How much is Jeff Bezos worth?
Jeff Bezos is an American businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, media mogul, and citizen astronaut who is the brains and former CEO/Chairman of the Amazon retail juggernaut.
As Bezos turns 59 on January 12, he has a net worth of $116.7 billion, according to Forbes’ Realtime Billionaires list.
Jeff Bezos’ Wealth Over the Years
Bezos has been a billionaire since 1999 – the year after Amazon went public – and he was the richest person in the world from 2017, when he overtook Bill Gates, until 2020.
In early January 2021, Bezos was overtaken by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk as the richest person on the list, and the two places swapped from time to time. As of January 10, 2023, however, Bezos is the fourth richest person on Earth, with Musk second. Bernard Arnault of France and his family, who own a variety of luxury brands, top the list, according to Forbes, with a net worth of $204.1 billion.
At his peak, Bezos’ net worth was $200 billion.
Early life and career of Jeff Bezos
Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen to Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents divorced when he was very young and his mother married Miguel Bezos. Miguel adopted the boy, who later took the surname Bezos. Jeff grew up in Houston and had a keen interest in science. As he was about to enter high school, his family moved to Miami. He was an excellent student and the valedictorian of his class.
He fell in love with computer science while at Princeton University and graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1986.
After graduating, he had many great opportunities to choose from, but he chose to work for Fitel, a fintech company. He migrated to banking and got a job at hedge fund DE Shaw & Co. By the time he left the company four years later, he had risen to the position of senior vice president.
It was at DE Shaw & Co. that Bezos got the idea to move to the World Wide Web for his next business venture – an online bookstore he named Amazon. There he also met budding novelist MacKenzie Tuttle. The couple married in 1993 and share four children. They divorced in 2019 and it was reported that the split was amicable.
Amazon makes Bezos a billionaire
On July 16, 1995, Seattle-based Amazon opened its virtual doors and began selling books online. Bezos himself helped pack the orders and deliver the boxes to the post office for shipping.
After growing from its beginnings as a bookseller, Amazon has expanded to offer a multitude of products and services to customers around the world, which has helped it exceed $100 billion in annual sales in one. Record time. Today, the company has a market capitalization of $914.6 billion, according to the Nasdaq stock exchange. That’s a drop of more than $500 million in 11 months.
Bezos currently owns just under 10% of outstanding Amazon stock, according to Forbes. When he and his wife divorced, she received a quarter of his then 16% stake in Amazon. Forbes reported in November that by this time in 2022, he had donated more than $400 million in stock to nonprofits.
Ultimately, Bezos amassed incredible wealth while using Amazon to disrupt virtually every consumer industry.
Other business ventures of Jeff Bezos
Bezos launched his next passion project, Blue Origin, a company focused on manned spaceflight, in 2000.
In 2013, Bezos became one of the biggest players in the news industry after buying The Washington Post for $250 million.
In March 2017, Bezos bought Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com for $580 million, CNBC reported. This gave him the opportunity to expand Amazon into the Middle East.
In 2017, Bezos also bought grocery store Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, paving the way for Amazon to revitalize its food delivery service, Amazon Fresh.
Bezos also has major investments in companies other than his own, favoring startups with huge ROI potential. Forbes reports that he invested around $250,000 in Google – now part of parent company Alphabet – when he met founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. Yahoo reports that he has invested in more than 95 companies and startups, including Airbnb, Workday and Uber. .
Jeff Bezos retires as CEO of Amazon
Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon – the company he founded that made him a global figure – on July 5, 2021. He chose this day for sentimental reasons. It was, after all, the 27th anniversary of the day the company was incorporated in 1994. He serves as executive chairman.
Since retiring as CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has spent time sending rockets into space, including ships containing not only the iconic billionaire himself, but celebrities as well. His company, Blue Origin, previously sent William Shatner, the legendary Captain Kirk, as well as “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan, into orbit.
Jeff Bezos steps up his charitable giving
Jeff Bezos hasn’t always been considered the most generous billionaire, as he donated less than others, like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to charities and causes. Bezos also refrained from participating in The Giving Pledge. Ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has signed up to the initiative, in which the world’s wealthiest people pledge to donate half of their wealth, either throughout their lives or after they die . Gates, Buffett and approximately 235 other individuals and couples have signed The Giving Pledge.
However, in 2020, Jeff Bezos made the largest charitable donation of the year, donating $10 billion to launch the Bezos Earth Fund, an organization that supports nonprofits fighting climate change. Bezos also donated $100 million to the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund.
He said in a CNN interview last November that he planned to give away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime without going into specifics.
Jeff Bezos’ real estate portfolio
MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos purchased an estate in Seattle’s Medina neighborhood in 1998. It consisted of two homes totaling nearly 29,000 square feet. Bezos purchased the neighboring property, which consisted of five acres and a 24,000 square foot home, in 2010. The resort is believed to be Bezos’ primary residence, post-divorce.
Bezos added a Texas ranch to his portfolio in 2004. Located near Van Horn, the property serves as a base of operations for Blue Origin, according to Architectural Digest.
Bezos owns estates in Beverly Hills, California worth more than $200 million. It has adjoining mansions purchased in 2007 for $24.45 million and in 2017 for $12.9 million, according to Architectural Digest. In 2020, he paid $165 million for a historic mansion previously owned by David Geffen.
His portfolio also includes a number of properties in Manhattan. Bezos added four Manhattan apartments in 2019 and 2020 to the two he already owned. The most recent acquisitions include a 10,000 square foot penthouse overlooking Madison Square Park.
He also owns at least two properties in Washington, DC, purchased in 2016 and 2020 for $23 million and $5 million, respectively.
In 2021, Bezos paid $78 million for a 14-acre resort in Hawaii, Architectural Digest reported, bringing the total value of his real estate portfolio to at least $578 million.
The luxury toys of Jeff Bezos
In addition to his impressive real estate portfolio, Bezos owns private jets — including two Gulfstream planes — for his personal travel needs. His limited liability company, Poplar Glen, paid $5.5 million for a hangar at Seattle’s Boeing Field to store its jets in 2015.
Bezos will soon take possession of a $500 million superyacht he commissioned that was built in the Netherlands. It will be the largest sailing yacht in the world at 417 feet long and will cost $25 million a year to maintain, Elite Traveler reported. The yacht’s name is “Koru”, a word from Maori culture that translates to “fresh start”, according to the Daily Mail.
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