The Life And Awesomeness Of Amazon Founder And CEO Jeff Bezos

Jeff bezos

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is a billionaire who’s had an amazing life and career.

Today, his “Everything Store” sells nearly $US80 billion worth of goods per year.

Unfamiliar with Bezos’ story?

Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”jeff-bezos-mom-jackie-was-a-teenager-when-she-had-him-in-january-1964-she-had-recently-married-cuban-immigrant-mike-bezos-who-adopted-jeff-jeff-didnt-learn-that-mike-wasnt-his-real-father-until-he-was-ten-but-says-he-was-more-fazed-about-learning-he-needed-to-get-glasses-than-he-was-about-the-news-1″
title=”Jeff Bezos’ mum, Jackie, was a teenager when she had him in January 1964. She had recently married Cuban immigrant Mike Bezos, who adopted Jeff. Jeff didn’t learn that Mike wasn’t his real father until he was ten, but says he was more fazed about learning he needed to get glasses than he was about the news.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2eb31ecad045a48e9e1f9/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.biography.com/people/jeff-bezos-9542209″
]
[slide
permalink=”he-was-a-smart-and-resourceful-child-when-he-was-a-toddler-he-took-apart-his-crib-with-a-screwdriver-because-he-wanted-to-sleep-in-a-bed-2″
title=”He was a smart and resourceful child. When he was a toddler, he took apart his crib with a screwdriver because he wanted to sleep in a bed.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5289fdc2ecad04664568bc4a/image.jpg”
caption=”This baby isn’t Jeff Bezos.”
credit_href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/djs1021/2629333737/sizes/z/in/photostream/”
]
[slide
permalink=”between-4-and-16-bezos-spent-summers-on-his-grandparents-ranch-in-texas-doing-farm-work-like-repairing-windmills-and-castrating-bulls-3″
title=”Between 4 and 16, Bezos spent summers on his grandparents’ ranch in Texas, doing farm work like repairing windmills and castrating bulls.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2e26f69bedd0837e9e1f8/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/biggreymare/2920644058/in/photolist-pAL1u-5s64J3-eesA1x-d46Tdf-8BQvcP-o1nFzA-3eM6Qc-i8Lb1Z-98QTjM-msc5uC-bPFCsz-hp93Mz-ntRB3d-o4yuXd-6XMePG-hNi6bM-eexQkX-4zpoAf-4AKskY-cmyHsf-bffb6P-nFoyKP-6y6WTS-52GHU2-nzp9WF-7HSxAr-jevbns-3c38WW-5wkqX6-7QUDTK-7gCEwL-sKiLw-7HSxHp-EhcBB-6mrcuD-5ZQnfd-6BeVts-iUP5as-eW4JJH-6cmcda-fFDc53-7HWtW1-j16XDA-9Nb955-n3NXRb-9EV4kf-eQna2i-4GVkiy-4wf4XL-jzHtSn”
]
[slide
permalink=”his-grandfather-preston-gise-was-a-huge-inspiration-for-bezos-and-helped-kindle-his-passion-for-intellectual-pursuits-at-a-commencement-address-in-2010-bezos-said-that-gise-taught-him-that-its-harder-to-be-kind-than-clever-4″
title=”His grandfather, Preston Gise, was a huge inspiration for Bezos, and helped kindle his passion for intellectual pursuits. At a commencement address in 2010, Bezos said that Gise taught him that ‘it’s harder to be kind than clever.'”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2e4646da81142681316bf/image.jpg”
caption=”Jeff Bezos giving a commencement address”
credit_href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmavNoChZc&feature=kp”
]
[slide
permalink=”growing-up-bezos-loved-star-trek-watching-re-runs-after-school-almost-every-day-early-on-he-thought-about-calling-amazon-makeitsocom-in-reference-to-a-famous-line-from-star-trek-5″
title=”Growing up, Bezos loved Star Trek, watching re-runs after school almost every day. Early on, he thought about calling Amazon MakeItSo.com in reference to a famous line from Star Trek.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5310ec3decad04be035385be/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.startrek.com/page/star-trek-the-next-generation”
]
[slide
permalink=”after-spending-a-miserable-summer-working-at-mcdonalds-as-a-teen-bezos-and-his-girlfriend-started-the-dream-institute-a-ten-day-summer-camp-for-kids-they-charged-600-per-kid-but-managed-to-sign-up-six-students-the-lord-of-the-rings-series-made-the-required-reading-list-6″
title=”After spending a miserable summer working at McDonald’s as a teen, Bezos and his girlfriend started the DREAM Institute, a ten day summer-camp for kids. They charged $US600 per kid, but managed to sign-up six students. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ series made the required reading list.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c04bfa69bedd462ca62df3/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessiemoore/3244286361/in/photolist-5WFPiK-cyqDFy-occRUw-ehDgjn-fpuBD5-dBG25G-rnboc-axCTFZ-6Usfbw-7Aj55T-fCB4hk-7rsmxz-fpfp4n-fpuJnw-gsD4v-brxHf7-atstMq-8nvepB-dMSWf-2nKwLH-4gbMDE-4g7HJe-4g7Lsk-4gbJtA-4g7K48-4gbLpw-4gbQfj-4gbKr3-4gbNQd-4g7MAr-4g7MLB-4gbKj3-4g7NeP-4g7MSK-4g7HPF-4gbKMY-4g7KDR-4gbKdw-4g7KVg-4g7PUB-4g7P3n-bEsxkp-aDLCdK-4rAvuu-29iQ5f-f11gUW-8bLpFG-6JG6WW-27euaU-9XRigx”
]
[slide
permalink=”he-eventually-went-to-college-at-princeton-and-majored-in-computer-science-upon-graduation-he-turned-down-job-offers-from-intel-and-bell-labs-to-join-a-startup-called-fitel-7″
title=”He eventually went to college at Princeton and majored in computer science. Upon graduation, he turned down job offers from Intel and Bell Labs to join a startup called Fitel.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2eb61eab8ea5d74f472fa/image.jpg”
caption=”A young Bezos at an early computer”
credit_href=”http://www.biography.com/people/jeff-bezos-9542209″
]
[slide
permalink=”after-fitel-he-got-a-job-at-bankers-trust-and-eventually-at-hedge-fund-firm-de-shaw-he-became-a-senior-vice-president-after-only-four-years-8″
title=”After Fitel, he got a job at Bankers Trust, and eventually at hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw. He became a senior vice president after only four years.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2ec36ecad048656e9e1f2/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”meanwhile-bezos-took-ballroom-dancing-classes-as-part-of-a-scheme-to-increase-his-women-flow-like-wall-streeters-have-a-process-for-increasing-their-deal-flow-bezos-thought-about-meeting-girls-analytically-9″
title=”Meanwhile, Bezos took ballroom dancing classes as part of a scheme to increase his ‘women flow.’ Like Wall Streeters have a process for increasing their ‘deal flow,’ Bezos thought about meeting girls analytically.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2ede16da811b6151316c1/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/14041531986/in/photolist-noNwg5-7xuNd4-sqkx-5YxK1u-6aXrCw-9r9wBE-9r9qjN-9r9ZFh-9r6eDx-BUxj2-zzUh5-zw29h-RvMNo-BUxj7-aJZapv-5ZbQPr-CfUkB-5LR9VQ-tCopr-51SEvh-2sB9V-2sB8E-2sB9E-2sB8z-2sB9w-2sB7Y-WrSV-eJvJ2-2sB7K-2sB8i-2sB89-2sB8R-2sB9j-2sB91-4kBpM1-5LR9Ly-jB7ng-f1bnFm-eJvZV-FaHkh-eJvuP-jvQDBH-8Px75c-8f6FRF-6xcJGw-T9RwH-d2qc9q-d2qc3W-d2qceA-51SEaY”
]
[slide
permalink=”he-eventually-married-mackenzie-tuttle-a-de-shaw-a-research-associate-in-1993-shes-now-a-novelist-10″
title=”He eventually married MacKenzie Tuttle, a D.E. Shaw a research associate, in 1993. She’s now a novelist.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c03f7969beddfb7278d754/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”in-1994-bezos-read-that-the-web-had-grown-2300-in-one-year-this-number-astounded-him-and-he-decided-he-needed-to-find-some-way-to-take-advantage-of-its-rapid-growth-he-made-a-list-of-20-possible-product-categories-to-sell-online-and-decided-that-books-were-the-best-option-11″
title=”In 1994, Bezos read that the Web had grown 2,300% in one year. This number astounded him, and he decided he needed to find some way to take advantage of its rapid growth. He made a list of 20 possible product categories to sell online, and decided that books were the best option.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/538cc26b69bedd5175fdc367/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/pfala/3813097461/in/photolist-6NX82F-2SgRsM-c2QEw3-5HQajK-7EiPB9-5zVxkN-6May4n-8J7dro-78SuTN-kS7MVB-7u5mpz-dS6t6o-cZmrGy-fE7Qwf-fE7Qaf-fE7PWy-fE7Pxf-bjKHyr-b4Lti-d4bs5u-8WcU6F-5QC9TY-hRupWA-6mmGDw-6aeePT-5UVNpg-kUa6fS-7cV1fJ-6niXh9-kVKFpt-gSa3B-6jEJFb-5LNmdn-4BY9xq-8J47ft-8J7deG-8J475X-9wKtw1-9wGuUp-6XN35B-2Zvjnb-5LNmrB-5LNmkn-5LNm7a-5LNkZT-5LSyR5-5LSyJq-5LSyCs-5LSyvy-5LNkpZ”
]
[slide
permalink=”bezos-decided-to-leave-de-shaw-even-though-he-had-a-great-job-12″
title=”Bezos decided to leave D.E. Shaw even though he had a great job.”
content=”‘When you are in the thick of things, you can get confused by small stuff,’ he said later. ‘I knew when I was eighty that I would never, for example, think about why I walked away from my 1994 Wall Street bonus right in the middle of the year at the worst possible time. That kind of thing just isn’t something you worry about when you’re eighty years old. At the same time, I knew that I might sincerely regret not having participated in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a revolutionizing event. When I thought about it that way… it was incredibly easy to make the decision.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2f38aeab8ea2720f472fc/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.biography.com/people/jeff-bezos-9542209″
]
[slide
permalink=”and-so-amazon-was-born-mackenzie-and-jeff-flew-to-texas-to-borrow-a-car-from-his-father-and-then-they-drove-to-seattle-bezos-was-making-revenue-projections-in-the-passenger-seat-the-whole-way-though-the-couple-did-stop-to-watch-the-sunrise-over-the-grand-canyon-13″
title=”And so Amazon was born. MacKenzie and Jeff flew to Texas to borrow a car from his father, and then they drove to Seattle. Bezos was making revenue projections in the passenger seat the whole way, though the couple did stop to watch the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53727509eab8ea80288af178/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/people/aigle_dore/”
]
[slide
permalink=”in-the-early-days-a-bell-would-ring-in-the-office-every-time-someone-made-a-purchase-and-everyone-would-gather-around-to-see-if-they-knew-the-customer-it-only-took-a-few-weeks-before-it-was-ringing-so-often-the-they-had-to-make-it-stop-14″
title=”In the early days, a bell would ring in the office every time someone made a purchase, and everyone would gather around to see if they knew the customer. It only took a few weeks before it was ringing so often the they had to make it stop.”
content=”Learn more about some of Amazon’s early employees here.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2f480eab8ea0426f472fa/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/vshioshvili/139746989/in/photolist-dmeUR-edLn8-nmLaFW-4GYkaz-6SBEN-e6Uj3R-aaCTYB-nRCzB9-7MiCdX-3abyn3-dkbth5-9BnAFN-fggYJM-dNwHLP-b3UQUi-PMpGx-eumbc-e6UiM6-kJuvz-5Bfdsq-m2HgsD-54ReW6-4aYPPu-8dtm8g-dNCjpy-dNCjnQ-PMpHz-dNwHD4-rNtVJ-b2tY9X-53nima-5fwpRt-4T4sxf-dbnpMb-h7r8ot-8GuTKk-4r836E-ckakMN-nUzTB-68jQqL-iwnCHs-drV5TQ-8RmPj4-63TpJz-dFXxKT-dnYUdM-5ejtwg-9h3tyb-59NPD7-PMpHp”
]
[slide
permalink=”in-the-first-month-of-its-launch-amazon-had-already-sold-books-to-people-in-all-50-states-and-in-45-different-countries-and-it-continued-to-grow-it-ended-up-being-one-of-the-few-startups-that-didnt-get-wiped-out-by-the-dot-com-bust-15″
title=”In the first month of its launch, Amazon had already sold books to people in all 50 states and in 45 different countries, and it continued to grow. It ended up being one of the few startups that didn’t get wiped out by the dot-com bust.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c02e4469bedd142c78d759/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/”
]
[slide
permalink=”jeff-bezos-was-a-demanding-boss-and-could-explode-at-employees-rumor-has-it-he-hired-a-leadership-coach-to-help-him-tone-it-down-16″
title=”Jeff Bezos was a demanding boss and could explode at employees. Rumour has it, he hired a leadership coach to help him tone it down.”
content=”MacKenzie,”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5137741d69bedd3b3300000d/image.jpg”
caption=”Amazon’s Jeff Bezos”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”in-1998-bezos-also-became-an-early-investor-in-google-he-invested-250000-which-was-about-33-million-shares-when-the-company-ipod-in-2004–or-over-280-million-he-hasnt-revealed-whether-or-not-he-kept-any-of-his-stock-after-the-ipo-17″
title=”In 1998, Bezos also became an early investor in Google. He invested $US250,000, which was about 3.3 million shares when the company IPO’d in 2004 — or over $US280 million. (He hasn’t revealed whether or not he kept any of his stock after the IPO).”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5359684cecad04535215349a/image.jpg”
caption=”Here’s Google founder Larry Page when he was in college”
credit_href=”http://www.bloomberg.com/video/66114966-bloomberg-game-changers-sergey-brin-larry-page.html”
]
[slide
permalink=”today-bezos-is-worth-about-30-billion-18″
title=”Today, Bezos is worth about $US30 billion.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c2f5bfecad04957ce9e1f5/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”what-does-bezos-do-with-all-his-money-in-2012-he-donated-25-million-to-defend-gay-marriage-in-washington-19″
title=”What does Bezos do with all his money? In 2012, he donated $US2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/533486c26bb3f74e280cf946/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”bezos-has-also-donated-42-million-and-part-of-his-land-in-texas-to-the-construction-of-the-clock-of-the-long-now-an-underground-clock-designed-to-work-for-10000-years-20″
title=”Bezos has also donated $US42 million and part of his land in Texas to the construction of The Clock Of The Long Now, an underground clock designed to work for 10,000 years.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c04df269beddbb28a62df5/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=60118047867&set=pb.16998442867.-2207520000.1376321578.&type=3&theater”
]
[slide
permalink=”in-august-2013-bezos-bought-the-washington-post-for-250-million-21″
title=”In August 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $US250 million.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c02dd569bedda92b78d751/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/”
]
[slide
permalink=”he-funds-a-private-space-company-called-blue-origin-which-is-working-on-developing-technology-for-private-space-travel-22″
title=”He funds a private space company called Blue Origin, which is working on developing technology for private space travel.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c05017eab8ea5b180ec69d/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.blueorigin.com/”
]
[slide
permalink=”in-2003-jeff-bezos-almost-died-in-a-helicopter-crash-while-scouting-a-site-for-the-companys-test-launch-facility-in-the-boondocks-of-west-texas-23″
title=”In 2003, Jeff Bezos almost died in a helicopter crash while scouting a site for the company’s test-launch facility in the boondocks of west Texas.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/51647252eab8eace3600000a/image.jpg”
caption=”This isn’t Bezos’ helicopter.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”the-company-currently-employees-about-300-people-and-its-in-the-process-of-getting-one-of-its-rocket-engines-certified-for-use-24″
title=”The company currently employees about 300 people and it’s in the process of getting one of its rocket engines certified for use.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/51fc145deab8eaa34a000006/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.blueorigin.com/updates/update/great-day-in-west-texas#”
]
[slide
permalink=”late-2013-bezos-made-a-splash-by-announcing-on-60-minutes-that-amazon-was-working-on-drones-that-could-deliver-orders-in-30-minutes-25″
title=”Late 2013, Bezos made a splash by announcing on ’60 Minutes’ that Amazon was working on drones that could deliver orders in 30 minutes.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/531498446bb3f79e443af1ac/image.jpg”
caption=”This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs.”
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”he-owns-a-house-on-lake-washington-as-well-as-a-2425-million-beverly-hills-estate-26″
title=”He owns a house on Lake Washington, as well as a $US24.25 million Beverly Hills estate.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53c0564e6da811786e7571da/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=”http://www.dreamhomesmagazine.com/Home122634.html”
]
[slide
permalink=”its-been-a-big-year-for-amazon-the-company-released-a-tv-streaming-box-as-well-as-smartphone-27″
title=”It’s been a big year for Amazon. The company released a TV streaming box as well as smartphone.”
content=”Source.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53a21507ecad040a05c8398e/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”now-see-who-else-bezos-was-hanging-out-with-at-a-recent-conference-28″
title=”Now see who else Bezos was hanging out with at a recent conference…”
content=”

Millionaires, Billionaires, And Big Names Swarm To Sun Valley, Idaho For Allen & Co.’s Mogul Fest


image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/53bd3efceab8ea0a1c617712/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]