From a McDonald’s boy to the founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world. The incredible rise of Jeff Bezos


Jeff Bezos was born in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a teenage mother. His father, Ted Jorgensen, left the family when Jeff was just one year old. His mother later remarried Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant, who adopted Jeff and gave him his last name.

After high school, Bezos attended Princeton University , majoring in electrical engineering and computer science. After graduation, he worked on Wall Street as a quantitative analyst. In 1990 he became the youngest vice president of the investment company DE Shaw & Co. Meanwhile, a few years earlier, precisely in 1980, Bezos worked in a McDonald’s where he fried hamburgers.

Amazon: the beginnings and its rise

The idea for Amazon was born in 1994 , when Bezos decided to take advantage of the rapid growth of the Internet to start an online business. He left his job in New York and moved to Seattle to start the new venture. He initially opened his doors as an online bookstore called “Cadabra” , but soon opted for the name “Amazon” in honor of the largest river in the world, hoping that his company would also become the largest in his field.

Garage where Bezos founded Amazon

Amazon launched in 1995 and began selling books over the Internet . Despite a rocky start, revenue quickly increased from $511,000 in 1995 to over $17 billion in 2011. Bezos wanted to harness the potential of the Internet to create the “world’s largest book store,” where customers could find virtually any title by ordering it conveniently online.

The idea was successful and in 1997 Amazon debuted on the stock exchange . As Amazon grew, Bezos continued to expand the business. Soon the company began selling music, movies, electronics, and many other products in addition to books. In 2006 he launched Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing division that today dominates the industry.

Today, Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, with more than 1.3 million employees and revenues of more than $486 billion in 2021. It is the world’s largest online retailer and the leader in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services. The company is worth over $1 trillion.

From Startup to Empire: How Jeff Bezos Became One of the Richest Men in the World

Bezos’ personal wealth is directly tied to this explosive growth. When Amazon went public in 1997 , shares were trading at $1.50 per share. Today they are at over $3,000. Jeff Bezos owns about 10% of Amazon, making his stake over $130 billion.

For 25 consecutive years, Bezos’ wealth has grown by approximately $4,000 per second, 24 hours a day . In 1999, one of Amazon’s early years, Bezos’ net worth was $10.1 billion. By the end of 2017, he had risen to $166 billion, making him the richest man in the world .

For a few years Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have been fighting for the title of the richest person in the world. At the end of 2017, Bezos had a net worth of $99.6 billion, surpassing Gates as the richest man on the planet. He held that title until 2021, when he was overtaken by Elon Musk with the rise of Tesla.

A curious photo of Jeff Bezos at the table with Elon Musk

Today, Jeff Bezos has a net worth of over $156 billion . This makes him one of the richest people in modern history. His massive fortune is due almost entirely to his stake in Amazon , the company he founded 27 years ago in his garage. Since July 5, 2021, Jeff Bezos is no longer the CEO of Amazon , a position he left to Andy Jassy, ​​deciding to remain within his company as executive president.

Jeff Bezos: space, divorce and charity

Despite his immense wealth, Bezos maintains a ‘relatively modest’ lifestyle compared to other billionaires. He lives primarily in Seattle and owns a $23 million home in Washington. He also has multiple properties in California, Texas, New York and Washington, DC.

One of his most famous purchases was the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million and he also owns the space company Blue Origin which is now worth a whopping $11.2 billion, the private investment holding company Bezos Expeditions which finances start-ups innovative in various sectors such as medicine, artificial intelligence and clean energy. As a personal whim, Jeff Bezos purchased a $500 million yacht and two private jets .

Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin

In January 2019, Bezos announced he was divorcing his wife Mackenzie after 25 years of marriage. She received 4% of Amazon’s shares following her divorce, worth about $36 billion, making her one of the richest women in the world.

Despite this pharaonic lifestyle, Bezos has also shown generosity by donating large sums to charity . In 2020, he donated $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change. He and ex-wife MacKenzie Scott signed the Giving Pledge , pledging to donate half of their wealth.

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