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American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos is the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon.com. In 2013, he purchased The Washington Post.
Jeff Bezos the Trekkie (2:12)
Jeff Bezos Starts Amazon (2:37)
Jeff Bezos - Full Biography (41:17)
Steve Jobs - Mini Biography (3:39)
When "Star Trek" first came out in the 1970's Jeff Bezos became an early and avid Trekkie.
After reading a study in 1994 that stated the internet was growing at a rate of 2,300% per year, Jeff Bezos decided to capitalize on that growth with his e-commerce start up Amazon.
Business whiz Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com in the garage of his rented house with start-up money he borrowed from his parents.
Steve Jobs met Steve Wozniak while in high school and in 1976, they started Apple Computers. Jobs oversaw the development of revolutionary products like the iPhone and iPad.
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Entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bezos had an early love of computers and studied computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University. After graduation, he worked on Wall Street, and in 1990 became the youngest senior vice president at the investment firm D.E. Shaw. Four years later, he quit his lucrative job to open Amazon.com, a virtual bookstore that became one of the internet's biggest success stories. In 2013,
"We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. Our touchstone will be readers, understanding what they care about—government, local leaders, restaurant openings, scout troops, businesses, charities, governors, sports—and working backwards from there. I'm excited and optimistic about the opportunity for invention."
[On the future of 'The Washington Post,' which recently came under Bezos's ownership.]
Bezos made headlines when he purchased The Washington Post in a $250 million deal.
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a teenage mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and his biological father, Ted Jorgensen. Bezos's parents were married less than a year, and when Bezos was four years old his mother married his step-father Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant.
As a child, Jeff Bezos showed an early interest in how things work, turning his parents' garage into a laboratory and rigging electrical contraptions around his house. As a teenager, his family moved to Miami where he developed a love for computers and excelled in school, becoming the valedictorian of his class. In high school, he also started his first business, the Dream Institute, an educational summer camp for fourth, fifth and sixth graders.
Bezos pursued his interest in computers at Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. After graduation, he found work at several firms on Wall Street including Fitel, Bankers Trust, and the investment firm D.E. Shaw where he met his wife Mackenzie and was named the youngest vice president in 1990. While his career in finance was extremely lucrative, Bezos chose to make a risky move into the nascent world of e-commerce. He quit his job in 1994, moved to Seattle and targeted the untapped potential of the internet market by opening an online bookstore.
Bezos set up the office for his fledgling company in his garage where, along with a few employees, he began developing software. They expanded operations into a two-bedroom house, equipped with three Sun Microstations, and eventually developed a test site. After inviting 300 friends to beta test the site, Bezos opened Amazon.com, named after the meandering South American River, on July 16, 1995.
The initial success of the company was meteoric. With no press promotion, Amazon.com sold books across the United States and in 45 foreign countries within 30 days. In two months, sales reached $20,000 a week, growing faster than Bezos and his start-up team had envisioned.
Amazon.com went public in 1997 and many market analysts questioned whether the company could hold its own when traditional retailers launched their own e-commerce sites. Two years later, the start-up not only kept up, but also outpaced competitors, becoming an e-commerce leader.
Bezos continued to diversify Amazon’s offerings with the sale of CDs and videos in 1998, and later clothes, electronics, toys and more through major retail partnerships.
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