By Emmanuel Moss
Entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He went to Princeton University to study computer science and electrical engineering. After graduation, he found work on Wall Street and became the youngest senior vice president at the investment firm D.E. Shaw in 1990. Four years later, he left his profitable job to open Amazon.com, a virtual bookstore that became one of the internet’s biggest success stories. Bezos purchased the Washington Post in a $250 million deal In 2013. His successful decisive actions have made him the richest man in the world.
Jeff Bezos’ birth parents were Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and his father, Ted Jorgensen. His parents split up after less than a year, and when Bezos was 4 years old his mother remarried, to a Cuban immigrant named Mike Bezos. Throughout his childhood, Jeff showed his interest in electronics, turning his parents’ garage into a laboratory and rigging electrical contraptions around his house. As a teenager, he moved to Miami with his family and discovered his passion for computers and graduated valedictorian of his high school. during high school, his first business took off. The Dream Institute was an educational summer camp for fourth to sixth graders.
At Princeton University, he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. After graduation, he found work at multiple firms on Wall Street, such as Fitel, Bankers Trust and the investment firm D.E. Shaw. there he met his soon to be wife, MacKenzie Tuttle, and became the youngest vice president of the company in 1990. The pair married in 1993 and announced their divorce recently in January 2019. They have four children together – three sons and a daughter adopted from China.
Although his career in finance was extremely successful, He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle and pursued the potential of the internet market by opening an online bookstore.
Bezos’ growing companies office was set up in his garage where, along with a few employees, they began developing software. They expanded operations into a two-bedroom house, equipped with three Sun Microstation, and eventually developed a test site. After inviting 300 friends to beta test the site, Bezos opened Amazon.com, named after the South American River, on July 16, 1995.
The initial success of the company was proliferating. With no press promotion, his company sold books throughout the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. In two months after launching the website, sales reached $20,000 a week, growing faster than Bezos and his startup team had envisioned.
Amazon.com became available to the public in 1997, leading many market analysts to question whether or not the company could hold its own when traditional retailers launched their own e-commerce sites. Two years later, Amazon.com not only kept up but also outpaced the competition, leading Amazon.com to become an e-commerce leader.
Amazon continued to diversify the products offered with the sale of CDs and videos in 1998, and later clothes, electronics, toys and more through major retail partnerships. While many online-consumer dependent companies of the early ’90s failed to maintain popularity, Amazon dominated with yearly sales that increased from $510,000 in 1995 to over $17 billion in 2011.
Amazon.com launched its video on demand service In 2006; originally known as Amazon Unbox on TiVo, it was rebranded as Amazon Instant Video. In 2007, the company released the Kindle, a portable digital book reader that allowed users to buy, download, read and store their books. That same year, Bezos announced his investment in Blue Origin, a Seattle-based aerospace company that develops technologies to offer space travel to paying customers.
Bezos enrolled Amazon to the tablet marketplace with the release 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. “We haven’t built the best tablet at a certain price. We have built the best tablet at any price,” Bezos said, according to ABC News.
Amazon Prime & Amazon Studios
In early December 2013, Bezos appeared in headlines when he revealed a new, experimental initiative by Amazon, named “Amazon Prime Air,” using drones—remote-controlled machines with the ability to carry out numerous tasks—to provide delivery services to customers. These drones are able to carry items weighing up to five pounds (2.2kg) and are capable of traveling within a 10-mile radius of the company’s distribution center. He also stated that Prime Air available to the general public within the next four to five years.
In 2016, Bezos stepped in front of the camera for a cameo appearance playing an alien in Star Trek Beyond. A Star Trek fan since childhood, Bezos is listed as a Starfleet Official in the movie credits on IMDb.
In July 2017, Bezos momentarily surpassed Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft to become the richest man in the world, according to Bloomberg, before dropping back to the second richest Bezos then reclaimed the number one spot in October, and in January 2018, Bloomberg pegged his net worth at $105.1 billion, making him the richest person in history. Two months later, Bezos’ worth increased up to $127 billion, equal to the combined wealth of 2.3 million average Americans, before continuing his surge to the $150 billion plateaux in mid-July.
The Seattle Times reported that more changes were on the way for Amazon, with the company consolidating its consumer retail operations in order to focus on Alexa, AWS, digital entertainment, and other growing areas. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the news, saying, “As part of our annual planning process, we are making headcount adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others.”
In April 2018, as part of his annual shareholder letter, Bezos said the company had surpassed 100 million paid subscribers for Amazon Prime. He added that 2017 had been an outstanding year for hardware sales and that Amazon would continue to invest in expanding its customer base, brand, and infrastructure.