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Jeff Bezos

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Biography

Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Amazon.com. Bezos, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University, worked as a financial analyst for D. E. Shaw & Co. before founding Amazon in 1994. He was TIME magazine's Person of the Year in 1999.

Jeff Bezos was born in New Mexico. His mother's ancestors were settlers in Texas, and over the generations had acquired a 25,000 acre (101 km² or 39 miles²) ranch in Cotulla. Bezos's maternal grandfather was a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. He retired early to the ranch, where Bezos spent most summers of his youth, working with his grandfather at the enormously varied tasks essential to the operation. At an early age, he displayed a striking mechanical aptitude. When a toddler, he dismantled his crib with a screwdriver.

Bezos was born when his mother, Jackie Bezos, was still in her teens. Her marriage to his father lasted little more than a year. She remarried when Bezos was five. Bezos's stepfather, Miguel Bezos, was born in Cuba, he migrated to the United States alone at age 15 and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque. When he married Bezos's mother, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel Bezos became an engineer for Exxon. Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary in Houston from the 4th to 6th grades.

Bezos showed intense and varied scientific interests at an early age. He rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room and maintain his secrecy. He converted his parents' garage into a laboratory for his science projects. The family moved to Miami, Florida, where Bezos attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School. He entered Princeton University planning to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers, and graduated with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering.

After graduating from Princeton, Bezos worked on Wall Street in the computer science field. Then he worked on building a network for international trade for a company known as Fitel. Later on Bezos also worked in computer science for D. E. Shaw & Co..

Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994, and became one of the most prominent dot-com entrepreneurs. In 2004, he founded a human spaceflight startup company called Blue Origin.

His wealth is primarily derived from his holding of Amazon.com stock; at the end of 2006 he held just over 100 million shares of common stock, representing 24.26% of all Amazon.com shares (in 1998 he held 41% of all shares). In the same year his salary was $81,840 (unchanged since 1998), with $1.1 million in other benefits.

According to Forbes list of the World's Wealthiest People:
- 1999 – $10.1 billion, ranked no. 19
- 2000 – $6.0 billion, ranked no. 23
- 2001 – $2.0 billion, ranked no. 234
- 2002 – $1.5 billion, ranked no. 293
- 2003 – $2.5 billion, ranked no. 147
- 2004 – $5.1 billion, ranked no. 82
- 2005 – $4.8 billion, ranked no. 41
- 2006 – $4.3 billion, ranked no. 147 (shared with others)
- 2007 – $8.7 billion, ranked no. 35



 


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