Jeffrey Preston Bezos ( born January 12, 1964) is an American technology and retail entrepreneur, investor, electrical engineer, computer scientist, and philanthropist, best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Amazon.com, the world’s largest online shopping retailer.
Born in Albuquerque and raised in Houston, Bezos graduated from Princeton University 1986 with degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. He went on to work on Wall Street in a variety of related fields from 1986 to early 1994. He founded Amazon.com in late 1994. The company began as an Internet merchant of books and expanded to a wide variety of products and services, most recently video and audio streaming. It is currently the world’s largest Internet sales online company, as well as the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services via its Amazon Web Services arm. A number of his other business investments are managed through Bezos Expeditions.
Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage. He had left his well-paying job at a New York City hedge fund after learning “about the rapid growth in Internet use,” which coincided with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling that exempted mail order companies from collecting sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence.Bezos’ parents invested $300,000 from their retirement savings into Amazon
Bezos diversified his business interests by founding aerospace company Blue Origin in 2000 and purchasing The Washington Post newspaper in 2013 for $250 million in cash. Blue Origin started test flights to space in 2015 and plans for commercial suborbital human spaceflight beginning in 2018.
On July 27, 2017, he became the world’s wealthiest person with an estimated net worth of just over $90 billion according to Forbes Magazine. His net worth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on November 24, 2017, after Amazon’s share price increased by more than 2.5%. As of January 25, 2018, he is worth $116.6 billion, and is contended to be on track to become the wealthiest person in history.