princeton Neuroscience Institute". princeton.edu.
- "About Us". bezosfamilyfoundation.org.
- Soper, Taylor. "Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and family donate $20M to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center". GeekWire.
- "Jeff Bezos - Tech Philanthropists - Donors - Foundations - Inside Philanthropy". insidephilanthropy.com.
- 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. June 2, 2016. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- Davenport, Christian (2016-09-15). "Jeff Bezos on nuclear reactors in space, the lack of bacon on Mars and humanity's destiny in the solar system". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
- "Five Rich Tech Titans And What They". Time. March 9, 2011.
- "Two tech titans. Two very different views of philanthropy. – InsideSources". InsideSources.
- "Amazon a virtual no-show in hometown philanthropy". The Seattle Times. March 31, 2012.
- "Five Rich Tech Titans And What They". Time. March 9, 2011.
- "Amazon's Jeff Bezos Wins ITUC's World's Worst Boss Poll". Ituc-csi.org. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
- "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-27.
- "Jeff Bezos Fast Facts". CNN. March 24, 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jeff Bezos.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Jeff Bezos|
- Jeff Bezos at Bloomberg L.P.
- Jeff Bezos at TED
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose
- Jeff Bezos at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Jeff Bezos in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- "Jeff Bezos collected news and commentary". 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.