Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, although not a household name like Oprah or Branson, is the richest man in the world as of 2019. Now you might be wondering who he is and what he did to claim that title. We are here to tell you all about it.
Jeff Bezos was born in 1964 in New Mexico and started his very first business in high school – an educational summer camp called the Dream Institute. He graduated valedictorian of his high school and followed his early love of computers by obtaining a degree (summa cum laude) in computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University. After studying he played around on Wall Street a bit becoming the youngest senior vice president at D.E. Shaw, an investment firm. It was however only after he quit his job that Bezos headed down the road to being the world’s richest man.
In 1994 he founded Amazon.com. The e-commerce site was started in a small garage office in his Seattle home. Jeff and a few employees began developing software and eventually created a test site. After some beta testing Amazon was launched on 16 July 1995 as an online bookstore. Amazon was not the first online bookstore but its promise to “deliver any book to any reader anywhere” made it unique. The company grew fast selling books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within the first month. Within two months sales reached $20 000 a week and by 1996 it had 180 000 customer accounts and boasted $15.7 million in revenue. By 1998 Amazon was making roughly $610 million in revenue, pushing its founder to win Time Magazine’s Person of the year award in 1999.
Now although Amazon started as an online bookstore, this was by no means the end of Bezos vision. He soon expanded the site to include other items such as DVD’s, video games, music, electronics, toys and clothing. Amazon became the site that popularized online shopping leading the world into the age of e-commerce.
Besides the online site, Amazon also launched its very own video-on-demand service in 2006 and released the Kindle e-reader in 2007. Jeff Bezos also jumped onboard the ‘space-train’ and invested in Blue Origin, a Seattle-based aerospace company aimed at offering space travel to paying customers.
How Rich is Rich
With his fingers in many many pies, Jeff Bezos became the richest man in 2019. This happened after Amazon acquired Wholefoods and launched drone shipping which added a nice $40 billion to its networth. Oh and Bezos now owns Blue Origin and the Washington Post.
Bezos is so wealthy that spending roughly $88 000 is equivalent to the average American spending $1. Luckily he does also invest in some philanthropy. Bezos supports Mary’s Place, which provides shelter and employment training to the homeless, and he donates to TheDream.US which helps support minors who were brought to the US as undocumented immigrants. One of the stranger ventures he supports is the Long Now Foundation which seeks to build a giant mechanical ’10 000 year clock’ in West Texas…underground. Apparently this clock stands to be a symbol for long-term thinking – according to Bezos. Hey, what would a billionaire be without his eccentricities?
As of July 2019 Jeff Bezos was estimated to be worth $159.5 billion and is recently divorced; just in case you were wondering.
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