Entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bezos’ early love was computers and Jeff Bezos studied computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University. After graduating he worked on Wall Street, and in 1990 he became the youngest senior vice president at the investment firm DE. But four years later, he quit his lucrative job to open Amazon.com, a virtual bookstore that became one of the Internet’s biggest success stories. In 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post in a deal worth $250 million. His successful business ventures have made him one of the richest people in the world.
Jeff Bezos Early Life and Profession
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a teenage mother, Jacqueline Gage Jorgensen, and her biological father, Ted Jorgensen. The Jorgenens’ marriage lasted less than a year, and when Bezos was 4 years old, his mother remarried, Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant. As a child, Jeff Bezos looked through the early years. That’s how things work, turning his parents’ garage into a laboratory. He moved with his family to Miami as a teenager, where he developed a love for computers and graduated his high school valedictorian. During high school, he started his first business, Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders.
Bezos recognized his interest in computers at Princeton University, where he graduated sum cum laude in 1986 with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. After graduating, he worked at several firms on Wall Street, including Fittel, Bankers Trust, and the investment firm DE. Shaw. There he met his wife, Mackenzie, and became the company’s youngest vice president in 1990.
While his career in finance was extremely lucrative, Bezos chose to take a risky step into the nascent world of e-commerce. He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle, and opened an online bookstore targeting the untapped potential of the Internet market.
Beginning with Amazon.com, Bezos set up the office for his fledgling company in his garage, where, along with a few employees, he began developing software. They expanded operations to a two-bedroom home equipped with three Sun Microstations, and eventually developed a test site. After inviting 300 friends to beta test, Bezos opened Amazon.com on July 16, 1995, named after the meandering South American river.
Without any press promotion, Amazon.com sold the books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. In two months, sales reached $20,000 a week, growing faster than Bezos and his start-up team had imagined.
Amazon.com went public in 1997, leading many market analysts to question whether the company could keep its own when traditional retailers launched their own e-commerce sites. Two years later, the start-up not only retained but grew to become the e-commerce leader by overtaking competitors.
Bezos continued to diversify Amazon’s offerings in 1998 with the sale of CDs and videos, and later clothing, electronics, toys and more through major retail partnerships. While many of the dot coms of the early ’90s went bust, Amazon grew with annual sales that rose from $510,000 in 1995 to $17 billion in 2011.
In 2006, Amazon.com launched its video on demand video; Initially known as Amazon Unbox on TiVo, it was eventually rebranded as Amazon Instant Video. In 2007, the company released the Kindle, a handheld digital book reader that allowed users to purchase, download, read, and store their book selections. That same year, Bezos announced his investment in Blue Origin, a Seattle-based aerospace company that develops technologies to provide space travel for paying customers.
Bezos marked Amazon’s foray into the tablet marketplace with the unveiling of the Kindle Fire in 2011. The following September, he announced the new Kindle Fire HD, the company’s next-generation tablet, designed to give Apple’s iPad a run for its money. According to ABC News, “We haven’t made the best tablet at a certain price. We have created the best tablet at any cost.”
Buying The Washington Post
Bezos made headlines around the world on August 5, 2013, when he bought The Washington Post and other publications affiliated with his parent company The Washington Post Company for $250 million. The deal marked the end of a four-generation reign over the Post Company by the Graham family, which included the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, Donald E. Graham, and his niece Post publisher Katherine Weymouth.
Graham said in an attempt to explain the transaction, “Post would have survived in the company’s ownership and could be profitable for the foreseeable future.” “But we wanted to do more than survive. I am not guaranteeing that it guarantees success, but it gives us a greater chance of success.”
In a statement to Post staff on August 5, Bezos wrote: “The values of the Post need not change, of course, will change in the Post in the coming years. It is necessary and must have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming nearly every element of the news business: shortening the news cycle, eliminating long-term reliable revenue sources, and enabling new forms of competition, some of which involve little or no news-gathering costs. Is Maps, and further charting a route will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about—government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports—and working backward from there. I am excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention. ,
Amazon Prime and Amazon Studios
In early December 2013, Bezos made headlines when he revealed a new, experimental initiative by Amazon called “Amazon Prime Air” using drone-remote-controlled machines that deliver deliveries to customers. Humans can perform a range of tasks to provide services. According to Bezos, these drones are capable of carrying items weighing up to five pounds and are capable of traveling within a 10-mile distance of the company’s distribution center. He also said that Prime Air could become a reality within four or five years.
Bezos saw some major missteps of Amazon when the company launched the Fire Phone in 2014; Criticized for being too concerned, it was closed the following year. However, Bezos won with the development of original content through Amazon Studios. After premiering several new shows in 2013, Amazon hit it big in 2014 with the critically acclaimed Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. In 2015, the company produced and released Spike Lee’s Chi-Rak as its first original feature film.
In 2016, Bezos was in front of the camera for a Tremo appearance playing an alien in Star Trek Beyond. A Star Trek fan since childhood, Bezos is listed on IMDb as a Starfleet official in the film credits.
In July 2017, Bezos briefly surpassed Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg. The Amazon chief reclaimed the top spot in October, and in January 2018, Bloomberg said the net worth of $105.1 billion, making him the richest person in history. Two months later, Bezos was up to $127 billion, equivalent to the combined wealth of 2.3 million average Americans, before rising to a $150 billion plateau in mid-July.
On January 30, 2018, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase issued a joint press release announcing plans to create a new healthcare company for their US employees to pool their resources.
According to the release, the company will be “free of profit-making incentives and constraints” as it strives to find ways to reduce costs and increase satisfaction for patients, with an initial focus on technological solutions.
“The healthcare system is complex, and we enter this challenge with open eyes about the degree of difficulty,” Bezos said. “As difficult as it may be, reducing the health care burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families will be well worth the effort.”
Not long after, the Seattle Times reported that the company was introducing more changes to Amazon, with the company consolidating its consumer retail operations to focus on Amazon, AWS, digital entertainment, and other growing areas. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the news, saying, “As part of our annual planning process, we’re making headcount adjustments across the company — small reductions in some locations and aggressive recruitment in many others.”
In April 2018, as part of his annual shareholder letter, Bezos stated that the company had passed 100 million paid subscribers for Amazon Prime. He said 2017 has been an excellent year for hardware sales, and that Amazon will continue to invest in expanding its customer base, brand, and infrastructure.
According to Forbes magazine, Jeff Bezos’s co-founder Bill Gates biography dropped one spot from last year, finishing second with $90 billion. At the top of the list for the first time is Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon. He is the first centibillion on the list with $112 billion