Jeff Bezos is an internet entrepreneur, industrialist, media proprietor and investor. On July 5, 1994, he founded an online bookstore in his garage after writing his business plan on a cross-country road trip from New York City, New York, United States to Seattle, USA.
Initially, Bezos named the online bookstore Cadabra. He later changed it to Amazon after the Amazon River in Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
From selling books online, Amazon added other e-commerce products and services, which include video and audio streaming, cloud computing and AI and it went on to become the largest online sales company in the world. Here are 13 more facts about its founder:
- He was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA to Ted Jorgensen and Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen. Few years after his birth, his parents divorced.
- In 1968, he was adopted by his mother’s new husband Miguel “Mike” Bezos, an alumnus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
- His maternal grandfather Lawrence Preston Gise was a regional director of the S. Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. He is related to country singer George Strait through his maternal grandmother Mattie Louise Strait Gise.
- He attended Rivers Oaks Elementary School in Houston, Texas, USA and Miami Palmetto High School in Pinecrest, Florida, USA. He graduated as a high school valedictorian in 1982.
- While attending Miami Palmetto High School, he worked as a short-order line cook at McDonald’s.
- In 1986, he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He graduated summa cum laude with a 4.2 GPA.
- After graduating from Princeton University, he worked at fintech telecommunications startup Fitel. Initially tasked with building a network for international trade, he was promoted to head of development and director of customer service.
- He worked as a product manager at Bankers Trust from 1988 to 1990 and as a financial analyst at D.E. Shaw & Co. from 1990 to 1994.
- He married novelist MacKenzie Tuttle in 1993. They divorced in 2019. They have three biological sons and one daughter adopted from China.
- In 1997, he became a millionaire after raising $54 million through Amazon’s initial public offering.
- In 1999, Time magazine named him Person of the Year and was included on the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.
- He was 49 years old when he bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013.
- On February 17, 2020, he pledged $10 billion to combat climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund.