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We know that e-commerce is getting a lot of attention and Jeff Bezos is known for being the founder, chief executive officer (CEO), and head cheerleader for Amazon.com, a multibillion-dollar company.

Jeff Bezos life story is about the journey of investing  $1 million in capital, borrowing from friends and family, and making it one of the most successful businesses in the world. He revolutionized the way commerce is done on the Internet in just 5 years. 

Read to know more about the life of Jeff Bezos.

Who is Jeff Bezos?

Jeff Bezos entrepreneur

Jeff Bezos is an Entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer who founded the e-commerce company Amazon. He is the owner of The Washington Post and founder of the space exploration company Blue Origin. 

He has a net worth of 117.5 billion USD in 2022 being one of the wealthiest people in the world. He had an early love of computers and so he studied computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University. 

After graduating, he worked on Wall Street, and in 1990 he was appointed as the youngest senior vice president at the financial company D.E. Shaw. He resigned from his well-paying position after four years of working and launched Amazon.com which was then an online bookshop that became one of the most prominent success stories on the Internet.

Early life and education 

Jeff Bezos in 2005

Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born to a teenage mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and his biological father, Ted Jorgensen. And then they were married less than a year. But his parents divorced a year later, and since then he has never had contact with his biological father.

When Jeff Bezos was 4 years old, his mother remarried a Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos. After marriage, Jeff was legally adopted by Miguel Bezos. Jeff had a younger sister, Christina, and a brother, Mark. 

Much of Jeff Bezos’s ambition came from his new father who was raised in a catholic mission. Mike Bezos learned English and worked in various odd jobs to pay for his education at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque. The family then moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel became an engineer for Exxon. Jeff attended River Oaks Elementary School, Houston, from fourth to sixth grade.

After several years, Mike Bezos had another job transfer and brought them to Florida. There Jeff Bezos attended Palmetto High School in Miami. There he developed a love for computers and graduated valedictorian of his high school. He showed an early interest in how things work. 

In school, Jeff Bezos showed great interest in space-related classes and confidently claimed that the future of mankind is beyond Earth. He started his first business during high school the Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.

Bezos was popular in school and became class president and valedictorian in his senior year. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering.

The interest he had on innovation

Jeff Bezos always had the interest to figure out how things work.  He was so much interested and was busy trying to change the world from a very young age. He felt that he was too old to even sleep in a baby crib so he found a screwdriver and took the crip about.  And his family encouraged him. 

When his younger siblings learn to walk, they use to go into the brother’s room to find out all the fascinating toys.  So in order to warn that the children are coming, he attached an alarm to his bedroom door and made a loud buzzing sound when someone entered. 

When he was 12 years old,  he thought of getting something called an Infinity Cube which was a set of small motorized mirrors reflecting off one another so the image seemed to go endlessly. It cost $20 at that time but he did not have money to buy it so with what money he had, he purchased mirrors and others parts and constructed his own reflecting Cube. 

Due to his interest in computers, he turned his parent’s garage into a laboratory and installed electrical contraptions surrounding his house. He even built other inventions like amateur robots. And he had so much clutter in his bedroom that his parents made him move all the half-finished devices and experiments into the garage.

He spent many hours building models and an assortment of electronic kits and worked on science projects coming up with his own inventions.

Jeff Bezos Career

Jeff Bezos success story

He used to take up summer jobs where In June 1984, he took a summer job as a Programmer/Analyst in Norway, and the following year, he improved an IBM Program in California.

After graduation,  Jeff Bezos found employment on Wall Street. There computer science was increasingly in demand to study market trends.  He went to work at Fitel which was a startup company building a network to conduct international trade. He stayed in finance with Bankers Trust rising to the vice presidency. 

At D.E. Shaw,  which was a firm specializing in the application of computer science to the stock market.  Jeff Bezos was hired as much as for his overall Talent. He rose quickly at Shaw and became a senior vice president and was looking forward to a bright career in finance. 

His career in finance was extremely lucrative, but he decided to quit after four years. Jeff Bezos thought to make a risky move into the nascent world of e-commerce. He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle, and targeted the untapped potential of the Internet market by opening an online bookstore.

Jeff Bezos Business startup

The defense department originally created the internet to keep its computer networks connected during an emergency.  It was adopted by government and academic researchers over the years to exchange data and messages. But in 1994, In the spring,  Jeff Bezos observed that internet usage was increasing by 2300 percent a year. 

He saw the opportunity of business in a new sphere and immediately began to consider the possibilities.  He reviewed about top 20 mail-order businesses and researched which could be conducted efficiently over the internet and by traditional means.  During that time,  books were the commodity for which no comprehensive mail order existed. It was perfect for the internet and could share a vast database with a virtually limitless number of people.

The very next day he flew to Los Angeles to attend the American booksellers’ convention to learn everything he could about doing business with books.  He found that the major book wholesalers had compiled electronic lists of their inventory.  But all they needed was a location on the internet for the book-buying public to search the available stop and place orders.

Jeff Bezos in 2005

The employers of Jeff Bezos were not prepared to proceed with such a venture.  And he thought the only way to seize the opportunity was to go into the business for himself.  Jeff Bezos took this idea to Seattle, which is home to a huge pool of high-tech talent within close proximity to Ingram book group’s Oregon Warehouse. 

Jeff and his wife Mackenzie flew to Texas and picked up a 1988 Chevy Blazer how to make the drive to Seattle where they have ready access to the book wholesale Ingram. Mackenzie drove while Jeff typed a business plan.

He raised 1 million dollars from his friends and family and rented a house in the city and established his new online book business.  He and his five employees looked from the Seattle Garage for almost a year and learned to source books and created a computer system.

Jeff Bezos and Amazon

They named the company Amazon which called itself  “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” with over 1 million titles for customers to choose from. He named it after the meandering of the South American river on July 16th, 1995.  They eventually expanded operations into a two-bedroom house equipped with three sun micro stations. 

In the crowning achievement of his career, Time magazine named Bezos its “Person of the Year” for 1999, proclaiming him king of cybercommerce.

There were no press promotions, but Amazon.com sold books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days, it reached sales of $20,000 a week in two months growing faster than Bezos a new start-up team expected.  By September 1996, amazon.com had over a hundred employees and made over $15.7  million in sales. 

1997, amazon.com went public and it lead many market analysts to question whether the company could hold its own when traditional retailers launch their own e-commerce sites. It also outpaced competitors and became an e-commerce leader. Jeff Bezos continued to diversify Amazon’s offerings with the sale of CDs and videos in 1998 and then sold clothes, toys, electronics, and more through major retail partnerships. 

Amazon.com flourished with sales from $510,000 in 1995 to over $17 billion in 2011. In Bezos’ 2018 annual shareholder letter, the media Tycoon said the company had surpassed a hundred million paid subscribers for Amazon Prime, and by September 2018,  it was valued at more than $1 trillion and it was the 2nd company to ever hit that record just a few weeks after Apple.

In early December 2013, Jeff Bezos took attention by introducing a new, experimental Amazon effort dubbed “Amazon Prime Air,” using drones to provide delivery services to consumers. These drones would be capable of carrying things weighing up to five pounds and flying within a 10-mile radius of the company’s distribution hub. The first Prime Air delivery was conducted in Cambridge, England on December 7, 2016. 

Personal life

Jeff Bezos met MacKenzie Tuttle when they both worked at D.E. Shaw. She was also a Princeton graduate. They began to date and got married in 1993. She was an administrative assistant to pay the bills to fund her writing career. Both of them dated for 3 months and got engaged and married shortly thereafter in the year 1993. 

She publicly supported Amazon and her husband Jeff Bezos.  But after more than 25 years of marriage,  Bezos and Mackenzie got divorced in 2019. And so as a  divorce settlement, his stake in Amazon was cut from 16% to 12%.  They have four children together, three sons and a daughter adopted from China.

Bezos and Sánchez have been dating publicly for a few years. 

Charity works

jeff Bezos in naturalization ceremony

He made the single-largest charitable contribution in 2020, a $10 billion gift that is intended to help fight climate change. According to Forbes, it is estimated that Bezos has donated more than $2.4 billion to charity in his lifetime. As of November 2021, the fund had granted nearly $1 billion of that total.

Bezos has said that he plans to donate most of his billions to fight climate change and address political and social divisiveness in the world. His largest charitable donation prior to the Earth Fund was a $2 billion gift to help homeless families and to start preschools.

 Jeff Bezos donated more than $400 million worth of stock to nonprofits in 2022. 

Final thoughts 

There are many reasons why Amazon and Jeff Bezos are one of the most successful in the world. The primary reason is generally considered to be its devotion to customer experience. Amazon makes shopping quick and easy and the move comes back to its customer-centric philosophy. Its goal is to be the most customer-centric company in the world.

In 2021, Jeff Bezos stepped down as Amazon’s CEO. But still, his name will always go hand-in-hand with the e-commerce giant’s status as one of the globe’s top companies. One of the key lessons is success comes through invention, launch, reinvention, relaunch, start over, rinse, repeat, again and again. 

He stated that he intended to devote more attention to philanthropy, including the Bezos Earth Fund and his Day 1 Fund, as well as his two other significant businesses, The Washington Post and Blue Origin.

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