How Jeff Bezos' History Shows Ties to Amazon HQ2 Finalist Cities

Several of the states where Bezos, now 54, has lived showed up on the list of cities for Amazon's new global headquarters

Amazon's future looks bright, as the company announced Tuesday that the tech giant will open two new global headquarters in Northern Virginia and New York City. And CEO Jeff Bezos topped the latest Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of $160 billion.

But Bezos wasn't born a billionaire.

He was the son of a 17-year-old mom who was a high school senior in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, was briefly married to her high school boyfriend, and and then they divorced.

When Bezos, born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, was 4, his mother married Miguel "Mike" Bezos. The Cuban immigrant moved to Florida as a teen, taught himself English and earned a degree from the University of New Mexico.

When he recently spoke at The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Bezos called his adoptive father his "real dad, not my biological dad."

Several of the states where Bezos, now 54, has lived showed up on the list of cities for Amazon's new global headquarters. 

New Mexico holds important memories for Bezos, but didn't make the short list of Amazon HQ2 cities.

The Bezos family next lived in Texas. Austin and Dallas made the short list of cities, but not Houston, where the family settled for Bezos's father's job with Exxon. In elementary school in the state, Bezos said he was first interested in computers.

The family then moved to Miami, where Bezos went to high school and graduated as valedictorian. Miami would later make the Amazon HQ2 short list.

Next, Bezos attended Princeton University and graduated with honors and degrees in electrical engineering and computer science. Newark, New Jersey, would make the list.

As a recent college graduate, Bezos worked on Wall Street for several engineering-related firms. At one firm, he met the woman who would become his wife.

New York held fond memories, but Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos chose to settle in Seattle. There, Bezos tested out his idea for an online bookstore. That company, of course, would grow to become Amazon.

Washington state became the site of Amazon's first headquarters.

Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013, cementing his link to Washington, D.C.

The billionaire in 2016 purchased a mansion in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood of D.C. for $23 million. With the announcement of HQ2 coming to Arlington, Washingtonians may soon be seeing more of Bezos.

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