Entrepreneurship

Jeff Bezos Biography | Early Life | Education | Family | Business | Wealth

Mashum Mollah 16 February, 2022
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Jeff Bezos

Who Is Jeff Bezos?

Who Is Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos is the richest man, an inspiring business entrepreneur, media proprietor, investor, and computer engineer. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, an eCommerce T-Rex, has overshadowed the wealth of Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and giant investor Warren Buffett with a mountain of $200.1 billion as of September 2021. But his current net worth is $176 billion in February 2022.

Jeff Bezos is the founder and former CEO of Amazon.com, an eCommerce platform known throughout the planet. He is also the owner of The Washington Post and founder of the space exploration company Blue Origin, Bezos Expeditions, a venture capital farm; a private company named Nash Holdings LLC.

Early Life

Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, also known as Jeff Bezos, was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, Mexico. A very young woman named Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen gave birth to the present business icon Jeff Bezos.

Jeff’s parents were very young when he was born. Jacklyn Jorgensen was only a 17 years old school girl, while Ted was only a 19 years old teenager. Although the situation was hard for young Jacklyn, she attended night school after completing high school while bringing along an infant, Jeff.

The couple divorced not long after the birth of young Bezos. Ted Jorgensen, Jeff’s biological father, and Jacklyn Jorgensen were married only for a year. Then, when Jeff was four years young, his mother remarried a Cuban immigrant named Mike Bezos.

Young Bezos used to spend his summer vacations in his maternal grandfather’s ranch near Cotulla, Texas. Later he purchased this ranch. After that, their family moved to Miami, Florida, where Bezos started his school life. While in High-school, Bezos used to work in McDonald’s as a line cook.

From a very early age, Jeff had a knack for computing and proficiency in science and technology. He even rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room.

Education

Bezos attended Miami Palmetto High School. At the University Of Florida, Bezos attended The Students Science Training Program; a bright student, Jeff Bezos was high school valedictorian, a National Merit Scholar. In 1982 he won the Silver Knight Award.

Bezos graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1986 with a 4.2 GPA and a Bachelor Of Science In Engineering (BSE) in Electrical Engineering and in Computer Science. In Princeton, Bezos was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the US.

Bezos was also a member of one of Princeton’s eating clubs, Quadrangle Club. He was also elected to Tau Beta Pi, the oldest engineering honor society. In addition, he was the president of the Princeton Chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. 

Early Career

After graduating from Princeton, Bezos got several job offers from Intel, Bell Labs, Anderson Consulting, and a few others. But, instead, Jeff worked for Fitel, a fintech telecommunication start-up. There he worked for two years (1988-1990). Later, he joined DE Shaw & Co and became its youngest vice president.

Business

Bezos was not satisfied with a stable job; he wanted to do more and do something out of the ordinary. The idea of an eCommerce that was budding inside Jeff’s head made him leave his stable job.

In the beginning, his boss tried to stop him from quitting his job at DE & Shaw; but the entrepreneurial spirit pushed him further into making the dream company Amazon as we know it today.

Always a dreamer, Bezos dreamed out of the ordinary from a very early age. He dreamed of human beings being able to reside on other planets and colonize space. These dreams were the working force behind creating and succeeding the world’s largest eCommerce platform Amazon.

Amazon

Amazon

The world wouldn’t know Jeff Bezos, and he probably would have stayed in Wall Street attending to a day job like most people. But the future CEO of the biggest eCommerce company did not let little accomplishments stop his bigger dream.

The genius entrepreneur noticed that the internet was booming rapidly, and it had a growth potential of 2300% by the end of 1994. So, he took his plan to action to sell books online.

In Seattle, Jeff started his venture in eCommerce in his garage with his wife and two programmers on July 5, 1994. Initially, Bezos named his company Cadabra but changed the name to Amazon later after the river in South America.

The reason behind naming the company Amazon is because of the initial letter of the word Amazon. There used to be alphabetical listings of websites at that time. Bezos smartly used the ‘A’ of Amazon to get to the top of that list.

Bezos accepted $300000 from his parents and invested the money into Amazon. However, the businessman also warned many early investors to think carefully before investing because there was a 70% chance of them going bankrupt.

The initial performance of Amazon was beyond what Jeff had envisioned. Of course, there are larger book retailers like Borders, Barnes & Nobles, but Jeff maintained the growth of Amazon.

In 1998 Bezos expanded the company with the sales of music and video. Later that year, he took a few more steps to sell a diverse range of consumer-based products. By 1999, Amazon had already become the World’s largest eCommerce platform.

However, the company did not always have a growing pace; it had its share of ups and downs. For example, the company was almost submerging because of its huge spending by late 2002. But the company picked up the pace and reached great success by the end of 2007.

In 2005 Amazon launched Prime membership for its customers. The Primm service offered quicker sales of different items, making the sales boost rapidly for Amazon. As of 2021, there are more than 200 million Amazon Prime members globally.

Bezos never forgot about the origin of his company and the fact that it started with books. Amazon released the Kindle for ebook readers in 2007. Amazon is also the company to release the AI-based smart device Alexa.

Another of Jeff’s innovative ventures surfaced when he announced his plan to launch “Amazon Prime Air.” This program was for delivering products to customers using flying drones. He stated that the drones would be capable of delivering shipments weighing five pounds within ten miles radius of any Amazon distribution center.

In February 2018, Amazon reported its highest quarterly profit as $2 billion.

Forbes announced Jeff Bezos as the wealthiest man on earth on March 6, 2018, with a net worth of $112 billion. In addition, Amazon’s net profit soared 84% from 2020 to 2021, with its sales hitting $386 billion. However, the net worth of Amazon decreased by 30% to $46.3 billion by the final quarter of 2021.

Read More: Difference Between Dreams And Goals – Dreams Vs. Goals

Blue Origin

Blue Origin

Aspirers like Jeff Bezos do not think of the sky as their limit. They even go beyond outer space. From a very early age, Jeff was fascinated with space. He had visions to build hotels, amusement parks, and colonies for humans to live in space.

The entrepreneur wanted to preserve earth’s resources so the earth would not get overused due to overpopulation. From that idea and dream, Blue Origin was born in 2003. Blue Origin is a human spaceflight start-up.

After a few years of laying low, the company bought land in Kent, Washington, in 2006 to build a launch station and test facility. Rob Meyerson led the company as its president from 2003 to 2017. The current president is Bob Smith.

Bezos intended to make space travel cheap, secure, reusable, frequent, and more accessible. The motto of Blue Origin Is “Gradatim Ferociter” in Latin, which means “step by step, ferociously.” The company bears Jeff’s dream as a space explorer.

Blue Origin was successful in launching a rocket and landing it back in 2015. Bezos has always been frank about colonizing the solar system. The business tycoon has been selling $1 billion worth of Amazon stock every year to invest in Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk share the same intention when it comes to their ideas about space. Both of them want to make human beings a multi-planetary species, thereby preserving the natural resources on earth.

New Shepherd, New Glen, and Blue Moon are some of the successful spacecraft that Blue Origin has made. The Blue Moon is a giant lunar lander, and according to Jeff, it will help create a sustained human presence on the Moon.

The company has built five reusable rocket engines until now. The engines are named BE-1, BE-2, BE-3, BE-4, BE-7, etc. Jeff Bezos launched on the NS-16 with his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Frank, and Richard Daemon on July 20, 2021.

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Jeff Bezos expanded his business periphery when he announced on August 05, 2013, that he had purchased The Washington Post and the other publications that its parent company possesses. He bought the company for $250 million cash.

Currently, Nash Holdings LLC, a limited liability company that Jeff established, holds The Washington Post for Jeff Bezos.

There have been considerable changes and improvements to the Post after Jeff declared his ownership. Within three years, The Washington Post’s web traffic doubled, and the content of The Washington Post also became more web-friendly.

Donald E Graham, the former publisher of the Post said, the extreme long-mindedness of Bezos is the improving force of the Post, not his talent for getting faster results.

Jeff hired hundreds of reporters for The Washington Posts and tripled the newspaper’s technical staff. The Washington Post bypassed The New York Times under the ownership of Bezos.

Bezos Expedition

Jeff Bezos founded Bezos Expedition in 2005 to manage his investments. This firm has different teams dedicated to handling other processes of his investment. Bezos has made some profitable investments through this firm. 

Some of the best investments of Bezos Expedition include Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Stack Overflow, Workday, General Assembly, and Business Insider.

Bezos Expedition has also made some philanthropic investments. Innovation Center at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics, are some of the charitable efforts of the Bezos Expeditions.

The firm has also invested in the recovery of two Saturn V rocket engines from the Atlantic ocean. Bezos Expedition has also funded the 10,000 years clock.

Personal Life

Wife & Children

Wife & Children

Jeff met his ex-wife Mackenzie, a novelist, Scott in 1992 during his career in D.E. Shaw in Manhattan. Mackenzie was a research associate at the firm; a year later, the couple got married.

Later, they moved to Seattle, Washington, where he built Amazon with his wife and few other employees. The couple became the parents of four children. They have three sons and one daughter.

Bezos and Mackenzie decided to divorce and announced it on Twitter on January 9, 2019, to the world. The divorce was finalized on April 4 of the same year.

Mackenzie got 25% of the couple’s stock in Amazon from the divorce, and Jeff got to keep 75% of the rest. However, Jeff got to keep the voting rights for the couple. Bezos is currently dating Lauren Sanchez, an American news anchor, entertainment reporter, media personality, and actress.

Wealth

The richest man on earth has amassed an Everest-like pile of wealth. The tycoon became a millionaire in 1997 after gathering $54 million through Amazon’s IPO. Forbes included him as a billionaire in 1999 with a net worth of $10.1 billion.

Notre long after, the billionaire faced a terrible drop in his net, which went down to $1.5 billion. After that, his net worth went through many ups and downs from 2005 to 2007.

Surprisingly his net worth went up to $30.5 billion in 2014 after a rumor of Amazon developing smartphones. In 2015 Bezos entered the list of the top ten wealthiest people on earth as the 5th richest person.

In July of 2017, Jeff Bezos dethroned Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, becoming the wealthiest person on earth. But not for long, the fluctuation of Amazon’s share price made Bezos leave the throne and acquire it frequently.

Finally, in March 2018, Bezos was announced as the wealthiest person with a registered net worth of $112 billion. The wealth of Jeff Bezos matches the accumulated wealth of 2.7 million Americans. The current wealth of Jeff Bezos in 2021 September is $195.8 billion.

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Philanthropy

Jeff Bezos is known for his various charitable investments and philanthropic efforts. In between 2009 to 2017, Jeff has donated several times to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

He pledged $500000 to World reader in 2013, a nonprofit organization founded by one of the former Amazon employees. In May of 2017, Bezos contributed 1 million to the reporters’ committee for their movement for freedom of the press.

He has contributed more than $100 million to many charitable causes. Towards the end of 2018, the philanthropic entrepreneur announced contributing $2 billion to deal with the homeless people in America and establish non profit preschools for citizens with lower incomes.

In January 2018, Bezos donated $33 million to a college scholarship fund named TeDream.US. Of all the remarkable philanthropic endeavors of Jeff, his pledge to spend $10- million to combat climate change is the most praiseworthy. 

The business giant has also donated to the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defence Council, and multiple other nonprofit organizations that work to make the world a better place for us.

Interesting Facts About Jeff Bezos

  • Time named Bezos Person Of The Year in 1999
  • US News & World Report selected him as America’s Best Leaders in 2008.
  • Carnegie Mellon University awarded Bezos an honorary doctorate in science and technology in 2008.
  • Jeff named Amazon Cadabra in the beginning. 
  • Jeff started Amazon in his garage.
  • The Economist gave Bezos and Gregg Zehr an innovation award for Kindle readers.
  • Harvard Business Review ranked Bezos as the best performing CEO in the world. 
  • Bezos made it alive unharmed from a helicopter crash in 2003.
  • The billionaire has a cameo in Star Trek Beyond.
  • Bezos received the Buzz Aldrin space exploration award in 2018
  • Jeff Bezos helped to create the 10000 years clock. A clock that will tell time for ten thousand years to come. 

Best Quotes:

  1. “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
  2. “There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”
  3. “We expect all our businesses to have a positive impact on our top and bottom lines. Profitability is very important to us, or we wouldn’t be in this business”.
  4. “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
  5. “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you’re going to double your inventiveness.”
  6. “Life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.” 
  7. “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
  8. “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tailwind is now a headwind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”
  9. “All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s.”
  10. “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.”

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

Here are some of the popularly asked questions and answers about Jeff Bezos.

Q1. How Many Hours Jeff Bezos Works In A day?

The Business emperor used to work 12 hours every day during the early period of his career as a businessman. After that, he worked seven days a week. Jeff Bezos used to start his workday at 3:00 a.m.

However, after Amazon has reached $1 trillion, Jeff has toned down his work a bit. He wakes up early in the morning and has breakfast with his kids. Then, he mentally prepares himself .

for a corporate career at 10:00 a.m.

Q2. How Intelligent Is Jeff Bezos?

It is not easy to build up a company as big as Amazon and other big companies with a lower IQ. However, most prominent business builders have a very sharp mind, and Jeff Bezos is no exception.

Although there is no public confirmation of the IQ of Jeff Bezos, it is probably over 150. Moreover, he is brilliant because of his rich educational background in Princeton’s elite university and his Silver Knight Award during graduation.

Q3. What Is Jeff Bezos Most Famous Quote?

There are many words of Jeff Bezos that are worth quoting. Some of them are very inspirational to entrepreneurs as well as regular people. Here is a worth mentioning sentence of Jeff- 

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”

The motto of Jeff’s spacecraft company radiates motivation and can inspire many. The motto is a Latin Phrase, “Gradatim Ferociter”; it means, “Step by step, ferociously.”

Q4. What Are Jeff Bezos Skills?

Alongside their remarkable business skills and his degrees in engineering, Jeff Bezos is a great leader. Some of his skills include his leadership, innovative ideas, and his business strategy being more of a customer-related one makes him one of the best businessmen on earth.

Of the 500 measurable goals, 80% of Amazon’s goals are customer-oriented. Bezos is known for his out-of-the-box thinking. He likes to make crazy decisions. Planning creatively and delivering results based on those plans is one of Bezos’ specialties.

Bezos loves having small teams that help him with innovative business ideas. But, unfortunately, he only likes to have a six or seven-man team to help him with new ideas.

The business tycoon has a crazy two-pizza rule which decides the number of people on his team. If two pizzas are not enough for the people in the group, that means there are extra, unnecessary people in the team.

Q5. How Much Does Jeff Bezos Make A Day?

The richest man on earth makes a crazy amount of money. He makes more money than an average person earns in a week. Bezos makes almost $6.25 billion per month. He makes $1.44 billion every week, and the daily earning of Jeff Bezos is $205 million as of February 2022.

Q6. How Much Does Jeff Bezos Make In A Second?

Jeff Bezos makes more money than many people make in a week. This fact may surprise many, and to many, not, but Bezos makes $3715 per second. Sounds crazy, right?

Q7. Which Newspaper Did Amazon.com Founder Jeff Bezos Purchase For $250 Million?

Bezos, the former boss of Amazon, Blue Origin, and the richest man on earth, purchased the Washington Post newspaper for $250 million. He currently holds the ownership of this famous newspaper through his company Nash Holdings LLC. Bezos bought the company from the Graham family for $250 million in cash.

Q8. How Much Does Jeff Bezos Make In An Hour?

Based on his daily income of $205 million, Jeff Bezos makes $8.56 million every hour in February 2022.

Q9. How Tall Is Jeff Bezos?

Jeff Bezos has an average height. He is 1.73 m tall. It is 173 cm, and to measure his size in ft; it is 5 ft 8 inches.

Q10. What Car Does Jeff Bezos Drive?

World’s richest man has owned many cars throughout the years. He held a Honda Accord when he first became a billionaire. Mister Bezos owns the other vehicles are, Lincoln Stretch Limousine, Mercedes Benz S450, Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover, Bugatti Veyron Mansory, Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita.

Q11. What Is Wrong With Jeff Bezos’s Eyes?

Although it may not be visible if you are looking casually, a closer look at the eyes of the Amazon founder reveals a slight problem with his eyes. The former Amazon CEO has significant right ptosis, and probably some as well. The problem is not visible unless you look closely at his photos.

Q12. Does Jeff Bezos Have Kids?

Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife have four children. Three sons and one daughter. While the sons are their biological children, they adopted the daughter from China. 

Q13. How Much Did Jeff Bezos Spend To Go To Space?

Jeff had spent $500 in his space flight company Blue Origin. The billionaire later started to sell $1 billion worth of his Amazon stock to raise funds for Blue Origin. He had to face criticism from many people for this reason.

Q14. Who Owns The Most Amazon Stock?

Even after being replaced by Andy Jassy as the Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos still owns most Amazon shares. His shares in the Amazon stocks are 10%.

Conclusion

Let’s forget about his family and economic background for a minute and think for a second or two about how much Jeff Bezos has been able to do for himself and the world. The number of his accomplishments makes him one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 21st century.

The story of Jeff is of inspiration to many rising entrepreneurs. His sharp intellect, innovative business ideas, experimentation with those ideas, and constant will to the tireless effort are some of the key traits behind his current position in the world.

Building a stable and globally accepted root for eCommerce business, Investing in a space travel company, spending lots of money in charities, and buying one of the most noteworthy newspapers, and reshaping it is suggestive of Jeff’s nature as a builder.

It is certain that Jeff has amassed an immense amount of wealth, but that was a byproduct of his hard work in building a present so fascinating that it can pave a better pathway for the future.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights, and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you.

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