The Life And Awesomeness Of Amazon Founder And CEO Jeff Bezos

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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 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.

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 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.

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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.

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.

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Between 4 and 16, Bezos spent summers on his grandparents' ranch in Texas, doing farm work like repairing windmills and castrating bulls.

Between 4 and 16, Bezos spent summers on his grandparents' ranch in Texas, doing farm work like repairing windmills and castrating bulls.

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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."

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."

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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.

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.

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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 $600 per kid, but managed to sign-up six students. The 'Lord of the Rings' series made the required reading list.

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 $600 per kid, but managed to sign-up six students. The 'Lord of the Rings' series made the required reading list.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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He eventually married MacKenzie Tuttle, a D.E. Shaw a research associate, in 1993. She's now a novelist.

He eventually married MacKenzie Tuttle, a D.E. Shaw a research associate, in 1993. She's now a novelist.

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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.

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.

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Bezos decided to leave D.E. Shaw even though he had a great job.

Bezos decided to leave D.E. Shaw even though he had a great job.

"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."

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

Learn more about some of Amazon's early employees here.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

MacKenzie,

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In 1998, Bezos also became an early investor in Google. He invested $250,000, which was about 3.3 million shares when the company IPO'd in 2004 — or over $280 million. (He hasn't revealed whether or not he kept any of his stock after the IPO).

In 1998, Bezos also became an early investor in Google. He invested $250,000, which was about 3.3 million shares when the company IPO'd in 2004 — or over $280 million. (He hasn't revealed whether or not he kept any of his stock after the IPO).

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Today, Bezos is worth about $30 billion.

Today, Bezos is worth about $30 billion.

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What does Bezos do with all his money? In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington.

What does Bezos do with all his money? In 2012, he donated $2.5 million to defend gay marriage in Washington.

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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 10,000 years.

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 10,000 years.

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In August 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million.

In August 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million.

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He funds a private space company called Blue Origin, which is working on developing technology for private space travel.

He funds a private space company called Blue Origin, which is working on developing technology for private space travel.

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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.

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.

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The company currently employees about 300 people and it's in the process of getting one of its rocket engines certified for use.

The company currently employees about 300 people and it's in the process of getting one of its rocket engines certified for use.

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Late 2013, Bezos made a splash by announcing on "60 Minutes" that Amazon was working on drones that could deliver orders in 30 minutes.

Late 2013, Bezos made a splash by announcing on "60 Minutes" that Amazon was working on drones that could deliver orders in 30 minutes.

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He owns a house on Lake Washington, as well as a $24.25 million Beverly Hills estate.

He owns a house on Lake Washington, as well as a $24.25 million Beverly Hills estate.

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It's been a big year for Amazon. The company released a TV streaming box as well as smartphone.

It's been a big year for Amazon. The company released a TV streaming box as well as smartphone.

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Now see who else Bezos was hanging out with at a recent conference...

Now see who else Bezos was hanging out with at a recent conference...

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

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