Biography of Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos | Net Worth | Property & Possession | Foundations

Business

Who doesn’t want to be rich? Everyone dreams of a day when they have everything just like Jeff Bezos. 

Jeffrey Preston Bezos also known as Jeff Bezos was born on 12 January 1964. He hasn’t been rich since birth. He had no family heritage to carry him into being the Second- Richest man on Earth. He turned everything into gold by his sheer dedication, hard work, decision-making skills, and talents.

He has expanded into wide-field areas. He is an American internet entrepreneur, industrialist, media proprietor, and investor. But most of all, he is famously known as the founder, CEO, and president of the multinational technology company Amazon. 

 

What is Jeff Bezos’s net worth?

Net Worth
Pc: el dinero

He is on the Forbes wealth index as the first Centi-billionaire. Jeff has managed to stay as the world’s richest man since 2017. He was also named as the “richest man in modern history” after crossing $150 billion of net worth in July 2018. Forbes stated Bezos as the first person in history to have a net worth of more than $200 billion. Today the net worth of Jeff Bezos stands at $197 billion.

 

Early life of Jeff Bezos

Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 12 January 1964. His biological parents were Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen. He was born to a teenage mother, 17 years old, who was still in high school. His biological father owned a bike shop. His mother married a Cuban immigrant Miguel “Mike” Bezos in April 1968 after divorce. Jeff was adopted by Mike when he was only four years old. After the adoption, his surname changed from Jorgensen to Bezos. The family later moved to Houston, Texas. 

 

Schooling and Education

Bezos was always a brilliant child and had various scientific interests. He had a technological proficiency which can be explained by one of his childhood incidents where he rigged an electric alarm just to keep his younger siblings away from his room.

In Miami, Bezos attended Miami Palmetto High School in nearby Pinecrest, Florida. He used to work at McDonald’s during his high school as a short-order line cook in the breakfast shift. At the University of Florida, he attended a training program named as Student Science program. Jeff also turned to be a high school valedictorian as well as a Silver Knight Award winner in 1982.

Bezos mentioned in his graduation speech that he dreamed of a day when humans will colonize space. Later, a local newspaper published about it as “to get all people off the earth and see it turned into a huge national park”. He graduated in 1986 summa cum laude from Princeton University. He scored a GPA of 4.2. Jeff also completed his degree in Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton. This was not the end of his educational achievements. He was also a member of the Phi Beta During his time at Princeton, Jeff was also a member of the Quadrangle Club. Bezos was selected as the president of the Princeton chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) and was elected as the Tau Beta Pi.

  

Jeff Bezos’s career

Well, the journey of Bezos began just like any other person, via a series of jobs. He was offered jobs at Intel, Bell Labs, and Andersen Consulting, but he decided to work at Fitel which was a telecommunications start-up. Bezos was given the task of building an international trade market network in the company. He was promoted to the position of director of customer service and head of development later. Jeff decided to shift into the banking industry and worked at Bankers Trust as a product manager. For a long duration of time, from 1988 to 1990, he worked there. In 1990, he switched to a newly founded hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co with a strong emphasis on mathematical modeling. Bezos kept working there till 1994. He was promoted to a senior vice president at the age of mere 30, the fourth in D.E. Shaw’s history.

 

How Jeff Bezos started Amazon?

How Amazon started
Pc: CNBC

Jeff Bezos’s journey to Amazon is full of ups and downs. A story that is worth telling. A motivating force that can be a guiding light for many aspiring to be exactly like him. 

After Bezos left his job at D.E. Shaw, he opened Amazon in his garage. It was July 5, 1994, when he first established Amazon, although the idea of it was budding in his head since 1993. It’s unbelievable, but he jotted down the Business plan for Amazon on a cross-country drive from New York City to Seattle. Initially, he lent money to his parents to invest in his startup. It was an estimated $300,000. 

Amazon began as an online bookstore, but Bezos always had bigger plans. After three years of Amazon’s foundation, Amazon was made public with an IPO i.e. initial public offering. Bezos always had high confidence in the power of the internet. He maintained his stand on the online retail of books and believed it to overtake competition from larger book retailers such as Borders and Barnes & Noble.

 

Diversification of Amazon

Bezos started diversifying Amazon into the online sale of music and video in 1998. By the end of the year, he was successfully able to expand into many other products and consumer goods. His company raised $54 million in 1997 during the company’s equity offering which he utilized to finance the aggressive acquisition of smaller competitors. 

Bezos launched Amazon kindle, a platform for avid readers in November 2007. Jeff wanted to create a single platform for reading in a constant flow just like the experience of video games. Bezos was given a contract by the CIA on behalf of Amazon Web services where he secured $600 million. In the same year, Amazon was recognized as one of the largest shopping retailers in the world.

Expansion to India

Bezos had planned expansion in India, especially since Alibaba was growing fast in China. Amazon’s global senior vice president, Amit Agarwal went to India in 2018 on Bezos’s request with an amount of $5.5 billion to localize operations of Amazon throughout the company’s supply chain routes.

 

Challenges faced by Amazon

Challenges faced by Amazon
Pc: Mint

In 2000, Bezos obtained $2 billion from banks, as it was facing a dip in the motto to just $350 million. In 2002, Bezos drove Amazon to dispatch Amazon Web Services, which accumulated information from climate channels and website traffic. In late 2002, fast spending from Amazon caused it budgetary trouble when its revenue deteriorated. At a point in time, the Company nearly went bankrupt leading to major steps taken by Bezos. He closed distribution centers and laid off 14% of the Amazon workforce. It seems like the end, the rock-bottom. However, in 2003 Amazon rebounded from the financial drop to score a huge profit of $400 million.

Donald Trump, Former U.S. President, accused Amazon and Bezos of sales tax avoidance, misusing postal routes, and anti-competitive business practices. Due to this serious accusation, the personal wealth of Bezos was adversely reduced by $10.7 billion. Later, when a report by Stanford University indicated that Trump can’t impact the regulation of Amazon, the losses started recouping.

  

In July 2018, various individuals from the U.S. Congress approached Bezos to explain the utilization of Amazon’s face recognition programming named Rekognition. Amazon procured the Landmark Theaters chain when Trump’s organization disturbed the antitrust law known as the Paramount Decree.

After a lot of criticism faced by Amazon, Bezos took a big decision on October 2, 2018. He announced a company-wide wage increase in the salary of his employees. The minimum wage of American workers increased to $15 per hour after this big step.

 

How Jeff Bezos became the richest man on Earth?

Bezos sold his one million shares from his company holdings in May 2016. This led him to $671 million, the largest amount he could ever have raised. Later on 4 August 2016, he sold more shares worth $756.7 million. Bezos hired new employees a year later. About 130,000 employees were hired for company distribution centers. By 2019, the stocks of Amazon reached over $109 billion, and he started selling stocks to raise cash which he invested in other enterprises. One of his major investments was in Blue Origin.

Richest man on earth
Pc: Wired

Amazon experienced its first-ever highest profit on 1 February 2018, reporting quarterly earnings of $2 billion. Although, Bezos became the world’s richest man for a short duration in 2017 when he surpassed the wealth of Bill Gates- Microsoft Co-founder. It was in 2018, March 6 when his wealth surpassed $112 billion and he was recognized by Forbes as the wealthiest person in the world.

 

Interesting Facts

  • Bezos initially named his company Cadabra. However, he changed it to Amazon later, inspired by the Amazon River in South America. Another reason for naming it Amazon was the Alphabet A that comes at the beginning of all other alphabets.
  • Initially, he wasn’t sure about Amazon’s success and warned all his investors that there was a 70% chance of Amazon failing or going bankrupt.

 

Properties owned by Jeff Bezos

212 Fifth Avenue Apartment, New York City:

This penthouse is known to be bought by Bezos for $80 million. It is a three-story building with two units built below it. It is one of the most expensive real estate deals south of 42nd Street.

Four Condos:

Besides the exclusive New York estate, Bezos owns four condos in the infamous Century Building, overlooking Central Park.

Jack Warner’s Estate:

This is said to be the most expensive deal ever made in real estate. The Beverly Hills home of Los Angeles cost $165 million. It’s spread in areas of nine-acre and originally belonged to Jack Warner of the Warner brothers. It is the highest mansion in Beverly Hills owned by Bezos. 

Medina:

Jeff has two estates in Washington with an estimated value of $60 million. One of them covers a private shoreline of 310 feet. 

Historic textile museum:

With a worth of $23 million, a textile museum is also owned by Bezos. It is converted into the neighborhood’s largest home- and even a 30,000-acre ranch in Texas.

 

Bezos’s Automobile collection

Cars owned by Bezos
Pc: Newsbreezer

Even after being the Richest man on Earth, Bezos is seen to drive around his car, mostly a used Honda Accord. Some hi-tech cars owned by him include:

Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio:

Priced at $3 million, this car is a perfect balance of advanced technology and human interface. 

Bugatti Veyron Mansory:

This is a limited edition car with beautiful craftsmanship and hand-picked materials. A perfect blend of both luxury and expert engineering. It costs $2 million – $4 million.

W Motors like Hyper Sport:

It is created by W motors, their first car that gained central attention in Universal Studios Furious 7. It is the most expensive car ever featured in ‘The Fast & The Furious’ Franchise. It costs $3.4 million.

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita:

Popularly known as ‘Diamond on Wheels’, it is known around the world for its perfection and Koenigsegg’s visible carbon weave bodywork. It costs $4.8 million.

Lamborghini Veneno:

It’s a perfect car for any sports car lover, costing $4.5 million. It combined the aerodynamic efficiency of a racing car.

 

Planes and Gadgets owned by Jeff Bezos

Gulfstream G650ER Jet:

Talking about a Trillionaire, Jet becomes a necessity. It’s a sign of wealth and success. Bezos owns The Gulfstream G650ER, one of the fastest jets in the world.

Mechanical 10000 years watch:

What is a wealthy person if he wears a simple watch? Well, Jeff knows how to set high standards. He recently commissioned the creation of a $42 million mechanical clock inside a mountain. It is said to run for 10000 years named ‘The Clock of The Long Now’.

Blue Origin Aerospace:

Now, planes and jets are a small thing for a man of Bezos’s caliber. He owns his aerospace passion project, “Blue Origin”. He is working continuously to make space travel affordable for some of his regular customers. The aim is to build a road to space utilizing reusable launch vehicles.

 

Bezos family foundation

Bezos Family Foundation is a non-profit and private organization that was established by Jackie and Mike Bezos, along with their family. Founded in the year 2000, the organization aims to prepare all the young people to achieve their potential so that they can make a significant contribution to society. The foundation has an international reach as it serves its clients worldwide. It invests in different programs, public awareness, and research so that it can elevate the level of education thereby improving the lives of many children.

The foundation is also adamant to improve the quality of early learning environments no matter where they are, at home, in informal care, or center-based settings. Bezos Family Foundation also partners with various organizations that assure magnificent innovations in K- 12.

 

Jeff Bezos Donations

donations
Pc: Bloomberg

It is often said that Jeff Bezos’s charitable efforts are very selective as compared to other billionaires. Although he is the richest man in the world his rank is still not high when it comes to doing donations and charity. 

Jeff donated $10 million to the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle in 2011. The money was used by the museum to form the Bezos Centre for innovation. In the next year, he donated $2.5 million to the Washington United for Marriage. It was a group that used to fight for marriage equality. In 2016, Bezos donated $1 million to Mary Place, a non-profit organization that provides housing to Seattle’s homeless. 

In February 2020, he has pledged to fight climate change by donating $10 billion. It is an attempt to help preserve and protect the natural world.

 

Jeff Bezos recent house

According to the reports by Wall Street Journal, Bezos is the new owner of the home of billionaire David Geffen. He has purchased this piece of Hollywood history by spending $165 million. This place has an interesting history. It was built in 1937 by Jack L. Warner, the co-founder and President of Warner Bros. Later, Geffen bought this house in 1990 for $47.5 million. It has been reported that it is the most expensive home ever sold in California. He and his wife spent nearly a year touring some mega-mansions and finally bought Warner’s estate. The house is 13,000 square feet with eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two guest houses, two infinity pools, and tennis courts.  

 

Bezos Leadership style

Leadership of Jeff Bezos
Pc: CNBC

As Jeff Bezos is the second-richest man on this planet, he always looks for innovations and experiments. He has always been a person who loves to plan things and deliver exceptional services through creativity.

His company is reaching heights because of its strong vision and desires. Bezos always plans his goals taking in mind its long-term consequences. His sole motive is to serve customers regardless of their purchasing power. Furthermore, Jeff uses a mental technique called the Feynman Technique for better delivery of messages. He believes that if a message is not delivered properly then it will lead to mistakes. He also believes that criticism and complaints will come in his way but a clear plan will help him to rectify him. He sticks to laid-out plans and goals.  

Jeff Bezos is a man of vision who strives for promoting his company and according to him, that is possible only if he knows how to deliver the products and services that satisfy the customers.

 

Conclusion

Men like Bezos are an inspiration for the upcoming generation. He made gold from nothing. A self-made man with an empire held in a tight grip of his hard work and dedication.

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