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Jeffrey Preston Bezos ( ; né Jorgensen; born January 12, 1964) is an American entrepreneur,
media proprietor A media proprietor, media mogul or media tycoon refers to a successful entrepreneur or businessperson who controls, through personal ownership or via a dominant position in any media related company or enterprise, media consumed by many individual ...
, investor, computer engineer, and commercial astronaut. He is the founder and executive chairman of
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
, where he previously served as the president and CEO. With a net worth of around US$195 billion as of December 2021, Bezos is the second-wealthiest person in the world according to
BloombergBloomberg may refer to: People * Daniel J. Bloomberg (1905–1984), audio engineer * Georgina Bloomberg (born 1983), professional equestrian * Michael Bloomberg Michael Rubens Bloomberg (born February 14, 1942) is an American businessma ...
's Billionaires Index and third-wealthiest person according to ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
''. Born in Albuquerque and raised in
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...

Houston
and
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
, Bezos graduated from
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Princeton University
in 1986. He holds a degree in
electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical enginee ...

electrical engineering
and
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
. He worked on
Wall Street Wall Street is an eight-block-long street in the Financial District This is a list of financial districts in cities around the world. Background A financial district is usually a central area in a city where financial services firms suc ...

Wall Street
in a variety of related fields from 1986 to early 1994. Bezos founded Amazon in late 1994, on a cross-country road trip from
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
to
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
. The company began as an online bookstore and has since expanded to a wide variety of other
e-commerce E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the activity of electronically The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons using electronic devices. Electronics ...

e-commerce
products and services, including video and audio streaming,
cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

cloud computing
, and
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstra ...

artificial intelligence
. It is currently the world's largest online sales company, the largest Internet company by revenue, and the world's largest provider of
virtual assistant remote control In electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control electron flow ...
s and cloud infrastructure services through its
Amazon Web Services Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of an ...
branch. Bezos founded the
aerospace manufacturer Aerospace is a term used to collectively refer to the atmosphere and outer space. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications. Aerospace engineering consists of aeronautics and astronau ...
and
sub-orbital spaceflight A sub-orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans on board. Most ...
services company
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and ...
in 2000. Blue Origin's
New Shepard New Shepard is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), crew-rated suborbital A sub-orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer spa ...
vehicle reached space in 2015, and afterwards successfully landed back on Earth. The company completed the first commercial suborbital human spaceflight in July 2021. He also purchased the major American newspaper ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
'' in 2013 for $250 million, and manages many other investments through his
venture capital Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity Private equity (PE) typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded. Private equity is a ty ...
firm,
Bezos Expeditions Jeffrey Preston Bezos ( ; né Jorgensen; born January 12, 1964) is an American List of Internet entrepreneurs, internet entrepreneur, Business magnate, industrialist, media proprietor, and investor. Bezos is the founder and CEO of the multi-n ...

Bezos Expeditions
. In September 2021, Bezos co-founded
biotechnology company Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientific fields. In the late 20th and early 21st c ...
Altos Labs with Mail.ru founder
Yuri Milner Yuri Borisovich (Bentsionovich) Milner (russian: Ю́рий Бори́сович Бенцио́нович Ми́льнер; born 11 November 1961) is a Russian People, Russian-Israelis, Israeli entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist. Mil ...

Yuri Milner
. The first on the ''Forbes'' wealth index, Bezos was named the "richest man in modern history" after his
net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and no ...
increased to $150 billion in July 2018. In August 2020, according to ''Forbes'', he had a net worth exceeding $200 billion. In 2020 during the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
, his wealth grew by approximately $24 billion. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as the CEO of Amazon and transitioned into the role of executive chairman;
Andy Jassy Andrew R. Jassy (born January 13, 1968) is an American businessman and the CEO of Amazon Web Services. He is also one of the minority owners of the Seattle Kraken of the National Hockey League. Jassy has led AWS since its inception in 2003. He wi ...
, the chief of Amazon's cloud computing division, replaced Bezos as the CEO of Amazon. On July 20, 2021, he flew to space alongside his brother
Mark Mark may refer to: Currency * Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark The Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bo ...
. The
suborbital flight A sub-orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches outer space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the primary (astronomy), gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it will not comple ...
lasted over 10 minutes, reaching a peak altitude of .


Early life

Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen was born in
Albuquerque, New Mexico Albuquerque ( , ), ; kee, Arawageeki; tow, Vakêêke; zun, Alo:ke:k'ya; apj, Gołgéeki'yé. abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejica ...
, on January 12, 1964, the son of Jacklyn (née Gise) and Theodore Jorgensen. At the time of Jeffrey's birth, his mother was a 17-year-old high school student and his father was 19 years old. Theodore Jorgensen had ancestry from Denmark and was born in Chicago to a family of Baptists. After completing high school despite challenging conditions, Jacklyn attended night school while bringing Jeffrey along as a baby. After his parents divorced, his mother married Cuban immigrant Miguel "Mike" Bezos in April 1968. Shortly after the wedding, Mike adopted four-year-old Jeffrey, whose surname was then legally changed from Jorgensen to Bezos. After Mike had received his degree from the
University of New Mexico The University of New Mexico (UNM; es, Universidad de Nuevo México) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An or ...

University of New Mexico
, the family moved to
Houston, Texas Houston ( ) is the most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities pr ...
, so that he could begin working as an engineer for
Exxon Exxon is the brand A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition ...
. Jeff Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from fourth to sixth grade. Bezos' maternal grandfather was Lawrence Preston Gise, a regional director of the
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission with AEC chair Lewis Strauss Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss ( "straws"; January 31, 1896January 21, 1974) was an American businessman, philanthropist, and naval officer who served two terms on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the sec ...
(AEC) in Albuquerque. Gise retired early to his family's ranch near
Cotulla, Texas Cotulla ( ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ...
, where Bezos would spend many summers in his youth. Bezos would later purchase this ranch and expand it from to . Bezos displayed scientific interests and technological proficiency, and once rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room. The family moved to
Miami, Florida Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a metropolis located in in southeastern , . With a population of 467,963 as of the , it is the 44th-largest city in the United States and the core of the nation's eighth-largest metropolitan area. Th ...

Miami, Florida
, where Bezos attended
Miami Palmetto High School , motto_translation = Strength through knowledge , established = , closed = , type = State school, Public secondary school, secondary , status = , category_label ...
. While Bezos was in high school, he worked at
McDonald's McDonald's is an American fast food Fast food is a type of Mass production, mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in food scie ...

McDonald's
as a short-order line cook during the breakfast shift. Bezos attended the Student Science Training Program at the
University of Florida The University of Florida (Florida or UF) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisati ...
. He was high school
valedictorian Valedictorian is an academic title of success used in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Ameri ...
, a
National Merit Scholar The National Merit Scholarship Program is a United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consis ...
, and a Silver Knight Award winner in 1982.Robinson (2010), p. 24 In his graduation speech, Bezos told the audience he dreamed of the day when mankind would colonize space. A local newspaper quoted his intention "to get all people off the earth and see it turned into a huge national park". In 1986, he graduated ''
summa cum laude Latin honors are a system of Latin phrases used in some colleges and universities to indicate the level of distinction with which an academic degree has been earned. The system is primarily used in the United States. It is also used in some Sou ...
'' from
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Princeton University
with a 4.2
GPA The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the SI derived unit SI derived units are units of measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event ...

GPA
and a
Bachelor of Science in Engineering A Bachelor of Engineering (abbreviated as B.E., B.Eng. or B.A.I. in Latin form) is a first professional undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically in ...
degree ( B.S.E.) in
electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical enginee ...

electrical engineering
and
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
; he was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While at Princeton, Bezos was a member of the Quadrangle Club, one of Princeton's 11 eating clubs. In addition, he was elected to
Tau Beta Pi The Tau Beta Pi Association (commonly Tau Beta Pi, , or TBP) is the oldest engineering honor society and the second oldest collegiate honor society in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the ...
and was the president of the Princeton chapter of the
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is an international student organization whose purpose is to drive space advocacy of space exploration Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore ...
(SEDS).


Business career


Early career

After Bezos graduated from college in 1986, he was offered jobs at
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
,
Bell Labs Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984)) is an American industrial research and scientific development company A company, ab ...
, and
Andersen Consulting Accenture plc is an Irish multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a s ...
, among others.Robinson (2010), p. 7 He first worked at Fitel, a
fintech Financial technology (abbreviated fintech or FinTech) is the technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techniques and ...

fintech
telecommunications start-up, where he was tasked with building a network for
international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscul ...
. Bezos was promoted to head of development and director of customer service thereafter. He transitioned into the banking industry when he became a product manager at
Bankers Trust Bankers Trust was a historic American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Uni ...
. He worked there from 1988 to 1990. He then joined D. E. Shaw & Co, a newly founded
hedge fund A hedge fund is a pooled investment fund Image:Financial info.jpg, The values and performance of collective funds are listed in newspapers. An investment fund is a way of investment, investing money alongside other investors in order to benefit ...
with a strong emphasis on mathematical modelling in 1990 and worked there until 1994. Bezos became D. E. Shaw's fourth senior vice-president at age 30.


Amazon

In late 1993, Bezos decided to establish an
online bookstore Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy good (economics), goods or Service (economics), services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser or a mobile app. Consumers find a product of inte ...
. He left his job at D. E. Shaw and founded
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
in his garage on July 5, 1994, after writing its
business plan A business plan is a formal written document containing the goals of a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simpl ...

business plan
on a cross-country drive from New York City to
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
. Prior to settling on Seattle, Bezos had investigated setting up his company at an
Indian reservation An Indian reservation is an area of land tenure In common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of ...

Indian reservation
near
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
in order to avoid paying taxes. Bezos initially named his new company ''Cadabra'' but later changed the name to ''Amazon'' after the
Amazon River The Amazon River (, ; es, Río Amazonas, pt, Rio Amazonas) in South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern of a single con ...

Amazon River
in South America, in part because the name begins with the letter ''A'', which is at the beginning of the alphabet. At the time, website listings were alphabetized, so a name starting with "A" would appear sooner when customers conducted online searches. In addition, he regarded "Amazon," the name of the world's largest river as fitting for what he hoped would become the world's largest online bookstore. He accepted an estimated $300,000 from his parents and invested in Amazon. He warned many early investors that there was a 70% chance that Amazon would fail or go bankrupt. Although Amazon was originally an online bookstore, Bezos had always planned to expand to other products. Three years after Bezos founded Amazon, he took it public with an
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock launch is a public offering A public offering is the offering of securities A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal defi ...
(IPO). In response to critical reports from ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
'' and '' Barron's'', Bezos maintained that the growth of the Internet would overtake competition from larger book retailers such as Borders and
Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble, Inc., is an American Bookselling, bookseller. It is a Fortune 1000 company and the bookseller with the largest number of retail outlets in the United States. As of March 7, 2019, the company operates 627 retail stores in a ...
. In 1998, Bezos diversified into the online sale of music and video, and by the end of the year he had expanded the company's products to include a variety of other
consumer goods A final good or consumer good is a final product In Production (economics), production, a final product, or finished product is a product (business), product that is ready for sale.Wouters, Mark; Selto, Frank H.; Hilton, Ronald W.; Maher, Michae ...
. Bezos used the $54 million raised during the company's 1997 equity offering to finance aggressive acquisition of smaller competitors. In 2000, Bezos borrowed $2 billion from banks, as its cash balances dipped to only $350 million. In 2002, Bezos led Amazon to launch
Amazon Web Services Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of an ...
, which compiled data from weather channels and . In late 2002, rapid spending from Amazon caused it financial distress when revenues stagnated. After the company nearly went bankrupt, he closed distribution centers and laid off 14% of the Amazon workforce. In 2003, Amazon rebounded from financial instability and turned a profit of $400 million. In November 2007, Bezos launched the
Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle is a series of e-reader An e-reader, also called an e-book reader or e-book device, is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), ...
. According to a 2008 ''
Time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...
'' profile, Bezos wished to create a device that allowed a " flow state" in reading similar to the experience of video games. In 2013, Bezos secured a $600-million contract with the
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
(CIA) on behalf of Amazon Web Services. In October of that year, Amazon was recognized as the largest online shopping retailer in the world. In May 2016, Bezos sold slightly more than one million shares of his holdings in the company for $671 million, the largest sum he had ever raised from selling some of his Amazon stock. On August 4, 2016, Bezos sold another million of his shares for $756.7 million. A year later, Bezos took on 130,000 new employees when he ramped up hiring at company distribution centers. By January 19, 2018, his Amazon stock holdings had appreciated to slightly over $109 billion; months later he began to sell stock to raise cash for other enterprises, in particular,
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and ...
. On January 29, 2018, he was featured in Amazon's
Super Bowl commercial Super Bowl commercials, colloquially known as Super Bowl ads, are high-profile television commercials A television advertisement (also called a television commercial, commercial, advert, TV advert or simply an ad) is a span of television progr ...
. On February 1, 2018, Amazon reported its highest ever profit with quarterly
earnings Earnings are the net benefits of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law ...
of $2 billion. Due to the growth of
Alibaba Ali Baba (character), Ali Baba is a character from the folk tale ''Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves''. Ali Baba may also refer to: Films * Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1902 film), ''Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'' (1902 film), a French film di ...
in China, Bezos has often expressed interest in expanding Amazon into
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. On July 27, 2017, Bezos momentarily became the world's wealthiest person over
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
co-founder
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term character ...
when his estimated
net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and no ...
increased to just over $90 billion. His wealth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on November 24, 2017, and he was formally designated the wealthiest person in the world by ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
'' on March 6, 2018, with a net worth of $112 billion. In March 2018, Bezos dispatched Amit Agarwal, Amazon's global senior vice president, to India with $5.5 billion to localize operations throughout the company's
supply chain In commerce, a supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in supplying a product (business), product or service (business), service to a consumer. Supply chain activities involve the transfo ...

supply chain
routes. Later in the month, U.S. President
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective reci ...

Donald Trump
accused Amazon and Bezos, specifically of
sales tax A sales tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
avoidance, misusing , and
anti-competitive Anti-competitive practices are business or government practices that unlawfully prevent or reduce competition Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result tha ...
business practices. Amazon's share price fell by 9% in response to the President's negative comments; this reduced Bezos's personal wealth by $10.7 billion. Weeks later, Bezos recouped his losses when academic reports out of
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
indicated that Trump could do little to regulate Amazon in any meaningful way. During July 2018, a number of members of the U.S. Congress called on Bezos to detail the applications of Amazon's
face recognition A facial recognition system is a technology capable of matching a human face The face is the front of an animal's head that features three of the head's sense organs, the eyes, nose, and mouth, and through which animals express many of their ...
software, Rekognition. Criticism of Amazon's business practices continued in September 2018 when Senator
Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (born September8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the Seniority in the United States Senate, junior United States Senate, United States senator from Vermont since 2007 and as U.S. Representative for the sta ...

Bernie Sanders
introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act and accused Amazon of receiving
corporate welfare Corporate welfare is often used to describe a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government no ...
. This followed revelations by the non-profit group New Food Economy which found that one third of Amazon workers in
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
, and one tenth of Amazon workers in
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
and
Ohio Ohio () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

Ohio
, relied on food stamps. While preparing to introduce the bill, Sanders opined: "Instead of attempting to explore Mars or go to the moon, how about Jeff Bezos pays his workers a living wage?" He later said: "Bezos could play a profound role. If he said today, nobody who is employed at Amazon will receive less than a living wage, it would send a message to every corporation in America." Sanders's efforts elicited a response from Amazon which pointed to the 130,000 jobs it created in 2017 and called the $28,446 figure for its median salary "misleading" as it included part-time workers. However, Sanders countered that the companies targeted by his proposal have placed an increased focus on part-time workers to escape benefit obligations. On October 2, 2018, Bezos announced a company-wide wage increase, which Sanders applauded. The American workers who were being paid the minimum wage had this increased to $15 per hour, a decision that was interpreted as support for the Fight for $15 movement. In February 2021, Bezos announced that in the
third quarter The lunar phase or Moon phase is the shape of the Moon's directly sunlit portion as viewed from Earth. The lunar phases gradually change over a Orbital_period#Synodic_period, synodic month (about 29.53 days) as the Moon's orbital positions aro ...
of 2021 he would step down from his role as CEO of Amazon, to become the Executive Chairman of the Amazon Board. He will be replaced as CEO by
Andy Jassy Andrew R. Jassy (born January 13, 1968) is an American businessman and the CEO of Amazon Web Services. He is also one of the minority owners of the Seattle Kraken of the National Hockey League. Jassy has led AWS since its inception in 2003. He wi ...
. On February 2, 2021, Bezos sent an email to all Amazon employees, telling them the transition would give him "the time and energy need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund,
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and ...
,
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
, and other passions." In his final letter to Amazon shareholders, Bezos quoted geneticist
Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins (born 26 March 1941) is a British evolutionary biology, evolutionary biologist and author. He is an Oxford fellow, emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford and was Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Prof ...

Richard Dawkins
thus: "Staving off death is a thing that you have to work at... If living things don't actively work to prevent it, they would eventually merge with their surroundings and cease to exist as autonomous beings. That is what happens when they die."


Blue Origin

In September 2000, Bezos founded
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and ...
, a
human spaceflight Human spaceflight (also referred to as manned spaceflight or crewed spaceflight) is spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with o ...

human spaceflight
. Bezos has long expressed an interest in space travel and the development of human life in the Solar System. He was the
valedictorian Valedictorian is an academic title of success used in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North Ameri ...
when he graduated from high school in 1982. His speech was followed up with a ''
Miami Herald The ''Miami Herald'' is an American daily owned by and headquartered in , a western and the , several miles west of downtown .
Miami Herald
'' interview in which he expressed an interest to build and develop hotels, amusement parks, and colonies for human beings who were in orbit. The 18-year-old Bezos stated that he wanted to preserve Earth from overuse through
resource depletion Resource depletion is the consumption of a resource faster than it can be replenished. Natural resource Natural resources are resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our nee ...
. Rob Meyerson led Blue Origin from 2003 to 2017 and served as its first president. After its founding, Blue Origin maintained a low profile until 2006 when it purchased a large tract of land in
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semi-arid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texas, ...
for a launch and test facility. After the company gained the public's attention during the late 2000s, Bezos additionally indicated his interest in reducing the for humans while also increasing the safety of extraterrestrial travel. In September 2011, one of the company's unmanned prototype vehicles crashed during a short-hop test flight. Although the crash was viewed as a setback, news outlets noted how far the company went from its founding-to-date in advancing
spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer space, either human spaceflight, with or uncrewed spaceflight, without humans on board. Most spaceflight is uncrewed and conducted mainly wit ...
. After the crash, Bezos has been superstitiously wearing his "lucky" Texas
Cowboy boots Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot A riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle The saddle is a supportive structure f ...

Cowboy boots
to all rocket launches. In May 2013, Bezos met with
Richard Branson Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British business magnate, entrepreneur, investor, and author. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Branson expre ...

Richard Branson
, chairman of
Virgin Galactic Virgin Galactic is an American spaceflight company founded by Richard Branson and his United Kingdom, British Virgin Group retains an 11.9% stake through Virgin Investments Limited. It is headquartered in California, United States, USA, and oper ...
, to discuss commercial spaceflight opportunities and strategies. He has been compared to Branson and
Elon Musk Elon Reeve Musk (; born June 28, 1971) is an entrepreneur and business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term characteris ...

Elon Musk
as all three are billionaires who prioritize spaceflight among their business interests. In 2015, Bezos announced that a new
orbital launch vehicle File:Soyuz TMA-5 launch.jpg, Russian Soyuz TMA-5 lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan heading for the International Space Station A launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket engine, rocket-propelled vehicle used to carry a ...
was under development and would make its first flight in the late-2010s. Later in November, Blue Origin's
New Shepard New Shepard is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), crew-rated suborbital A sub-orbital spaceflight is a spaceflight Spaceflight (or space flight) is an application of astronautics to fly spacecraft into or through outer spa ...
space vehicle successfully rocketed into space and reached its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet (100.5 kilometers) before executing a VTVL, vertical landing back at the launch site in West Texas. In 2016, Bezos allowed select journalists to visit, tour, and photograph his facility. He has repeatedly called for increased inter-space energy and industrial manufacturing to decrease the negative costs associated with Pollution, business-related pollution. In December 2017, New Shepard successfully flew and landed Crash test dummy, dummy passengers, amending and pushing its human space travel start date into late 2018. To execute this program, Blue Origin built 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. Since 2016, Bezos has spoken more freely about his hopes to Extraterrestrial life, colonize the solar system, and has been selling US$1 billion in Amazon stock each year to capitalize Blue Origin in an effort to support this endeavor. In May 2018, Bezos maintained that the primary goal of Blue Origin is to preserve the Natural resource, natural resources of Earth by making the human species Extraterrestrial life, multi-planetary. He announced that ''New Shepard'' would begin transporting humans into Sub-orbital spaceflight, sub-orbital space by November 2018. In July 2018, it was announced that Bezos had priced commercial spaceflight tickets from $200,000 to $300,000 per person. On July 20, 2021, he launched on the NS-16 mission with his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen. He launched nine days after
Richard Branson Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British business magnate, entrepreneur, investor, and author. In the 1970s he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Branson expre ...

Richard Branson
launched onboard The Virgin Galactic Unity 22 mission.


''The Washington Post''

On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of ''
The Washington Post ''The Washington Post'' (also known as the ''Post'' and, informally, ''WaPo'') is an American daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is ...

The Washington Post
'' for $250 million in cash, at the suggestion of his friend, Donald E. Graham, Don Graham. To execute the sale, he established limited liability company Nash Holdings to serve as a holding company through which he would own the newspaper. The sale closed on October 1, 2013, and Nash Holdings took control. In March 2014, Bezos made his first significant change at ''The Washington Post'' and lifted the online paywall for subscribers of a number of U.S. local newspapers in Texas, Hawaii, and Minnesota. In January 2016, Bezos set out to reinvent the newspaper as a media and technology company by reconstructing its digital media, mobile platforms, and analytics software. Throughout the early years of ownership, Bezos was accused of having a potential conflict of interest with the paper. Bezos and the newspaper's editorial board have dismissed accusations that he unfairly controlled the paper's content and Bezos maintains the paper's independence. After a surge in online readership in 2016, the paper was profitable for the first time since Bezos made the purchase in 2013.


Bezos Expeditions

Bezos makes personal investments through his
venture capital Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity Private equity (PE) typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded. Private equity is a ty ...
vehicle, Bezos Expeditions. He was one of the first investor, shareholders in Google, when he invested $250,000 in 1998. That $250,000 investment resulted in 3.3 million shares of Google stock, worth about $3.1 billion in 2017. He also invested in Unity Biotechnology, a life-extension research firm hoping to slow or stop the process of aging. Bezos is involved in the healthcare sector, which includes investments in Unity Biotechnology, GRAIL (company), GRAIL, Juno Therapeutics, and Zocdoc. In January 2018, an announcement was made concerning Bezos's role within a new, unnamed healthcare company. This venture, later named Haven (healthcare), Haven, is expected to be a partnership between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway. Bezos also supports philanthropic efforts through direct donations and non-profit projects funded by Bezos Expeditions. Bezos used Bezos Expeditions to fund several philanthropic projects, including an Innovation center at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry and the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics at Princeton Neuroscience Institute. In 2013, Bezos Expeditions funded the 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, S-1C stage from July 1969. The engines are currently on display at the Museum of Flight, Seattle Museum of Flight.


Altos Labs

In September 2021, Bezos co-founded Altos Labs with Mail.ru founder
Yuri Milner Yuri Borisovich (Bentsionovich) Milner (russian: Ю́рий Бори́сович Бенцио́нович Ми́льнер; born 11 November 1961) is a Russian People, Russian-Israelis, Israeli entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist. Mil ...

Yuri Milner
. Altos Labs is a generously-funded
biotechnology company Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientific fields. In the late 20th and early 21st c ...
dedicated to harnessing Induced pluripotent stem cells, cellular reprogramming to develop Life extension, longevity therapeutics. The company has recruited prominent scientists such as Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte (known for work on rejuvenation through reprogramming), Steve Horvath (known for work in epigenetic clock, epigenetic aging clocks), and Shinya Yamanaka (the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, Nobel Prize-winning inventor of cellular reprogramming in mammalian cells).


Public image

Journalist Nellie Bowles of ''The New York Times'' has described the Persona, public persona and personality of Bezos as that of "a brilliant but mysterious and coldblooded corporate titan". During the 1990s, Bezos earned a reputation for relentlessly pushing Amazon forward, often at the expense of Charitable organization, public charity and social welfare. Journalist Mark O'Connell criticized Bezos' relentless customer focus as "very small" in terms of impact on humanity as a whole, a sentiment technologist Tim O'Reilly agreed with. His business practices projected a public image of prudence and parsimony with his own wealth and that of Amazon. Bezos was a multi-billionaire who drove a 1996 Honda Accord. Throughout the early 2000s, he was perceived to be geeky or nerdy. Bezos was seen by some as needlessly quantitative and data-driven. This perception was detailed by Alan Deutschman, who described him as "talking in lists" and "[enumerating] the criteria, in order of importance, for every decision he has made." Select accounts of his persona have drawn controversy and public attention. Notably, journalist Brad Stone wrote The Everything Store, a book that described Bezos as a demanding boss as well as Competition (companies), hyper-competitive, and opined that Bezos perhaps "bet the biggest on the Internet" than anyone else. Bezos has been characterized as a notoriously opportunistic CEO who operates with little concern for obstacles and Externality, externalities. During the early 2010s, Bezos solidified his reputation for aggressive business practices, and his public image began to shift. Bezos started to wear Tailor, tailored clothing; he Weight training, weight trained, pursued a regimented diet and began to freely spend his money. His physical transformation has been compared to the transformation of Amazon; he is often referred to as the metonym of the company. His physical appearance increased the public's perception of him as a symbolically dominant figure in business and in popular culture, wherein he has been Parody, parodied as an enterprising supervillain. Since 2017, he has been portrayed by Kyle Mooney and Steve Carell on ''Saturday Night Live'', usually as an undercutting, domineering figure. In May 2014, the International Trade Union Confederation named Bezos the "World's Worst Boss", with its general secretary Sharan Burrow saying: "Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are promoting the North American corporate model", while in 2019, Harvard Business Review, which ranked Bezos the best-performing CEO for 4 years in a row since 2014, did not rank him even in the top 100 citing Amazon's "relatively low ESG (Corporate environmental responsibility, environment, Corporate social responsibility, social, and Corporate governance, governance) scores" that reflect "risks created by Occupational stress, working conditions and employment policies, data security, and antitrust issues." During the late 2010s, Bezos reversed his reputation for being reluctant to spend money on non-business-related expenses. His relative lack of philanthropy compared to other billionaires has drawn a negative response from the public since 2016. Bezos has been known to publicly contest claims made in critical articles, as exemplified in 2015 when he sent a memo to employees denouncing a ''New York Times'' piece.


Leadership style

Bezos used what he called a "regret-minimization framework" while he worked at D. E. Shaw & Co., D. E. Shaw and again during the early years of Amazon. He described this Lebensphilosophie, life philosophy by stating: "When I'm 80, am I going to regret leaving Wall Street? No. Will I regret missing the beginning of the Internet? Yes." During the 1990s and early 2000s at Amazon, he was characterized as trying to quantify all aspects of running the company, often listing employees on spreadsheets and basing executive decisions on data. To push Amazon forward, Bezos developed the mantra "Get Big Fast", establishing the company's need to Economies of scale, scale its operations to produce market dominance. He favored diverting Amazon profits back into the company in lieu of allocating it amongst shareholders in the form of dividends. Bezos uses the term "work–life harmony" instead of the more standard "work–life balance" because he believes that ''balance'' implies that you can only have one and not the other. He believes that work and home life are interconnected, informing and calibrating each other. Journalist Walt Mossberg dubbed the idea that someone who cannot tolerate criticism or critique shouldn't do anything new or interesting "q:Jeff Bezos, The Bezos Principle". Bezos does not schedule early morning meetings and enforces a two-pizza rule—a preference that meetings are small enough for two pizzas to feed everyone in the board room. When interviewing candidates for jobs at Amazon he has stated he considers three inquiries: can he admire the person, can the person raise the Status quo, common standard, and under what circumstances could the person become exemplary. He meets with Amazon investors for a total of only six hours a year. Instead of using presentation program, presentation slides, Bezos requires high-level employees to present information with six-page narratives. Starting in 1998, Bezos publishes an annual letter for Amazon shareholders wherein he frequently refers to five principles: focus on customers not competitors, take risks for Market share, market leadership, facilitate staff morale, build a Organizational culture, company culture, and empower people. Bezos maintains the email address jeff@amazon.com as an outlet for customers to reach out to him and the company. Although he does not respond to the emails, he forwards some of them with a question mark in the subject line to executives who attempt to address the issues. Bezos has cited Jeff Immelt (of New Enterprise Associates), Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway), Jamie Dimon (of JPMorgan Chase), and Bob Iger (of The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney) as major influences on his leadership style. Bezos is known for creating an adversarial environment at Amazon, as well as insulting and verbally abusing his employees. As journalist Brad Stone (journalist), Brad Stone revealed in his book ''The Everything Store'', Bezos issued remarks to his employees such as "I'm sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?", "Are you lazy or just incompetent?", and "Why are you ruining my life?". Additionally, Bezos reportedly pitted Amazon teams against each other, and once declined to give Amazon employees city bus passes in order to discourage them from leaving the office.


Recognition

* In 1999, Bezos received his first major award when ''
Time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...
'' named him Time Person of the Year, Person of the Year. * 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 Amazon Kindle is a series of e-reader An e-reader, also called an e-book reader or e-book device, is a mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-book An ebook (short for electronic book), ...
. * In 2012, Bezos was named Businessperson of the Year by ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
''. * He is also a member of the Bilderberg Group and attended the 2011 Bilderberg conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the 2013 Bilderberg Conference, 2013 conference in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. He was a member of the Executive Committee of The Business Council for 2011 and 2012. * 2014–2018, he was ranked the best-performing CEO in the world by ''Harvard Business Review''. * He has also figured in ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
''s list of 50 great leaders of the world for three straight years, topping the list in 2015. * In September 2016, Bezos received a $250,000 prize for winning the Heinlein Prize for Advances in Space Commercialization, which he donated to the
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is an international student organization whose purpose is to drive space advocacy of space exploration Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore ...
. * In February 2018, Bezos was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for "leadership and innovation in space exploration, autonomous systems, and building a commercial pathway for human space flight". * In March 2018, at the Explorers Club annual dinner, he was awarded the Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award in recognition of his work with
Blue Origin Blue Origin, LLC is an American private spaceflight, privately funded aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Kent, Washington. Founded in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the company is led by CEO Bob Smith and ...
. * He received Germany's 2018 Axel Springer Award for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility. ''
Time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future. It is a component quantity of various me ...
'' magazine named him one of the Time 100, 100 most influential people in the world on five separate occasions between 2008 and 2018.


Wealth

Bezos first became a millionaire in 1997 after raising $54 million through Amazon's
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock launch is a public offering A public offering is the offering of securities A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal defi ...
(IPO). He was first included on the ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family The Forbes family is one of the Boston Brahmins—a wealthy extended American family long prominent in Boston, Massachusett ...

Forbes
'' ''World's Billionaires'' list in 1999 with a registered
net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and no ...
of $10.1 billion. His net worth decreased to $6.1 billion a year later, a 40.5% drop. His wealth plummeted even more the following year, dropping 66.6% to $2.0 billion. He lost $500 million the following year, which brought his net worth down to $1.5 billion. The following year, his net worth increased by 66.66% to $2.5 billion. From 2005 to 2007, he quadrupled his net worth to $8.7 billion. After Financial crisis of 2007–2008, the financial crisis and Great Recession, succeeding economic recession, his net worth would decrease to $6.8 billion—a 17.7% drop. His wealth rose by 85.2% in 2010, leaving him with $12.6 billion. This percentage increase ascended him to the 43rd spot on the ranking from 68th. After a rumor broke out that Amazon was developing a smartphone, Bezos's net worth rose to $30.5 billion in 2014. A year later, Bezos entered the top ten when he increased his net worth to a total of $50.3 billion. Bezos rose to be the 5th richest person in the world hours before Stock market, market close; he gained $7 billion in one hour. By the time the ''Forbes'' list was calculated in March 2016, his net worth was registered at $45.2 billion. However, just months later in October 2016, his wealth increased by $16.2 billion to $66.5 billion unofficially ranking him the third richest person in the world behind Warren Buffett. After sporadic jumps in Amazon's share price, in July 2017 he briefly unseated
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
cofounder
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term character ...
as the wealthiest person in the world. Bezos would continue to sporadically surpass Gates throughout the month of October 2017 after Amazon's share price fluctuated. His net worth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on November 24, 2017, after Amazon's share price increased by more than 2.5%. When the 2017 list was issued, Bezos's net worth was registered at $72.8 billion, adding $27.6 billion from the previous year. Bezos was officially ranked as the third wealthiest person in the world up from the 5th spot in 2016. His wealth's rapid growth from 2016 to 2017 sparked a variety of assessments about how much money Bezos earned on a controlled, reduced time scale. On October 10, 2017, he made an estimated $6.24 billion in 5 minutes, slightly less than the annual Gross Domestic Product of Kyrgyzstan. On March 6, 2018, Bezos was designated the The World's Billionaires, wealthiest person in the world with a registered net worth of $112 billion. He unseated Bill Gates ($90 billion) who was $6 billion ahead of Warren Buffett ($84 billion), ranked third. He is considered the first registered Billionaire, centi-billionaire (not Real versus nominal value (economics), adjusted for inflation). His wealth, in 2017–18 terms, equaled that of 2.7 million Americans. Bezos's net worth increased by $33.6 billion from January 2017 to January 2018. This increase outstripped the economic development (in GDP terms) of more than 96 countries around the world. During March 9, Bezos earned $230,000 every 60 seconds. ''The Motley Fool'' estimated that if Bezos had not sold any of his shares from its original public offering in 1997, his net worth would sit at $181 billion in 2018. According to ''Quartz (publication), Quartz'', his net worth of $150 billion in July 2018 was enough to purchase the entire stock markets of Nigeria, Hungary, Egypt, Luxembourg, and Iran. Following the report by ''Quartz'', Amazon workers in Poland, (Germany), and Spain participated in demonstrations and Strike action, labor strikes to draw attention to his growing wealth and the lack of compensation, labor rights, and satisfactory working conditions of select Amazon workers. On July 17, 2018, he was designated the "wealthiest person in modern history" by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, ''Fortune'', ''MarketWatch'', ''The Wall Street Journal'', and ''Forbes''. In 2019, Bezos's wealth was reduced by his divorce from his wife MacKenzie Bezos. According to ''Forbes'', had the Washington state common law applied to their divorce without a prenuptial agreement, Bezos's wealth could have been equitably divided with his ex-wife; however, she eventually received 25% of Bezos's Amazon shares, valued at approximately $36 billion, making her the third richest woman in the world. Bezos retained his interest in ''The Washington Post'' and Blue Origin, as well as voting control of the shares received by his ex-wife. In June 2019, Bezos purchased three adjoining apartments overlooking Madison Square Park in Manhattan, including a penthouse apartment, penthouse, for a combined total of US$80 million, making this one of the most expensive real estate purchases within New York City in 2019. In February 2020, Bezos purchased the Jack Warner Estate, Warner Estate from David Geffen for $165 million, a record price paid for a residence in the Los Angeles area. The previous record high price of $150 million was paid by Lachlan Murdoch for the Chartwell Mansion. During the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
, it was reported that Bezos's fortune had grown by $24 billion, citing a surge in demand from households on lockdown shopping on Amazon.


Personal life

In 1992, Bezos was working for D. E. Shaw in Manhattan when he met novelist MacKenzie Bezos, MacKenzie Tuttle, who was a research associate at the firm; the couple married a year later. In 1994, they moved across the country to Seattle, Seattle, Washington, where Bezos founded Amazon. Bezos and his now ex-wife MacKenzie are the parents of four children: three sons, and one daughter adopted from China. In March 2003, Bezos was one of three passengers in a helicopter that crashed in
West Texas West Texas is a loosely defined part of the U.S. state of Texas, generally encompassing the desert climate, arid and semi-arid climate, semiarid lands west of a line drawn between the cities of Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Texas, ...
after the craft's Helicopter#Anti-torque, tail boom hit a tree. Bezos sustained minor injuries and was discharged from a local hospital the same day. In 2016, Bezos played a Starfleet official in the movie ''Star Trek Beyond'', and joined the cast and crew at a San Diego Comic-Con screening. He had lobbied Paramount Pictures, Paramount for the role apropos of Amazon Alexa, Alexa and his personal/professional interest in speech recognition. His one line consisted of a response to an alien in distress: "Speak Normally." In his initial discussion of the project which became Alexa with his technical advisor Greg Hart in 2011, Bezos told him that the goal was to create "the ''Star Trek'' computer." Bezos's family office Zefram LLC is named after Zefram Cochrane, a character from ''Star Trek''. On January 9, 2019, Bezos and MacKenzie announced on Twitter their intent to Divorce in the United States, divorce after a "long period" of separation. On April 4, 2019, the divorce was finalized, with Bezos keeping 75% of the couple's Amazon stock and MacKenzie getting the remaining 25% ($35.6 billion) in Amazon stock. However, Bezos would keep all of the couple's voting rights. On February 7, 2019, Bezos published an online essay in which he accused American Media, Inc. owner David Pecker of "extortion and blackmail" for threatening to publish intimate photos of Bezos and current girlfriend Lauren Sánchez if he did not stop his investigation into how his text messages and other photos had been leaked to the ''National Enquirer''.


Politics

According to public Campaign finance in the United States, campaign finance records, Bezos supported the electoral campaigns of Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, two Democratic Party (United States), Democratic U.S. senators from Washington. He has also supported Democrats U.S. representative John Conyers, as well as Patrick Leahy and Republican Spencer Abraham, U.S. senators serving on committees dealing with Internet-related issues. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos have supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, and in 2012 contributed $2.5 million to Washington United for Marriage, a group supporting a yes vote on Washington Referendum 74, which affirmed a same-sex marriage law enacted in the state. Bezos donated $100,000 towards a movement against a Washington state income tax in 2010 for "top earners". In 2012, he donated to Amazon's political action committee (PAC), which has given $56,000 and $74,500 to Democrats and Republicans, respectively. After the 2016 United States presidential election, 2016 presidential election, Bezos was invited to join
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective reci ...

Donald Trump
's Defense Innovation Advisory Board, an advisory council to improve the technology used by the United States Department of Defense, Defense Department. Trump has repeatedly attacked Bezos Donald Trump on Twitter, via Twitter, accused Bezos of avoiding corporate taxes, gaining undue political influence, and undermining his presidency by spreading "fake news". In 2014, Amazon won a bid for a
cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

cloud computing
contract with the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA valued at $600 million. A 2018, $10 billion contract known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project, this time with the United States Department of Defense, Pentagon, was allegedly written up in a way that favors Amazon. Controversy over this was raised when General James Mattis accepted a headquarters tour invitation from Bezos and co-ordinated the deal through Sally Donnelly, a lobbyist who previously worked for Amazon. In November 2019, when the contract was awarded to Microsoft instead, Amazon filed a lawsuit with allegations that the bidding process was biased. On July 6, 2021, the Pentagon cancelled the JEDI contract with Microsoft, citing that “due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances, the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs.” Despite Bezos's support for an open borders policy towards immigrants, Amazon has actively marketed facial recognition software to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In 2019, a political action committee linked to Bezos spent over $1 million in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat the reelection bid of Seattle city council member and activist Kshama Sawant. On November 22, 2021, Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation to "to help expand the scope of programming that reaches emerging leaders," and requested the Barack Obama Presidential Center, Obama Presidential Center's plaza to be named after John Lewis.


Saudi hacking claim

In March 2018, Bezos met in Seattle with Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, to discuss investment opportunities for Saudi Vision 2030. In March 2019, Bezos's security consultant accused the Saudi government of Phone hacking, hacking Bezos's phone. According to BBC, Bezos's top security staffer, Gavin de Becker, "linked the hack to the ''Washington Post''s coverage of the murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul". Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident was employed as a writer at the ''Washington Post'', owned by Bezos. Khashoggi was killed in late 2018, in Turkey's Saudi consulate for his critical stance and journalism against the Saudi government and its leader. In January 2020, ''The Guardian'' reported that the hack was initiated before the murder but after Khashoggi wrote critically about the crown prince in the ''Washington Post''. Forensic analysis of Bezos's mobile phone conducted by advisory firm FTI Consulting, concluded it "highly probable" that the hack was achieved using a malicious file hidden in a video sent in a WhatsApp message to Bezos from the personal account of the crown prince on May 1, 2018. Saudi Arabia has denied the claim.


Philanthropy

Bezos donated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center several times between 2009 and 2017. In 2013, he pledged $500,000 to Worldreader, a non-profit founded by a former Amazon employee. In September 2018, ''Business Insider'' reported that Bezos was the only one of the top five billionaires in the world who had not signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourages wealthy people to give away a majority of their wealth. That same month, Janet Camarena, director of transparency initiatives at Foundation Center, was quoted by CNBC as having questions about Bezos's new , including the fund's structure and how exactly it will be funded. In May 2017, Bezos gave $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which provides pro bono legal services for American journalists. On June 15, 2017, he posted a message on Twitter asking for ideas for philanthropy: "I'm thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time—working on the long term". At the time of the post, Bezos's lifetime spending on charitable causes was estimated to be $100 million. Multiple opinion columnists responded by asking Bezos to pay higher wages to Amazon warehouse workers. A year later in June, he tweeted that he would announce two philanthropic foci by the end of summer 2018. Bezos announced in September 2018 that he would commit approximately $2 billion to a fund to deal with Homelessness in the United States, American homelessness and establish a network of non-profit preschools for low income communities. As part of this announcement, he committed to establishing the "Day 1 Families Fund" to finance "Homeless shelter, night shelters and Child care, day care centers for homeless families" and the "Day 1 Academies Fund" for early childhood education. In January 2018, Bezos made a $33 million donation to TheDream.US, a college scholarship fund for Undocumented youth in the United States, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors. In June 2018, Bezos donated to Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a private philanthropic fund founded by
Bill Gates William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate A business magnate is someone who has achieved great success and enormous wealth through the ownership of multiple lines of enterprise. The term character ...
aimed at promoting Sustainable energy, emissions-free energy. In September 2018, Bezos donated $10 million to With Honor, a nonpartisan organization that works to increase the number of veterans in political office. In February 2020, Bezos pledged $10 billion to climate change mitigation, combat climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund. Later that year, in November, Bezos announced $791M of donations to established, well-known groups, with $100M each going to Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute and World Wildlife Fund, and the remainder going to 11 other groups. In April 2020, early in the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
, Bezos donated $100 million to food banks through Feeding America. In November 2021, Bezos pledged to donate $2 billion towards restructuring food systems and nature conservation at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.


See also

* List of Princeton University people, List of Princeton University alumni * List of richest Americans in history * Time Person of the Year#Persons of the Year, List of ''Time'' Person of the Year recipients * The World's Billionaires


Notes


References


Sources

*


Further reading

* * Davenport, Christian (2018). ''The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos''. PublicAffairs. . * * Fernholz, Tim (2018). ''Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race''. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. . * Leibovich, Mark. ''The New Imperialists'' (Prentice Hall, 2002) pp 55–10
online
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External links

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Bezos Expeditions

''Forbes'' Profile
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