Jeff Bezos: A Biography

Jeff Preston Bezos is an American businessman and investor. Bezos is the founder and executive chairman of Amazon, having previously been the chairman, president and CEO of the company. With a net worth of more than $200 billion as of June 2021, he is the richest person in the world according to both Forbes and Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. He was born on 12th January 1964 in New Mexico and raised in Miami, Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986. He has a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, on a cross-country road trip from New York City to Seattle. The company began as an online bookstore and has since expanded to a wide variety of other e-commerce products and services, including video and audio streaming, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. It is currently the world’s largest online sales company, the largest Internet company by revenue, and the world’s largest provider of virtual assistants and cloud infrastructure services through its Amazon Web Services branch. He also purchased the major American newspaper The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million, and manages many other investments through his venture capital firm, Bezos Expeditions. Bezos founded the aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company Blue Origin in 2000. Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle reached space in 2015, and afterwards successfully landed back on Earth. The company has upcoming plans to begin commercial human spaceflight.

He is the first centi billionaire on the Forbes wealth index and was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth 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, Bezos’s wealth grew by approximately $24 billion. On February 2, 2021, Bezos announced that he would step down as the CEO of Amazon sometime in the third quarter of 2021 and transition into the role of executive chairman, officially stepping down on July 5, 2021. Andy Jassy has become the new CEO of Amazon.

Bezos has also invested very sizable sums in giving back through multiple charitable donations. In addition to the Bezos Family Foundation that funds several education projects, Bezos has made individual multimillion-dollar charitable contributions to the Seattle Museum of History & Industry as well as to his alma mater, Princeton University. In January 2018, Bezos and his ex-wife, MacKenzie, announced a $33 million donation to TheDreamUS, an organization working to improve college access for immigrant youths who were brought to the United States as children. The grant will provide college scholarships to 1,000 U.S. high school graduates with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

Two of Bezos’ investments that engender a lot of discussion and are considered a bit off-the-wall are the 10,000-year clock and the now-complete F-1 engine retrieval project. The 10,000-year clock project is an effort to build a clock into the side of the Sierra Diablo mountain range in Texas, a clock that literally keeps ticking for 10,000 years. The F-1 engine retrieval project was an effort to salvage from the ocean floor the engines that powered the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Enough artifacts were recovered to fashion displays out of two F-1 engines. Bezos is truly a great business mogul is this day and age.

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