Bill Gates was the richest man in the world for decades, but now there’s a new kid on the block. As the founder of Amazon and current CEO, Jeff Bezos’s net worth has skyrocketed to the top of the charts. He built the company from nothing and has quite an interesting tale to tell.
His portfolio of lavish real estate, generous charity donations, and multi-million dollar business investments land him perfectly in the billionaires club.
Currently, Bezos's net worth reportedly hovers around $138.5 billion as of May 2020. This number grows higher each day! Although his current net worth varies, he was up to around $150 billion until his divorce settlement of $35 billion went through.
When wondering about how much he’s worth, it might be more effective to search Bezos’s net worth today – his wealth is growing immensely by the minute. Based on last year’s assets, he makes an incredible $230,000 every minute. This is nearly $14 million per hour and around $336 million per year. Amazon is growing like a weed, so these numbers grew even higher in 2019.
Bezos taught himself how to be a leader from a young age. After begrudgingly working at McDonald’s for a summer in high school, he decided to open his first company with his girlfriend at the time. This was a 10-day educational summer camp for kids. They charged $600 per kid and signed up six students! For his first business, this is an impressive profit.
He was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the age of 56, he shows no signs of stopping (even though he could’ve retired ages ago). He spent his childhood on his grandparents' ranch in Texas, which he eventually acquired as his own to give his children the same experience.
Bezos graduated from Miami Palmetto high school as the Valedictorian and was a National Merit Scholar. He continued on to Princeton and graduated with an impressive 4.2 GPA. Although he dreamed of space travel as a child, he double-majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
He definitely knew how to create wealth from a young age, but Jeff Bezos’s education played a role in his success as well.
After college, he worked on Wall Street in New York for companies such as Fitel, Bankers Trust, and D.E. Shaw. He was promoted quickly and became the youngest vice president at D.E. Shaw! Soon after, he met his wife and they moved to Seattle, where he would create the largest eCommerce platform of the modern world.
Some might not recognize his name directly, but everyone knows the company he created. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer that seems to have taken over the world (at least, the United States). Millions have made Amazon their go-to source for household supplies, books, and pretty much everything else – even groceries with their new Amazon Go stores!
By 1998, Jeff’s net worth reached $1.6 billion, scoring him a spot on the Forbes 400 list. Amazon reported revenue of $233 billion in 2018.
Amazon started back in 1994 as an online used bookstore. He founded the company with just $10,000 of his own money. In just the first month of its launch, Amazon sold books to people in all 50 states and in 45 different countries. Ironically, Bezos held his first meetings at Barnes & Noble. Other booksellers have since folded, unable to compete.
They expanded into music soon after. Amazon went public in May of 1997. They’ve grown from selling books to being the go-to resource for everything you can imagine! With the creation of Amazon Kindle in 2007, Jeff Bezos introduced a new way of reading books. They offer cloud computing services, web hosting, audiobooks, and so on.
As the CEO of such a massive company, there were definitely roadblocks he had to overcome when managing and hiring the best talent for his customer service team. He has grown a list of principles that he still leans on today.
Amazon has recently also implemented its own, brand new grocery shopping experience – Amazon Go! These grocery stores allow Amazon Prime members to shop with no lines, no wait, and no checkout. You simply grab your items and go. There are currently 10 locations in San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle.
His net worth doesn’t reflect his actual salary from Amazon, which is a shocking $81,840. He’s been paid the same salary since 1998. Additionally, Amazon pays $1.6 million per year for Bezos’ business travel and security-related expenses.
How is he the richest person in the world with such a low salary? His 16% stake in Amazon is worth billions. He’s able to sell stocks whenever he needs a little pocket change.
There are plenty of top CEOs that take a low salary but have an extremely high net worth due to the value of their companies. For example, the Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg’s estimated net worth is around $70 billion. However, he takes home a yearly salary of just $1.
Jeff Bezos contributes to a wide amount of charities and even started his own fund. This is called the Bezos Day Fund – a $2 billion fund to support homeless families and educational programs in underserved communities. He has also donated $1 million to Mary’s Place in Seattle, and $33 million to TheDream.US, to name a few,
Aside from his $2 billion fund, he has given a total of $145 million to charity (less than 1% of his net worth).
If Amazon’s incredible success wasn’t enough, he takes interest in other business ventures as well. As his net worth grew and grew over time, he started to invest outside of Amazon. In 2016, he acquired The Washington Post for $250 million. Amazon has also acquired Zappos, Audible, and Twitch. Most recently, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Growing up, Bezos took a great interest in space travel. He even wanted to major in this at one point, but he chose the path of Computer Science. Even so, this degree didn’t tie him down. In 2003 after his great Amazon success, he started an aerospace company called Blue Origin and created a revolutionary rocket named New Shepard.
Before this, no rocket had ever been used more than one time. New Shepard was able to fly to the edge of space five times and land back home safely – all in less than a year (in 2015).
Bezos aims to promote reusability, as well as make space travel cheap and safe. He envisions “millions of people living and working in space, and exploring the entire solar system.” Along with Elon Musk’s vision for space travel, the industry has a promising future.
Blue Origin announced they would begin selling commercial tickets in 2019, but have not announced a price. Virgin Galactic, a competitor, has already started selling tickets for a $250,000 deposit.
Or should we say – mansions? This section could be an entire article on its own.
In 1993, Bezos met MacKenzie Tuttle at D.E. Shaw, their workplace at the time and were engaged to be married just three months later. In 1994, they moved to Seattle and Jeff started Amazon soon after. They have four children together.
After 25 years of marriage, they announced their divorce in January of 2019. Their split is the most expensive in history, boosting MacKenzie’s net worth to $35 billion. This made her the world’s third-richest woman.
Even with this loss, Bezos’s net worth remains the top in the world.
So, one reason so many people love reading articles like this - about people who've created massive, life-altering wealth - is curiosity. We want to know how'd they get so rich? What are they doing with all that money? What's their life like? It's almost as if there's this invisible wall we want to peer over, to see how "the other half" lives. It's as if the ultra-rich have secrets most people don't know. They DO! And that's good news, actually, because we can all learn them. Once we begin learning what they know, we can do what they did, and create the kind of life most people only wish they had. If you've got that same curiosity about "the other half" you should check this out.