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Before Jeff Bezos Became the Richest Man in the World

Written by Sean Smith

Jeffrey Preston Bezos was born with the name of Jeffrey Preston Jorgenson on January 12, 1964. Early in his life, his father Ted Jorgenson was a humble bike shop owner, and his mother was a teen in high school at the time. His mother, Jaclyn Guys Jorgenson, decided to walk out of his father’s life, and upon that she took Jeffrey with her as well, so they never had time to connect as father and son. Unfortunately, soon after, he passed away in 2015 without the two able to reconcile with each other in a good way. Soon after Jaclyn divorced Ted she married a Cuban immigrant who adopted Jeff legally changing his surname to Bezos.

The family packed their things and moved to Houston Texas where Mike worked as an engineer for Exxon while Jeff attended Elementary School at River Oaks. Young Bezos would be spending many summers with his grandfather, Lawrence Preston Guys who worked as a regional director of the US Atomic Energy Commission in nearby Albuquerque at their family ranch, later buying it himself, and it would expand to 25 thousand acres. Eventually, Bezos grew tired of Texas so they moved to Miami Florida where he then attended Palmetto High School where he earned a number of awards like a National Merit scholar, Silver Knight Award winner, and Valedictorian of the class of 1982. In his speech, he talked about his dreams of taking everyone off earth and later to look at earth as just a giant amusement park. After High School, he went to college at Princeton University and graduated in 1986 with a 4.2 grade point average, and he just so happened to be the president of the local chapter of students for the exploration and development of space. After college, he was offered multiple jobs from Intel, Bell Labs, and Anderson consulting, but he turned them all down for a company of the name of Fatale which is a telecommunications start-up, and it asked Jeff to build a network for international trade. However, the partnership didn’t last long. He went from job to job as a product manager at Bankers Trust from ’88 to ’90 before joining DE Shaw & Co where he became the senior vice president at the age of 30, and he worked there until 1994. While working there, he first met Mackenzie Tuttle, a research associate at the firm, and within a year they were married and would become parents of 4 children: 3 sons and a daughter adopted from China in late ’93. Around ’94 Bezos’s life would change forever when he decided to quit his job at DE Shaw & CO to get in his car and drive from New York to Seattle to take a shot at his dream. He wanted to create the world’s first online bookstore, and by July 5th Jeff started selling books out of his garage to people all over the world. After he became a known source, he thought of a name brand which was going to be Cadabra but then decide last minute not to because when he called the lawyer to tell him the name he missed pronounce Cadabra and said “Cadaver,” and from that point, Jeff knew that wasn’t a good name and decided on the name Amazon. Jeff was quick to warn all investors that the company had a high chance that it could be a hit or miss, but by pursuing his dream of getting big fast, within 3 years Jeff was taking the company public knowing as the internet grew he would outdo the competitors such as Barnes and Noble.

In 1998 he was more than a bookstore, diversifying and expanding his product lines to include things like consumer goods of all types, music, videos, and basically anything in modern-day. His ambition finally took off in the year 2000 when he launched Blue Origin, an aerospace manufacturer and suborbital space flight service company with Bezos spending nearly a billion dollars a year funding it, but in 2015 Blue Origin successfully reached space for the first time making the money spent on this worth it after all. Now in 2002, Bezos launched the famous Amazon web service to gather data from weather channels and website traffic, but in the same year, Bezos and Amazon had experienced its first financial panic since they were spending way too much to their liking. The company nearly went bankrupt, so Bezos closed distributions and laid off around 14% of his workforce. Later in that year, Amazon began to bounce back, turning a profit of 400 million dollars, and by 2007 Bezos was ready to launch Amazon. By 2013, Bezos secured a 6-million-dollar contract with the CIA to utilize the Amazon services. Later in the same year, Amazon was recognized as the biggest online shopping retailer in the world. In 2016 Bezos was given the opportunity to be in the production of a Star Trek movie, and the next year his wealth surpassed 100 billion dollars and was formally designated the wealthiest person in the world by Forbes with a net worth of 112 billion dollars!

 

Photo founded at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/next-amazon-package-could-small-223000721.html

About the author

Sean Smith