Despite the rumors floating around, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos isn’t Cuban. Here's everything we know about his family ties.
Miguel “Mike” Bezos isn't Jeff Bezos's biological father. So, although Bezos has a large Cuban family, he doesn’t actually have any Cuban blood relatives.
Rapper Pitbull asks Jeff Bezos to “step up” as a Cuban-American.
This week, in response to the anti-government demonstrations in Cuba, Cuban-American singer Pitbull called on Bezos to “step up” and help.
“Jeff Bezos, Cuban-American, graduated from a high school in Miami, built one of the biggest companies in the world. The richest man in the world. He’s somebody that can get involved and really help us,” Pitbull said in an Instagram post.
What is Jeff Bezos’s nationality?
The thing is, Bezos isn't a Cuban-American. Born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, N.M., Bezos’s biological parents are Jacklyn Gise and Ted Jorgensen. Jorgensen’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Denmark.
Bezos was given the Jorgensen name at birth, although his father wasn’t very present in his life. The couple did marry, but the marriage lasted less than a year.
When Bezos was four years old, his mother married Mike Bezos. With his birth father out of the picture, Mike adopted Jeff and gave him his surname, Bezos.
Who is Miguel “Mike” Bezos?
Mike Bezos immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962 when he was just 16 years old. After Fidel Castro’s government took away his family’s lumber mill business, Mike’s parents decided to send him to the U.S. for a better life.
“I had no desire to leave Cuba and had never thought of coming to the United States, but my parents really wanted me out because my future was very questionable if I stayed in Cuba,” Mike said in a 2016 interview with the National Museum of American History.
When Mike came to the U.S., he was alone and hardly spoke any English. He was one of 400 “Peter Pan” kids that lived at Camp Matecumbe—a refugee camp that sheltered Cuban children until their relatives could join them.
Mike Bezos became a U.S. citizen.
Fast forward years later, Mike is now the proud father of the world’s richest person. Bezos has nothing but praise and admiration for the man who raised him to be the person he is today. When Mike officially became a U.S. citizen, Bezos gave him a card that pictured a handshake which he says was the handshake between his dad and the U.S.
In 2019, Mike was honored at the opening of the Statue of Liberty museum.
“My dad’s journey to the U.S. shows how people come together to help each other,” Bezos tweeted about the event.
Currently, Mike and his wife (Jeff’s mom) Jackie Bezos head up the Bezos Family Foundation, which provides grants for educators, researchers, and nonprofits focused on how children learn.
“It is truly unbelievable. I look back on my life and I had lived the American Dream 30 years ago,” Mike told CNBC in 2019.