Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

  • DOB:

    January 12, 1964

  • Age:


  • Country:

    United States

  • Resides:

    Medina, WA

  • Hometown:

    Albuquerque, NM

  • Known For:

    Founder of Amazon

  • Education:

    Princeton University



Jeff Bezos is an entrepreneur and investor best known for founding Bezos acted as president and CEO of Amazon until 2021 when he stepped down. As of 2023, he remains Amazon’s executive chairman and majority shareholder, owning about 10% of the company’s shares. Bezos also founded venture capital firm Bezos Expeditions and aerospace company Blue Origin. Additionally, he owns The Washington Post. As of March 2023, Bezos’ net worth was $117 billion, making him the third richest person in the world, according to Forbes.[1]


  • Founder of Amazon, Bezos Expeditions, and Blue Origin
  • Has a net worth over $100 billion
  • Has donated more than $400 million worth of stock to nonprofits

Related People

About Jeff Bezos

Jeffrey Preston Bezos, whose birth name is Jeffrey Jorgenson, was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico[2] to Jacklyn and Theodore Jorgenson. His parents were 17 and 19 years old at the time of his birth.[3] The Jorgensons divorced in 1965, and Bezos has not had contact with his birth father since. In 1968, Jacklyn married Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos who adopted four-year-old Jeffrey. Jacklyn and Mike legally changed Jeffrey’s last name to Bezos.[2]  

The Bezos family moved to Houston, Texas, when Mike got an engineering job with Exxon.[4] The family soon had two more kids, Christina and Mark.[2] 

Bezos spent many childhood summers with his grandfather at a ranch in Cotulla, Texas.[5] He showed an interest in science and technology from an early age, converting his parents’ garage into a laboratory and creating an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room.[6] 

When Bezos was a teenager, his family moved to Miami, Florida, where he attended Miami Palmetto High School and graduated as valedictorian.[6] While in high school, he worked a summer job at McDonald’s.[7] After high school graduation, Bezos moved to New Jersey to attend Princeton, where he studied computer science and engineering.[7] He graduated summa cum laude in 1986.[8]

Bezos met his future wife, MacKenzie Scott Tuttle, in 1992, and the two were married a year later.[9] They have four children together.[6] In 2019, Bezos and his wife announced they were divorcing after a period of separation.[9] The same day as the divorce announcement, the news broke that Bezos had been involved in a relationship with former newscaster, Lauren Sanchez. Sanchez and Bezos are still in a relationship as of 2023.[10]

Early Career

Bezos’ first job after college was working as a software engineer at fintech startup, Fitel. He worked at Fitel for two years, advancing to become head of development and director of customer service. He left Fitel in 1988 and joined Bankers Trust, where he remained for two years, advancing to the position of vice president.[11]

After leaving Bankers Trust, Bezos took a job at the newly formed hedge fund D.E. Shaw and remained there until 1994. While at D.E. Shaw, Bezos again advanced to the role of vice president and was responsible for researching internet-focused business opportunities. While doing so, he realized he wanted to create his own internet-based business.[11] 


Bezos founded Amazon in 1995 after leaving his job at D.E. Shaw. He decided to start an online bookstore because he believed there was potential for room to grow in the e-commerce space.[12] He reached out to family members for money to get the business started. His parents invested $275,573, allowing the company to get off the ground.[13]

After moving to Seattle, Bezos began the company out of his garage. His wife, MacKenzie, was heavily involved in operations.[14] Within one month of launching, Amazon sold books to people in every state and 45 countries.[15] Within two months, sales topped $20,000 per week.[16] 

Amazon went public in 1997 with a stock price of $18 per share, raising $54 million.[16] The IPO made Bezos a millionaire.[17] In the following years, the company’s product offerings expanded to include music, video, and consumer goods. Amazon’s value grew quickly, and Bezos became a billionaire by 1998.[18] 

Amazon often sells goods and services below cost to take market share.[19] In 2022, Amazon held the largest market share of the online retail industry at 37.8%. Walmart, the second-place competitor, held just 6.3% of the market share.[20]

Though Amazon started out as a disruptor in the e-commerce industry, it has grown to have an influence in nearly every industry, including healthcare, advertising, grocery, banking, and television.[21] Amazon has also become the world’s biggest provider of cloud-based computing.[22]

Criticisms of Amazon

Bezos has frequently come under fire for controversial business practices at Amazon. Many have criticized Amazon’s treatment of low-level employees, such as warehouse workers and drivers, claiming the working conditions are inhumane and wages are too low. 

In 2015, Bezos responded to criticism of Amazon’s work conditions by urging any employees who had experienced such conditions to contact him directly. He said “I don’t think any company adopting the approach portrayed could survive, much less thrive, in today’s highly competitive tech hiring market . . . Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero.”[23] 

In 2019, in response to criticism of Amazon’s low wages for blue-collar workers, Bezos announced a $15 minimum wage at the company.[24] 

Despite efforts to improve company culture, in 2022, members of the Amazon Labor Union told People’s World in an interview that warehouse conditions included backbreaking work, hazardous work environments, long hours (such as 60-hour work weeks), and mandatory overtime.[25]

Blue Origin

In 2000, Bezos founded the spaceflight company Blue Origin.[26] Bezos says his top goals for Blue Origin are to preserve Earth’s natural resources and ultimately allow humans to colonize space.[27] 

In 2015, Blue Origin successfully landed a reusable rocket vertically, an accomplishment that could significantly reduce the costs of space travel.[28] The rocket, called New Shepard, completed its first flight with passengers in 2021. The passengers included Jeff Bezos and three others. New Shepard has since completed five other flights with passengers.[29] 

Other Business Ventures

In 2013, Bezos purchased Washington D.C.-based newspaper, The Washington Post, for $250 million.[30] Though the company was not profitable at the time, Bezos believed it was an important institution. He said, “It is the newspaper in the capital city of the most important country in the world. The Washington Post has an incredibly important role to play in this democracy. There’s no doubt in my mind about that.”[31]  

Bezos believed he could turn the company around and produce a profit. Due to a rise in digital subscriptions, the company was able to become profitable by 2016 and remain profitable up through 2022.[30][32]  

In 2003, Bezos founded private venture capital firm, Bezos Expeditions.[33] Over the years, the firm has invested in many successful startups, including Airbnb, Uber, and Workday.[34] The firm’s investment portfolio also includes several healthcare companies, such as GRAIL, a cancer detection startup,[35] and Unity Biotechnology, which develops therapies for age-related diseases.[36]

Bezos co-founded Altos Labs in 2021 with Yuri Milner. The company’s mission is to explore ways to extend the human lifespan and improve health through the development of new regenerative therapies.[37] 


Bezos also participated in several philanthropic ventures. In 2018, he announced the launch of the Bezos Day One Fund, a $2 billion initiative aimed at fighting homelessness and supporting education for low-income families.[38] In 2017, he donated $33 million to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.[39]

In 2019, Bezos pledged to give $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030. The Bezos Earth Fund is a philanthropic initiative to address climate change through grants to scientists, activists, and other organizations working on environmental issues.[40] Bezos has also been involved in various other charitable efforts, including donations to cancer research, education, and the arts.[41][42][43]  

According to Forbes, as of 2022, Bezos had donated an estimated 1.7% of his wealth, or roughly 2.1 billion.[44] Critics have pointed out that his donations are less than other prominent billionaires. Bezos has not given as much as billionaires like Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and many others who have signed The Giving Pledge, a commitment to donate the majority of their wealth to charity. However, in 2022, he independently reported to CNN that he does plan to donate the majority of his wealth.[45]

Jeff Bezos Today

Bezos no longer acts as CEO of Amazon after stepping down in 2021 to focus his attention on Blue Origin and his philanthropic ventures. Bezos remains the executive chairman and the largest shareholder at Amazon, so he continues to guide and support company decisions.[46]

In 2022, Bezos held the second annual Courage and Civility Award, an award show where Bezos awards “leaders who aim high, pursue solutions with courage, and always do so with civility” with $100 million to give to charities of their choosing. Bezos named Dolly Parton the winner in 2022.[47]

In 2022, Bezos warned the public that he believes a recession is coming. He said, “Take as much risk off the table as you can. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”[48]


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  3. SCMP. Meet Jeff Bezos’ billionaire parents, Jacklyn and Miguel ‘Mike’ Bezos: With much skepticism, they loaned Jeff $245,000 in 1995 to start By 2020, he had transformed that into $1 trillion! Their stake alone is worth an astounding $30 billion. – Luxurylaunches. (2022). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
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  5. McKissen, D. (2019, May 01). Jeff Bezos learned these 2 valuable life lessons as a child-on a Texas ranch with his ‘pop’. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
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  7. Montag, A. (2018, April 17). Jeff Bezos worked at McDonald’s when he was 16 – here’s what he learned. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
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  10. Hartmans, A. Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez have weathered a tabloid scandal, a possible iPhone hack, and even a trip to space. Here’s where their relationship began and everything that’s happened since. (2023). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from
  11. Martin, E. (2021, February 02). Jeff Bezos hasn’t always had the golden touch: Here’s what the Amazon founder was doing in his 20s. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
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  13. Mejia, Z. (2018, August 03). Jeff Bezos got his parents to invest nearly $250,000 in Amazon in 1995 – they might be worth $30 billion today. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from–turning-them-into.html 
  14. Matsakis, L. (2019). MacKenzie Bezos and the Myth of the Lone Genius Founder. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
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  17. Elkins, K. (n.d.). The age when 17 self-made billionaires earned their first million. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
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  20. Largest online retailers in the U.S. 2022 | Statista. (2023). Retrieved 13 March 2023, from 
  21. Palmer, A. (2021, February 03). Jeff Bezos built a $1.6 trillion company from nothing: Here’s the legacy he leaves behind. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from 
  22. Lima, A. What drives Amazon’s cloud services empire | LABS English. (2019). Retrieved 13 March 2023, from 
  23. Streitfeld, D., Kantor, J. Jeff Bezos and Amazon Employees Join Debate Over Its Culture (Published 2015). (2015). Retrieved 13 March 2023, from 
  24. Boyle M., Roeder, J.‘Do It!’ Bezos Dares Retailers to Match Amazon’s $15 Hourly Minimum Wage. (2023). Retrieved 13 March 2023, from 
  25. Gruenberg, M. (2022). Workers cite awful conditions inside Amazon’s monstrous Staten Island fulfillment center. Retrieved 13 March 2023, from 
  26. Blue Origin History: Founding, Timeline, and Milestones – Zippia. (2020). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from
  27. Wattles, J. (et al). (2021). Blue Origin’s ultimate goal: Colonizing space. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  28. Foust, J. (2015). Blue Origin’s New Shepard Vehicle Makes First Test Flight. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  29. Harwood, W. Blue Origin launches six passengers on supersonic flight to the edge of space. (2022). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from
  30. Nickelsburg, M. (2018). Washington Post profitable and growing for two years under Jeff Bezos’ ownership. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
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  34. Farooq, O. (2023, January 3). Jeff Bezos’ investments in 2022: 9 companies bezos is investing in. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
  35. Soper, T. (2020). Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos-backed cancer detection company Grail, led by ex-Juno CEO, files for IPO. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  36. Zaleski, A. (2018, August 29). Why Jeff Bezos is backing this Silicon Valley Scientist who is working on a cure for aging. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
  37. Regalado, A. Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever. (2023). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  38. Kim, E. (2018, September 18). Unanswered questions about Jeff Bezos’ new $2 billion philanthropic fund. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
  39. Dickey, M. (2018, January 12). Jeff Bezos donates $33 million to fund college scholarships for dreamers. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from 
  40. Weise, Karen. Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion to Address Climate Change (Published 2020). (2020). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  41. Associated Press. Bezos family donates $710M to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. (2022). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  42. Matthiessen, C. (2022). What We Know About Jeff Bezos’ Funding for Education So Far | Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  43. (2023). Smithsonian To Receive Historic $200 Million Donation From Jeff Bezos | Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  44. Sandler, R. (2022, November 14). Here’s how much more Mackenzie Scott has donated to charity than ex-husband Jeff Bezos. Retrieved March 10, 2023, from
  45. Fung, B. (2022). Exclusive: Jeff Bezos says he will give most of his money to charity | CNN Business. Retrieved 10 March 2023, from 
  46. Allyn, B. Jeff Bezos Built Amazon 27 Years Ago. He Now Steps Down As CEO At Critical Time. (2021). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from
  47. (2023). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from
  48. Mohamed, T. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Ken Griffin have flagged the risk of a US recession. Here are 12 grim economic warnings from leading commentators. (2023). Retrieved 10 March 2023, from

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