Jeff Bezos

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Time Person of the Year 1999

Jeffrey Preston "Jeff" Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is the founder, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Amazon.com. Bezos, a Tau Beta Pi graduate of Princeton University, worked as a financial analyst for D. E. Shaw & Co. before founding Amazon in 1994.

Contents

Early life and background

Bezos' maternal ancestors were settlers who lived in Texas, and over the generations had acquired a 25,000 acre (101 km2 or 39 miles2) ranch in Cotulla. Bezos' maternal grandfather was a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission in Albuquerque. He retired early to the ranch, where Bezos spent most summers of his youth, working with his grandfather at the enormously varied tasks essential to the operation. At an early age, he displayed a striking mechanical aptitude -as a toddler, he tried dismantling his crib with a screwdriver.[2]

Jeff Bezos was born to a teenage mother, Jackie, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her marriage to his father lasted little more than a year. When Jeff was five, she remarried, this time to Miguel Bezos. Miguel was born in Cuba, emigrated to the United States alone at age 15, and worked his way through the University of Albuquerque. After the marriage, the family moved to Houston, Texas, and Miguel became an engineer for Exxon. Jeff attended River Oaks Elementary in Houston from 4th to 6th grade.

Bezos showed intense and varied scientific interests at an early age. He rigged an electric alarm to keep his younger siblings out of his room and maintain his privacy. He converted his parents' garage into a laboratory for his science projects. The family moved to Miami, Florida, where Bezos attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School.[3] While in high school, he attended the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida; which helped him receive a Silver Knight Award in 1982.[4] He entered Princeton University, planning to study physics, but soon returned to his love of computers and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and electrical engineering. Bezos was awarded an honorary doctorate in Science and Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.

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