Jeff Bezos Through the Ages: The World’s Richest Person in the world - Cbl media

Jeff Bezos Through the Ages: The World’s Richest Person in Photos

Jeff Bezos Through the Ages: The World’s Richest Person in the world

When a 33-year-old Jeff Bezos took Amazon.com public in 1997, Wall Street was skeptical of the bookselling website started in a Seattle garage. One analyst even called thWe two-year-old company “Amazon.toast” after Barnes & Nobles announced plans to go online.

“I thought they had a pretty good argument!” Bezos later joked to Forbes. “But what they didn’t understand is how the internet shifts power to the customer.”

You can forget the toast. In 1998, the year after Amazon’s IPO, Bezos made Forbes’ annual list of the 400 richest Americans thanks to his 40% stake, then worth $1.6 billion.

Two decades later, Bezos reigns supreme on The Forbes 400 for the second year in a row—despite going through the world’s most expensive divorce. After giving a quarter of his Amazon shares to his ex-wife, MacKenzie, Jeff Bezos still has a nearly 12% stake in the $230 billion (sales) e-commerce giant.

This year’s Forbes 400 rankings will be released in full tomorrow. See how Bezos went from plucky startup founder to the 21st century’s Sam Walton.

LEGEND

Year: Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth

# Rank on The Forbes 400 List of richest Americans


forbes-cover-bezos-july271999
FORBES

1998: $1.6 billion

#102

During what will become known as the dot-com bubble, Bezos graces the cover of Forbes for the first time. The years won’t be as kind to the other internet icons who pose with Bezos. Only two others, Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang and Broadcom’s Henry Nicholas, Henry Nicholas, will still number among the 400 richest Americans in 2019.  

Bezos and pikachu toy
ASSOCIATED PRESS

1999: $7.8 billion

#18

Bezos and his stuffed Pikachu listen attentively at a news conference during which he announces that Amazon is expanding into home improvement goods, software, video games and gift recommendations.

Despite his billionaire status, Bezos isn’t yet the man who has everything. He lists a $1,000 DVD player and a Sinéad O’Connor CD on his personal Amazon Wish List.

Bezos in France Amazon

2000: $4.7 billion

48

Bezos celebrates the launch of Amazon France. Though Amazon hits 25 million active customers and gains market share in Europe, 2000 is one of Amazon’s toughest years. A Lehman Brothers analyst (wrongly) predicts the company will run out of cash in 2001, and Amazon stock finishes the year down 79%.

Also this year, Bezos secretly launches Blue Origin, a company that will aim to make space travel more accessible. It’s a longtime passion for Bezos, who was the president of Students for the Exploration & Development of Space while an undergrad at Princeton.

Schick Tennis Challenge X Bezos

2001: $1.2 billion

189

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos high five before their celebrity tennis match to raise money for breast cancer research. Bezos and tennis pro Pete Sampras play doubles against Gates and Andre Agassi. (Gates and Agassi win in a tiebreaker). At the time, Gates is the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $63 billion, while Bezos’ figure is $1.2 billion, his lowest net worth since he joined The Forbes 400 in 1998.

Amazon first book sold

2005: $4.8 billion

42

On the tenth anniversary of the launch of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos holds a copy of Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, by Douglas Hofstadter, the first book ever sold on Amazon.

Also in 2005, Bezos launches Amazon Prime. For an annual fee of $79, customers received unlimited two-day shipping with no minimum purchase requirement. Prime is met with skepticism about whether customers will pay for the “all-you-can-eat” express shipping program—and whether Amazon can afford the operational costs.

Amazon E Book Reader kindle

2007: $8.7 billion

35

Bezos introduces the Kindle, a $399 e-reader that has access to more than 90,000 books, magazines and newspapers. It sells out within six hours of release.

The Kindle has taken more than three years of development. Bezos’s only directive to his engineers was that the e-reader must download any book in 60 seconds or less. When an executive asked Bezos about the budget, he replied, “How much do we have?”2007: $8.7 billion

35

Bezos introduces the Kindle, a $399 e-reader that has access to more than 90,000 books, magazines and newspapers. It sells out within six hours of release.

The Kindle has taken more than three years of development. Bezos’s only directive to his engineers was that the e-reader must download any book in 60 seconds or less. When an executive asked Bezos about the budget, he replied, “How much do we have?”

 Bezos Jeff Mackenzie idaho

2010: $12.6 billion

18

Jeff and his wife, MacKenzie, wearing matching windbreakers, arrive at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, also known as “billionaires’ summer camp.”

That fall, the e-commerce company ventures into Hollywood with the launch of Amazon Studios. It becomes the first streaming service to win a Golden Globe for Best Series and be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, beating Netflix and Hulu to the punch.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Season 4  Jeff Bezos

2012: $23.2 billion

11

Bezos swings by 30 Rock to promote the new Kindle Fire on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The choice to sell the tablets at a break-even price hurts short-term profits.

“We are comfortable planting seeds and waiting for them to grow into trees,” Bezos tells Forbes. “We don’t focus on the optics of the next quarter; we focus on what is going to be good for customers.”

Amazon's Bezos Bets $250 Million on Washington Post Revival

2013: $27.2 billion

12

In August, Bezos buys the Washington Post and its sister publications from the Graham family after eight decades of ownership. The $250 million price tag is less than 1% of Bezos’s net worth.

That same summer, Amazon stock breaks $300 a share for the first time after a landmark antitrust case finds Apple guilty of colluding with publishers to raise e-book prices.

Bezos india

2014: $30.5 billion

15

Bezos catches a ride on a truck in Bangalore. Amazon India, launched the year prior, is already India’s largest store with 17 million products, but Amazon invests an additional $2 billion to cement its status.

Later that fall, Amazon ups the ante with its Black Friday sales extravaganza, releasing new door-busting deals every ten minutes for eight straight days.

Amazon Opens First Brick-And-Mortar Bookstore In Seattle

4

In November, Amazon opens its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, a wink at the traditional chains (like Borders) that it left in the dust. One of the recommended reads is Traps by MacKenzie Bezos, with a personal endorsement from Jeff.

Earlier that year, Amazon celebrates the 20th anniversary of the company with its first Prime Day. On July 15, Prime subscribers order 34.4 million items worldwide, purchasing 398 items per second. Some of the hottest items: 56,000 box sets of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, 47,000 televisions and 12,000 Fifty Shades of Grey: Unrated Edition Blu-ray discs.

BLUE ORIGIN SHEPARD  bezos

2017: $81.5 billion

2

Bezos, doing his best impression of Tom Cruise in Top Gun, unveils Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a suborbital vehicle designed to take tourists to space. Bezos once said he funds the space company by selling roughly $1 billion of Amazon stock a year.

Three months after introducing the New Shepard, Bezos briefly became the richest person in the world—for less than four hours.

Jeff Bezos 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Roaming Arrivals

2018: $160 billion

1

Jeff and MacKenzie make a cameo at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. It is one of their last public appearances together.

The same year, Bezos becomes the first centibillionaire on The Forbes 400, topping the list with a net worth of $160 billion.

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON-VIP

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