The Fabulous Life Of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, And 32 Things You Didn’t Know About Him

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E-commerce pioneer, retail entrepreneur, investor, best known as the founder of Amazon, the everything store, Jeff Bezos, was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 12, 1964. He’s ultra-driven and hyper-intelligent, but are still things about him that blow our minds. Here are 32 of the most intriguing facts about Jeff Bezos.

1. Bezos only found when he was 10 that his father Miguel had adopted him.

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Bezos was adopted by his step-father, his mother’s second husband Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant, when he was 4. His mother, Jacklyn (Gise), was a teenager when married Ted Jorgensen, Bezos’s biological father. That marriage lasted only a couple of years.

2. His biological father was one of Albuquerque's leading unicyclists.

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Jeff was the biological son of Ted Jorgenson. In those years, Jorgenson was part of a local troupe called the Unicycle Wranglers, who gave displays of acrobatics and unicycle polo at county fairs and circuses when Jeff was a baby.

3. Even as a toddler, Bezos had demonstrated his affiliation toward mechanical things.

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As in, to how things work with the aid of a screwdriver by dismantling his crib!

4. As a child, he spent his summers working on his maternal grandfather’s ranch in Texas.

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In 1982, he received a Silver Knight Award at the Student Science Training Program in the University of Florida. He was a National Merit Scholar and graduated high school as a valedictorian.

5. His grandfather Preston Gise was a major inspiration for Jeff in his intellectual initiatives.

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6. Being fascinated by space travel since childhood, Bezos made a cameo appearance in, Star Trek Beyond, in 2016

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He is credited in the IMDB cast list as a Starfleet Official in the movie. He joined the San Diego Comic-Con screening along with its cast and crew.

7. The 18-year-old Bezos, in a Miami Herald interview, in 1982, after he was named high school class valedictorian, had said “he wanted to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit.

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'The whole idea is to preserve the earth'… The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park."

8. He worked with his girlfriend at McDonald's during a summer when he was young.

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He was still in high school when he started The Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth and sixth graders, his first business venture. He had converted his parent’s garage into a laboratory.

9. In 1986, he graduated from Princeton University, with highest honors summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a bachelor of science in engineering degree in electrical engineering with computer science.

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He was the president of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space while in Princeton.

10. After graduation, Bezos worked several jobs in a variety of firms beginning from the Wall Street, Fitel, an American banking organization the Bankers Trust, and the investment firm D.E. Shaw.

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11. In the year 1990, he became the youngest vice president of the hedge fund management company D.E. Shaw, where he had the exposure to the internet based business opportunities.

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12. He met his wife, Mackenzie, at work in D.E. Shaw and married her in 1993.

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They have an adopted daughter and three sons.

13. In 1994, Bezos after realizing the growth of Internet, quit his lucrative job in New York and moved to Seattle.

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The online business plan was drafted during his cross country drive.

14. He had shortlisted 20 types of items that could be sold online and finally decided on books.

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He set up his new office in his garage and worked along with his wife and two other programmers.

15. This new venture was called the Cadabra Inc. Later had to rename it because he felt the name of the company sounded like “cadaver inc.” over the phone.

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Hence, the new name Amazon.com, a virtual bookstore.

16. The company picked up successfully. Within 30 days, without any press promotion, Amazon.com had sold books in 45 foreign countries and across the United States.

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17. The sales had escalated to $20,000 a week, in two months.

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18. Amazon did not store its books. It bought it only when an order for purchase is placed.

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Bezos found a hack in the system and used it to deliver his books promptly. He had always taken risk in his endeavors and had to fight with his executives to accomplish it. He had initially invested $250,000 in Google, in 1998.

19. In 1997, Amazon.com became public, in the next two years outdid its competitions, and went on lead the e-commerce sector.

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20. The virtual store added CDs, videos, clothing, toys, electronics and many more and in the next two decades has established itself to an become “everything store.”

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21. His fascination and passion for space travel lead him to start a human spaceflight company, Blue Origin, in 2000.

22. He is not a fan of PowerPoint presentations.

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Anytime an Amazon worker has an idea to discuss, they're asked to structure their pitch in the form of a four-to-six-page memo, which the company calls a "narrative."

23. There's no such thing as a free lunch for Amazon workers.

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24. Times magazine, in 1999, named him the “Person of the Year.”

Fortune Magazine, in 2012, named him the “Businessperson of the Year.” He was placed 15th in the Forbes list of World Billionaire, in 2015 and was placed 5th in 2016.

25. What does he do with all that money?

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Well, he pledged $2.5 million in support of same-sex marriage, for starters. 

He started to build an atomic clock in the middle of the desert that is designed to last for millennia, and paid $42 million for it. The project is also called "The Clock of the Long Now".

In August 2013, he bought the Washington Post for $250 million.

26. In 2007, he found Kindle.

It was almost a threat to paperback books, a hand held device which enables readers to download, buy, store, and read digital books. A Tablet device, Kindle Fire, and later Kindle Fire HD were also launched.

27. Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos reportedly just dropped $23 million on the biggest home in Washington, DC

28. And he has a ~ $25 million house in Beverly Hills.

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29. Bezos also owns three linked apartments totaling 10,000 square feet in New York City's Century Tower.

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30. Exactly 20 years after going public, Amazon has a market cap of $457 billion.

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Barclays predicted Amazon could be the first trillion-dollar company.

31. In March, Bezos became the world's second-richest person, right behind Bill Gates.

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With a net worth of more than $81 billion, Bezos is closing in on the No. 1 position.

32. But don't expect Bezos to stop experimenting with new ideas anytime soon.

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In an interview with Business Insider, Bezos said: "What really matters is, companies that don't continue to experiment, companies that don't embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary bet at the very end of their corporate existence."

Source: The Guardian

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