Most people have heard of Jeff Bezos. His name is as recognizable as the company he helms. However, Amazon's story hasn’t always been about profits and losses. Many people want to learn more about the man behind the billions and the people that helped him become so successful.
Before Jeff Bezos became the world’s first trillionaire, he was a young man with a rough idea about what he wanted his future to look like. It’s very likely that Bezos’s parents instilled a great sense of possibility in him at a young age. Who are Jeff Bezos's parents and how did they help him reach financial greatness?
Who are Jeff Bezos's parents?
Jeff Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, N.M., on January 12, 1964. He's the son of Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen. Jacklyn was only 17 years old when she gave birth to Jeff. She was still in high school at the time, while Ted was a local bike shop owner.
Jeff’s parents divorced four years after they got married. Jacklyn met and fell in love with Cuban immigrant Miguel "Mike" Bezos. Mike had a degree from the University of Mexico, which he used to become an engineer for Exxon when he moved to the U.S. He officially adopted four-year-old Jeff in April of 1968 and brought him into the Bezos family.
What was Jeff Bezos like as a child?
As a child, Jeff Bezos had scientific interests and an innate proficiency with technology. His ability was fostered greatly by his adoptive father, who respected Jeff's technological intellect, even if he did misuse it at times. For example, Jeff once rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room.
Jeff was a hard worker. When the family moved to Miami, he worked as a short-order line cook for McDonald’s during the breakfast shift before he went to school. He worked diligently through college. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a 4.2 GPA and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Jeff's degree was in electrical engineering and computer science.
Did Jeff Bezos’s parents invest in Amazon?
In what could be the most successful venture investment ever, Jackie and Mike Bezos decided to help their son by investing in his fledgling e-commerce website. In 1995, Jeff Bezos went to his parents with a proposition to help him fund his new website Amazon.com. They lent him $245,573, which was an expensive gamble considering how new the Internet was at the time.
Many years and decisions later, Bezos’s parents have been rewarded for their leap of faith. His parents' $245,573 investment is worth almost $30 billion today. If the numbers are correct, they are wealthier than Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who is currently the 30th-richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
What is Jeff Bezos's parents' net worth?
According to Bloomberg's calculations from 1999, Jackie and Mike Bezos are worth somewhere in the realm of $30 billion due to their initial financial backing in their son’s company. Since then, the holdings haven't been disclosed publicly. Considering how much Amazon has made over the past year alone, their wealth has definitely increased.
Are Jeff Bezos’s parents involved in philanthropy?
It isn't publicly known if Jeff Bezos’s parents are involved in any sort of philanthropy. Since they are likely worth more than $30 billion, they probably do give back in some way. For some people, philanthropy has a double benefit — they can help people and get tax breaks.