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Things You Never Knew About Jeff Bezos

Updated October 13, 2018 1.7k views15 items

With a net worth of an astounding $139 billion and counting, Jeff Bezos is the single wealthiest person in the world. But as this list of fun facts about Bezos can attest, Amazon's founder and CEO has led an intriguing life.

Born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, NM, Bezos was adopted by his stepfather when his mother remarried. He grew up mostly in Houston, TX, where he excelled in school. Bezos graduated from Princeton University. From his earliest jobs (like a stint at McDonald's) all the way up to his current role, he has demonstrated an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to business.

  • Photo: J. Merritt/Contributor / Getty Images Entertainment

    He Survived A Helicopter Crash

    In March 2003, Bezos was a passenger in a helicopter crash in Texas. The chopper's tail end hit a mound of dirt, causing the aircraft to plummet. At the time, Bezos was scouting locations for a new business enterprise, Blue Origin, a spaceflight startup. Bezos and the three other people onboard survived the crash.

    "Avoid helicopters whenever possible," Bezos advised in 2004. "They're not as reliable as fixed-wing aircraft."

  • Photo: Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0

    He Helped Deliver Books During Amazon's Early Days

    Bezos's uber-strong work ethic has served him extremely well. When he first started Amazon in 1995, the company's headquarters was in Bezos's garage, and he helped deliver books to customers.

    To ensure he had enough money to keep the fledgling business afloat, Bezos economized wherever and whenever possible. He built his employees' desks by hand from discarded doors and old lumber, as well as supplied the workplace's electricity from cables he strung from the house to the garage office.

  • Photo: Amazon

    He Originally Named Amazon 'Cadabra'

    Amazon is not the company's original name. The retailer began as Cadabra, as in "abracadabra." Bezos abandoned the name, however, when people mistakenly called the business "Cadaver." Realizing the error of his ways, Bezos changed the name to Relentless.

    Bezos still owns the Relentless web domain, and if you type "" into your browser, it automatically redirects you to Amazon.

  • Photo: Michael J. Bennett / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    He Invented The Two-Pizza Team Rule

    One of Bezos's business theories has gained considerable attention: the two-pizza team rule. The approach aims to make team meetings as productive as possible. The two-pizza rule is simple: if two pizzas aren't enough to feed the meeting's attendees, there are too many people present for a truly productive conference. It streamlines everyone's efficiency and cuts unnecessary, time-consuming meetings.