Jeff Bezos topped the list of the wealthiest people in business worldwide for several years. However, he has moved down to spot four over the past few months.
Jeff’s run to the top wasn’t easy. It took him over two decades to build Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace.
Amazon isn’t the only company Jeff Bezos has built during his career, though. He founded other companies, including Amazon Studios and Blue Origin, and owns The Washington Post. Here’s everything you want to know about Jeff Bezos’s net worth, how he made his fortune, and how he uses his wealth to make the world a better place.
How Much is Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth?
According to Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, Jeff Bezos’s net worth is $117.5 billion. He’s the fourth wealthiest person as of November 2022, trailing behind Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault & family, and Gautam Adani.
Jeff’s net worth has been fluctuating for a while. His wealth surged significantly during the pandemic, thanks to shoppers’ preference to buy supplies online. However, a slump in Amazon’s share price and an increase in the value of other companies like Tesla put Jeff Bezos at number 4.
How did Jeff Bezos Make His Money?
Everyone knows Bezos built Amazon, but there’s more to his multi-billion dollar empire. He owns multiple businesses, including Blue Origin, Zappos, Elemental Tech, Souq.com, The Washington Post, and Whole Foods.
Jeff Bezos (Jeffrey Preston Bezos) was born on 12th January 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents divorced a year after his birth, so Jeff never spent time with his biological father.
His early years weren’t exactly easy, but Bezos was an innovative child. In her book Jeff Bezos: King of Amazon, Josepha Sherman writes, “From the time he was a toddler, Bezos was busy trying to change his world.”
After graduating from Miami Palmetto high school, he joined Princeton and double-majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Thanks to his excellent grades, Bezos got a headstart in his career working at Wall Street companies like Fitel and D.E. Shaw.
Jeff founded Amazon, then an online bookstore, in 1994 with $10,000. Soon after, he added videos, music records, electronic equipment, and more products to Amazon. By May 1997, Amazon was a public company, and a year later, Jeff made the Forbes 400 list.
In 2018, Jeff claimed the top spot as the world’s richest man. Bezos’ net worth was $150 billion pre-divorce. Bezos paid MacKenzie Bezos roughly $35 billion worth of Amazon stock in their divorce, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.
Now that he’s a billionaire, Bezos is rolling up his sleeves, trying to fulfill his childhood ambitions of being a space entrepreneur.
Bezos has committed to investing $1 billion every year in Blue Origin, his space exploration company that’s now “making hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue annually,” according to Bob Smith, CEO of Blue Origin.
The billionaire entrepreneur became one of the first humans to fly in Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft, a suborbital space tourism vehicle.
Amazon reportedly paid over $1.2 billion to acquire Zoox, a self-driving vehicle startup, in 2020. In June 2022, Jesse Levinson, the co-founder and CTO at Zoox, revealed that they had a vehicle operate successfully “with no one inside, no chase vehicle, and no emergency stops, all on open, private roads with non-Zoox agents, including pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and trucks.”
While Zoox may not be adding substantially to Bezos’ net worth right now, internal experts are confident that Zoox might become one of the leading self-driving brands in the future.
Other Businesses Adding to Bezos’ Net Worth
Over time, Amazon started offering cloud computing services (Amazon Web Services), audiobooks, web hosting, and other services.
During this time, Bezos also acquired stakes in other businesses. He acquired Zappos, Audible, and Twitch. He also acquired The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million and Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion.
Bezos’ net worth is the value of his stake in all of his businesses and investments. However, net worth isn’t equal to income. Jeff takes home a salary of $81,840 a year. It’s common for the wealthiest in the world to draw a small salary because they can always sell shares to get some coffee money. Salary isn’t his only income, though — he brings in $1,681,840 of total income each year.
Bezos has invested millions in real estate on the East and West Coasts. His most expensive properties include a Beverly Hills home, a 30,000-sq.ft. lakeside property in Washington, and a 10,000-sq.ft. Manhattan apartment. Jeff Bezos’ real estate portfolio also includes some of the country's largest commercial properties that he owns via Amazon.
What Philanthropic Initiatives has Jeff Bezos Undertaken?
Bezos donates a significant amount of money to multiple charitable organizations and also runs his own funds. While Jeff didn’t sign the Giving Pledge, Forbes estimates that Bezos has donated over $2.4 billion so far in his life, and he said he plans on giving away most of his wealth during his interview with CNBC.
Here are Bezos’ most significant philanthropic initiatives:
Pledged $10 Billion Towards Fighting Climate Change
Bezos pledged $10 billion to fight climate change via the Bezos Earth Fund. The Earth Fund’s goal is to grant money to programs and institutions focused on preserving the ecosystem, fighting inequities caused by climate change, reducing the economy’s carbon footprint, and helping programs better track the impact of a green economy.
Committed $2 Billion to Help the Homeless
The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund has committed to donating $2 billion to organizations that help the homeless. The money will be used to create systems that will help low-income communities gain stability. The fund was founded in 2018 and has already donated over $500 million in grants. In November 2022, Jeff Bezos announced a $123 million donation via the Day 1 Families fund.
Donated $200 Million to the Smithsonian
Bezos donated $200 million to the Smithsonian in 2021 for multiple purposes, including creating the Bezos Learning Center and renovating the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Bezos donates to various organizations for purposes like helping nonprofits inspire future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via the Club for the Future (a Blue Origin foundation). Bezos also donated millions to Mary’s Place to build a new shelter.
How much is Jeff Bezos worth?
Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated $117.5 billion.
What are the main sources of Jeff Bezos’ fortune?
Jeff Bezos has multiple businesses, including Amazon and Blue Origin. Bezos also holds shares of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and has an impressive real estate portfolio with properties in Washington, Manhattan, Texas, and other cities.
What is Jeff Bezos’ stake in Amazon?
Bezos holds an estimated 11.1% stake in the company, estimated to be over $90 billion at the current prices.
What is Jeff Bezos’ stake in Google?
Bezos invested $250,000 in Google a few months after it was founded. When Google went public six years later, Bezos’ stake in Google was roughly $3.3 million. However, it’s a personal investment, so there’s no way to confirm if Bezos still holds that stake, which might be valued at over $8 billion.
It’s natural to be curious about billionaires and their life. How did they get there? What do they spend their money on? What do they spend their days doing? It’s an elite club many want to join. But getting there seems difficult, if not impossible — it’s as if they have a secret.
Well, they do! The surest way to create tremendous wealth is to build a business you can sell, then invest your profits. The first step? Finding the perfect business begins right here.