is the president, founder, and CEO of
Amazon.com where he also acts as chairman
of the board.
Preston Bezos was born on January 12,
1964 in Albuquerque, NM. He and his mother
relocated to Houston, Texas, when Bezos
was five to live with his new stepfather.
Jeff Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary
School in Houston until the sixth grade
after which he attended Miami Palmetto
Senior High School when the family moved
to Miami, Florida. Bezos spent many summers
of his childhood on his grandfather's
25,000 acre ranch in Cotulla, Texas helping
perform various duties necessary for upkeep.
He showed early mechanical aptitude and
eventually turned his parents' garage
into his own personal laboratory. He eventually
attended Princeton University where he
joined the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity and
graduated with a major in computer science
and electrical engineering. He graduated
with a grade point average of 4.2, higher
than the "perfect score" of
4.0 due to his overwhelming number of
"A-pluses" that earned him 4.3
his new degree, Bezos began working with
computers on Wall Street. He helped create
a computer network for Fitel for use in
international trade and later worked for
D.E. Shaw & Co. He founded Amazon.com
in 1994 and was criticized by many in
the industry who projected that his fledgling
business would fail. Since Amazon's original
goal was to sell anything, starting with
books, many believed that the rival website
launched by Barnes and Noble in 1997 would
quickly put him out of business. Bezos,
however, remained eternally optimistic,
even after Amazon shares dropped from
$100 to $6 as a result of these criticisms.
flourished and quickly led the market
for online retailers. Bezos has been known
to work by numbers and spreadsheets and
is well known for his ability to quantify
data and statistics into his marketing
and business goals. Amazon.com continued
to be profitable and grew to sell a wide
range of objects both new and used. Bezos
has profited from his venture and made
it onto Forbes list of the world's wealthiest
people for many years.
2004, Bezos started a new company centered
on human spaceflight called Blue Origin.
The concept was originally to create an
"enduring human presence" in
space through regular sub-orbital trips
via specially designed aircrafts. The
program eventually focused more on creating
greater opportunities for anyone to experience
sub-orbital flight. Blue Origin's named
its craft "New Shepherd". The
craft contains more on-board control than
ground support, making it more like an
airplane than a spacecraft. Blue Origin
designed it to take off and land vertically
rather than horizontally. They first flew
a prototype on November 13, 2006.
also helped develop Amazon Mechanical
Turk, one of Amazon's web services that
maximize computer and human interaction.
Bezos introduced the phrase "artificial
artificial intelligence" to help
explain the principal behind these services.
Since humans perform certain tasks better
than computers, individuals should continue
to perform these activities and leave
computers to tasks that are better suited
to machines. Humans, for example, are
better at recognizing gender in other
people, making them better suited for
this task. These are known as Human Intelligence
Tasks (HITs) and Amazon helps promote
these tasks by hosting a crowd-surfing
marketplace to help match "Requesters"
Bezos ranked 35 on the Forbes list of
the world's wealthiest people in 2007
when he was worth an estimated $8.7 billion.
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