Here is a look at the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. As of April 2020, Forbes ranked Bezos as the world’s richest man.
Birth date: January 12, 1964
Birth place: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Birth name: Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen
Father: Ted Jorgensen
Mother: Jackie (Gise) Bezos
Marriage: MacKenzie (Tuttle) Bezos (1993-2019, divorced)
Children: A daughter adopted from China, and three sons
Education: Princeton University, B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science, 1986
He was adopted at a young age by his stepfather, Miguel “Mike” Bezos, an engineer at Exxon.
1994 – Leaves D. E. Shaw & Co. in order to develop Amazon.
1999 – Is named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
2000 – Founds Blue Origin, LLC, an aerospace company to provide low-cost access to private space travel.
2011 – Bezos and his wife donate $15 million to create the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics at Princeton University.
November 2012 – Fortune Magazine names Bezos 2012 Businessperson of the Year.
March 2012-2013 – Leads the privately funded Apollo 11 F-1 Engine Recovery project team that, in March 2013, recovers parts of two rocket engines from the Atlantic seafloor. The rockets from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission remain property of NASA.
August 5, 2013 – It is announced that Bezos is purchasing The Washington Post. Bezos officially becomes the owner on October 1.
January 1, 2014 – Bezos is evacuated on an Ecuadorian navy helicopter from the Galapagos Islands after he develops kidney stones. An Amazon spokesman later says no surgery was required.
November 24, 2015 – Bezos’ company Blue Origin successfully lands a rocket back on Earth after a space flight. In the past, rockets were disposed of after launching space crafts. Reusable rockets would substantially reduce the cost of space flight.
July 18, 2016 – Amazon confirms Bezos has a cameo role as an alien in the movie “Star Trek Beyond.”
December 14, 2016 – Along with other tech executives, Bezos meets with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower to discuss issues such as education, trade and immigration.
September 5, 2018 – Bezos contributes $10 million to With Honor, a nonpartisan organization and super PAC that aims to increase the number of veterans in politics.
September 13, 2018 – Bezos announces via Twitter that he and his wife will commit $2 billion to a fund called “Bezos Day One Fund.” The fund will support nonprofits that help homeless families and create a network of preschools in low-income communities.
January 9, 2019 – In a joint statement, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announce they are divorcing after 25 years of marriage.
February 7, 2019 – In a blog post, Bezos accuses AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, of trying to extort him, alleging that AMI threatened to release compromising photos of him.
March 30, 2019 – An investigator working for Bezos to find out how evidence of his extramarital relationship was provided to the National Enquirer claims that Saudi Arabia had access to information before the photos and texts were leaked. In an opinion article for the Daily Beast, Gavin de Becker says that Saudi leadership wanted to harm Bezos because of the Washington Post’s coverage of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
April 4, 2019 – Bezos and his wife announce that they have agreed to divorce terms, with MacKenzie set to keep 25% of the couple’s Amazon stock, which would give her a 4% stake in the company. Bezos will retain voting control over all MacKenzie’s shares and will also maintain all his interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin.
May 9, 2019 – Bezos unveils Blue Origin’s new rocket engine and a mockup of the lunar lander it wants to use to shuttle cargo or people to the moon. The lunar lander’s first mission is slated for 2024.
February 17, 2020 – Bezos commits $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund, a new initiative to back scientists, activists and organizations working to mitigate the impact of climate change.
April 7, 2020 – Bezos ranks No. 1 on Forbes’ annual list of billionaires, with a net worth of $113 billion.
July 29, 2020 – Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, CEO of Google’s parent company Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg all testify before a House subcommittee on anti-trust to address concerns that their businesses may be harming competition.
October 19, 2020 – The Bezos Academy, the first location of a network of tuition-free preschools serving children in underserved communities, opens in Des Moines, Washington.
November 16, 2020 – Bezos announces that he will give $791 million in grants as part of his Bezos Earth Fund to 16 organizations that are working to protect the environment.
February 2, 2021 – In its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings report, Amazon announces that Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive in the third quarter of 2021. He will transition to the role of executive chair. Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy will become chief executive officer at that time.
May 26, 2021 – During the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Bezos announces that he will officially step down from his role as chief executive officer on July 5. That is the anniversary of the date Amazon was incorporated in 1994.