What started as a digital bookstore became the biggest e-commerce company that the world has ever known.
Bezos has put this money to use in a lot of different ways, including sending himself to space.
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny his success.
Was Jeff Bezos Born Rich?
No, Jeff Bezos was not born into a wealthy family.
His mother was 17 years old when he was born, and his father was 18 years old.
With their parent’s money, they flew to Mexico to get married before Jeff was born.
His father was a poor man who worked at a retail store, barely making more than a dollar an hour.
He also preferred to spend what little money he had on alcohol and things he’d need for his unicycle troupe.
Seventeen months after Bezos was born, his mother divorced his father while she was a senior in high school.
Luckily, Bezos and his mother were taken care of by his grandparents, who raised them both on their ranch in New Mexico.
His grandfather had to fight for his mother to even be allowed to go back to school.
While Bezos’s mother was finishing high school and college, he stayed with his grandparents.
While many would assume that living with your grandparents would mean you have it easy, this was not true for Bezos.
Bezos credits his grandfather for teaching him the work ethic that he has.
Jeff Bezos’s mother met his stepfather when he was four years old.
His stepfather had immigrated from Cuba to the United States when he was just 16 years old and didn’t speak any English.
Within a couple of years, Miguel Bezos managed to learn English well enough to attend the same university that Jeff’s mother attended.
Miguel Bezos adopted Jeff when he and his mother got married.
The struggles that his stepfather faced motivated Jeff Bezos to keep on trying, even when things become difficult.
His family has been a key motivator in Bezos’s entire life.
He is grateful for the strong people in his life, such as his mother, stepfather, and grandfather.
After spending his life in New Mexico, Jeff Bezos decided to attend the best university in his opinion, Princeton University.
He originally went to the school to study physics but began to fall in love with computer science and electrical engineering instead and changed majors.
Bezos graduated in 1986 and had no clue where his degree was going to be taking him.
Had Amazon not worked out, Bezos believes he would have been just as happy being a software programmer.
He may have been just as happy, but he would have never been as wealthy.
Like any college student, Bezos had odd jobs during, and a little after college, he eventually landed himself a job with a hedge fund D.E. Shaw, which was on Wall Street.
It took him less than four years to become the hedge fund’s youngest vice president.
While serving as the vice president, Bezos had an administrative assistant who worked at the firm to support her writing career.
Her name was Mackenzie Tuttle.
After three months of dating, the couple got engaged and then married in 1993.
The two shared a mutual love of reading, which was especially beneficial for Mackenzie, who also loved to write.
The Bezos would soon become a business power couple that would take the nation by storm.
Without Mackenzie Bezos, there would be no Amazon.
She was the one who supported Jeff Bezos’s dream to create an online bookstore and helped convince him to leave his job at the hedge fund.
Mackenzie Bezos also created the company’s first business plan and served as its first accountant.
The couple would move to Seattle, Washington in order to be closer to other internet-based companies at the time.
Amazon would be started in the garage of their suburban home.
Early Years Of Amazon
On July 16. 1995 Amazon.com went live and was tested by 300 friends of Jeff Bezos.
As Bezos began to hire employees, he knew that he couldn’t run his business out of his garage for much longer.
He decided to buy a two-bedroom house to run his business out of.
In order for his website to be able to handle plenty of guests, he had three Sun Microstations to power the site.
The idea of an online bookstore caught the attention of bookworms around the United States and 45 different countries in less than 30 days, all without any type of promotion or advertisement.
Amazon grew faster than Bezos and his small team expected, resulting in $20,000 in sales per week after only two months.
The love of books that was shared between Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos was seemingly also shared by consumers.
While consumers may have loved Amazon, investors weren’t as excited about what Amazon had to offer.
Investors didn’t think that Amazon would ever be able to keep up with traditional bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble.
When Amazon made the transition from being a privately-owned company to a publicly owned company in 1997, investors turned up their noses and wrote internet-based companies like Amazon off as a trend that would end quickly.
It only took Amazon two years to prove hypercritical investors wrong.
Amazon quickly became a leader for internet-based businesses.
In order to expand the Amazon brand, they began selling other media items, such as CDs, television shows, and movies.
By 1998, they started selling electronics, clothing, and toys.
Traditional brands began working with Amazon, creating exclusive items or deals for the website.
By this point, Amazon was beginning to look similar to how it is today.
In 2000, Amazon began to allow individual sellers to have a marketplace on their website.
This caused business to boom and even more consumers to flock in.
By allowing individual sellers, the company was expanding all the products that they offered and had many items that you could only find on their website.
While eBay was a common place for individual sellers, it lacked the same level of professionalism that came with an Amazon shop.
Consumers often chose Amazon over eBay because it was also more reliable when sellers weren’t being honest about the products they were selling.
Amazon invests heavily in expanding its website and making it better than ever.
During this time of improvements and innovations, Amazon wouldn’t post their profits because most of their profits were going back into the company.
Although the move was criticized by investors, it has paid off countless times over.
In 2006, Amazon began to offer video streaming and cloud computing services.
The Amazon Studios were built in 2010 for their future movies and television shows.
They even began to handle the sales of fine art in 2013, with pieces by Norman Rockwell and Claude Monet.
Even as early as 2011, the company was making $17 billion annually.
This was also the same year that they released the Amazon Kindle.
As Kindles, iPads, and other tablets became more popular, so did eBooks.
2011 was the first year that eBook sales outsold physical books on Amazon.
In order to expand their brand even further, Amazon purchased Zappos, a fashion delivery service, and Whole Foods.
With these moves, Amazon was able to even outpace Walmart, which had been seen as the largest retail company for decades.
Amazon has surpassed being worth $1 trillion, being only the second company to do so after Apple.
The Workers Of Amazon
Amazon has become an incredibly successful company thanks to Jeff Bezos, but he isn’t the only person who made his success possible.
The company was built on the broken backs of workers who have been struggling with the company’s high demands.
Jeff Bezos has made many decisions that have left many consumers with negative feelings towards him and his company.
Bezos often saves money and increases productivity at the expense of those who work in any part of his shipping or sorting centers.
Bezos doesn’t believe there is value in long-term employees because they expect raises as they stay longer.
Instead, he and his company have encouraged them to leave if they are unhappy working for his company.
It’s cheaper for Amazon to simply hire a new employee than keep an unsatisfied employee.
Amazon center employees make $15 per hour but suffer incredibly cruel working conditions that have left ex-workers ill or even dead.
Despite the outcry from employees about their working conditions, Bezos didn’t care and instead offered them the front door.
Warehouse employees work in unsafe conditions and have unreasonably high production goals.
Many employees have fallen ill due to having too few bathroom breaks and each one being timed.
The company tries to boast about its pay and benefits, but only the most desperate and physically capable end up taking warehouse jobs.
Since 2018 alone, six different employees have died while on the job at Amazon.
For all the people who have died and been seriously injured on the job, Jeff Bezos’s answer has been for them to use the insurance his company gives them and either get back to work or find a new job.
This has earned Bezos the negative public image he holds now.
The Power Couple Split
As strong as they were as business partners, many people were shocked by the divorce announcement of Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos in 2019.
Some people could have seen the move to end their 25-year relationship because of Jeff Bezos’s treatment of workers and Mackenzie Bezos’s passion for humanitarian efforts.
Although the ex-couple had tried their best to assure people of their closeness and good faith, the National Enquirer released a story that gave additional insight into their divorce.
Jeff Bezos had cheated on Mackenzie Bezos with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor.
People applauded Mackenzie Scott for remaining so graceful and professional during this time, keeping her share of the company and their finances.
When the two divorced, she became the world’s wealthiest woman.
Bezos claimed that the National Enquirer had blackmailed him and that they were given the information by someone who hacked his phone.
Bezos believed that it was someone from the Saudia Arabian government, only to find out that it was Prince Mohammed bin Salman after conducting a forensic analysis on his phone.
In April of 2019, Lauren Sanchez finalized her divorce from her ex-husband and she and Bezos officially became a couple.
By 2021, Mackenzie Scott married schoolteacher Dan Jewett, a man so seemingly wonderful that even Jeff Bezos likes him.
Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott’s divorce was the most expensive in history.
Mackenzie Scott now has a $53 billion fortune, and she plans to give away at least half of it.
Her husband is in full support of this move, hoping to make the lives of people around the world better.
Mackenzie Scott has already given away $4.2 billion to 384 different organizations.
Scott gives a massive amount of money to historically black universities and charities like Meals on Wheels and Goodwill.
Starting Blue Origin
Blue Origin is an aerospace company that was founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000.
Bezos based his company in Kent, Washington.
He wanted a way to send people to space in order to preserve the planet.
While Jeff Bezos was busy running Amazon, the company was run by Rob Meyerson.
In 2017, Jeff Bezos stepped down from his position at Amazon and turned his focus to Blue Origin.
The goal of Bezos’s company is to send people into space, so they don’t have to ruin the planet.
They also believe that resource gathering and management should take place in space as well.
Unlike many other spacecraft, their rockets are reusable, which helps them save money by not needing to build a new rocket every time it is used.
So far, the aerospace company has had 15 constructive flights, one of which sent Jeff Bezos to space.
Bezos was looking to be the first civilian in space, but another billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, ended up beating him to it by less than two weeks, making him the second civilian and billionaire to leave our atmosphere.
In 2019, Jeff Bezos and his company started the organization Club for the Future.
This organization is looking to help excite students about jobs in STEM and the idea of sending more people to space.
Club for the Future offers a lesson plan that helps young space enthusiasts learn what they need to know to work for a company like Blue Origin.
They want to get into the classrooms of students in order to help shape the workforce of tomorrow.
Blue Origin’s most recent launch was with their reusable ship, the New Shepherd.
The rocket carried some research equipment for NASA as part of the mission and was completely successful.
Blue Origin hasn’t had any major mishaps with their ships.
Buying The Washington Post
In 2013, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post from Donald Graham for $250 million in cash.
For four generations, the Grahams had been running the Washington Post, but the family wanted to retire from the world of journalism.
Being an avid reader, it made sense that Bezos would want to buy a newspaper.
This also ensured that at least one newspaper wasn’t going to be bashing him for the questionable decisions he was making.
With this deal, Bezos also got any affiliates of the Washington Post Company.
The rise of the internet was hard for the company, and they needed a way out of the financial struggles they were facing because of it.
The Graham family knew that if there was anyone who could help their news outlet stay relevant on the internet, it was Jeff Bezos.
When Bezos took over the Washington Post, he made the company privately owned.
He did this so he could experiment with the company as he pleased and try to figure out what will be most profitable for the future.
There’s no doubting the success that Jeff Bezos has managed to surround himself with.
Even other business owners notice the way he can turn companies into profitable ventures with merely a snap of his fingers.
Despite the unfortunate beginning of Jeff Bezos’s life, he has still managed to completely change history and the lives of those who inspired him to work as hard as he did.NEXT: How Do They Count Crab On Deadliest Catch? (Explained)