The first man to reach $100 billion in net worth twice and the second man, after Microsoft's Bill Gates to become a three-figure billionaire, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who celebrates his birthday on January 12, certainly has much to laugh on his way to bank as he became the richest man ever in human history, with a net worth of $106 billion. Bezos first reached the $100 billion mark in November last year.
Born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, his wealth can buy 2,500 tonnes of gold, which is equal to the weight of 463 adult African male elephants. It can also buy him 1.53 billion barrels of crude oil - India, between January to November 2017, imported 1.38 billion barrels of crude oil.
Bezos first entered the billionaires club in 1998, when Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, had $51 billion in his kitty. It has taken 20 years for Bezos to become the world's richest man, with his net worth $13 billion more than that of Gates.
Amazon, which started off as an online book seller, is the world's biggest online retailer, has made profits in only 12 of its 23 year existence, with full year results of 2017 still awaited.
Bezos first shortlisted the name The Everything Store, before briefly toying with the name Cadabra, changing it to MakeItSo.com, which was inspired from Star Trek, before settling for Amazon. Bezos also registered several other doman names - among them Awake.com, Browse.com, Bookmall.com, Aard.com and even Relentless.com. In fact, type in Relentless.com even today and it takes you to the Amazon website.
The idea for selling books online came to Bezos after he received a tattered copy of Isaac Asimov's Cyberdreams for $6.04, that was bought through an online retailer.
Bezos' wealth represents almost 2 per cent of the total wealth of the world's 500 richest people and is 0.567 per cent of the US GDP. He earned nearly $41 billion in 2017, equivalent to earning $1,318 per second.
Bezos is known to be a hard taskmaster, much in the same mould as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Amazon's employee policies, while allowing them the perk of bringing in pet dogs to work, charges them for vehicular parking and snacks.
Bezos named his company Amazon after the world's largest river, the Amazon, registering its URL on November 1, 1994, while the site went live on July 16, 1995. The first investors in Amazon, apart from Bezos, who put in $10,000, were his mother and step father, who put in $100,000. His mother was the company's first accountant.
A lifelong Star Trek fan, Bezos had a cameo as a Starfleet official in Star Trek Beyond, released in 2016. He also played a cameo as a security guard in a 2004 movie, Tooth Fairy.
Bezos was also an early investor in Google, now known as Alphabet, with an investment of $250,000 that would be worth $3.65 billion at current market value.
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