Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1964. His mother, Jackie, was in her teens when he was born and she was only married to his biological father for about a year. She married Mike Bezos when Jeff was four years old. Mike was a Cuban who escaped to the United States when he was fifteen. He put himself through college in New Mexico and eventually became an engineer at Exxon.
Jeff went to Princeton and studied electrical engineering and computer science. He graduated summa cum laude in 1986 with a GPA of 4.3 on a 4.0 scale.
After he graduated from Princeton, Jeff joined a high-tech startup in New York called FITEL. After two years at FITEL, he joined Bankers Trust Company. At Bankers Trust, he setup computer systems that managed $250 billion in assets and eventually became the company’s youngest vice president.
In 1990, he joined D.E. Shaw and Company. He helped the company build the most technically advanced hedge funds on Wall Street. In 1994, Jeff read a statistic that said the Internet was growing at a rate of 2300% per year. He decided to leave D.E. Shaw and Company to form Amazon.com, which he named after the seemingly endless South American River.
He and his wife, MacKenzie, drove to Seattle to be close to a book wholesaler called Ingram. Jeff, a programmer named Shel Kaphan, and a contractor named Paul Barton-Davis built the prototype for Amazon.com in Jeff’s garage in Seattle. They spent a year...