- Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is the richest person alive.
- He’s the first person in modern history to accumulate a fortune of over $100 billion.
- He spends his $150 billion fortune on real estate across the US, a $65 million Gulfstream Jet, and his space exploration company Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of ecommerce giant Amazon, is the wealthiest person alive and the first person in modern history to accumulate a fortune of over $100 billion.
Bezos has an estimated net worth of $156 billion, according to Forbes, largely from his holdings in Amazon. From real estate to space travel, here’s how Bezos spends his money.
CEO of Amazon has bought tech firms, owns‘The Washington Post’ newspaper and has invested in developing Blue Origin rockets to send people into space
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, the source of much of his wealth, on July 5, 1994.
Bezos’ parents were reportedly shocked that he would give up a cushy Wall Street job in order to sell books over the internet.
Bezos’ parents eventually came around and invested about a quarter million dollars in the fledgling company, a stake that would be worth as much as $30 billion today.
So how does the world’s wealthiest man spend his money?
Bezos has homes across the U.S.
His home base, a lake house in Medina, Wash., is estimated to be worth $25 million, according to Wealth-X. Neighbors include the now No. 2 richest guy in the world, Bill Gates.
In Washington D.C., Bezos owns a 27,000-square-foot home that, with a purchase price of $23 million, according to the Washington Post, is the most expensive house in his fancy Kalorama neighborhood. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama just bought the second-most expensive housein the enclave, and Ivanka Trump is also a neighbor.
Bezos’s mansion was formerly a museum.
The Amazon founder also owns a 2.03-acre property in Beverly Hills, Calif., worth about $25 million. And in Manhattan, Bezos’ three linked apartments in The Century building on Central Park West are worth $17 million, according to Wealth-X.
The space race
Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are famous for their otherworldly missions. But space travel is a passion for Jeff Bezos too. He founded aerospace company Blue Origin to make space tourism more affordable.
Bezos is selling about $1 billion in Amazon stock a year to fund the venture, reports The New York Times. He believes Blue Origin could have “paying customers” on short trips to space by 2018.
For his love of space, Bezos also financed the recovery of “the remains of several Apollo booster-rocket engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 14,000 feet down,” starting in 2013, according to the Seattle Times. NASA donated a restored F-1 booster to the Museum of Flight in Seattle in 2015 at the CEO’s request.
Bezos is famous for having his wife drive him to work in a 1996 Honda Accord long after he became a multimillionaire. But he does have some more expensive vehicles.
For example, he owns a top-of-the-line, $65 million private jet, the 2015 Gulfstream G-650ER, via his holding company, Poplar Glen, says Wealth-X. The model is the “longest range business jet and has a top speed of Mach .925, according to the Robb Report.
Inside a mountain on Bezos’s property in Texas, workers are constructing one of several 10,000-year clocks. The clock, which is meant to run for 10,000 years, is the brainchild of The Long Now foundation, and Bezos has invested a reported $42 million into the project.
The CEO has helped bankroll some big names.
Bezos Expeditions has invested in businesses including Basecamp, Juno Therapeutics, Workday and Twitter.
Bezos himself has invested in the likes of Airbnb, Uber and Google, among many others, reports Business Insider (in which Bezos has also invested). And the CEO also has Nash Holdings, LLC, through which The Washington Post was acquired for a reported $250 million.
In May, Bezos was spotted vacationing in Rome, Italy, with his wife MacKenzie, his parents and his siblings and their spouses. The group visited Campo dei Fiori Market and Piazza Novona, among other sights.
Compared to fellow billionaires like Gates and Warren Buffett, Bezos’ charitable contributions have been relatively limited. Bezos recently gave $35 million to Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reports The New York Times. And in May, Bezos gave $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
According to Weath-X, in 2015 the Bezos Family Foundation had more than $54 million in assets and donated more than $20 million. Recipients include Teach for America, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, the Long Now Foundation, Aspen University and Woodland Park Zoological Society.
Bezos also donated $2.7 to the University of Washington Foundation (2013), $2.5 million to Washington United for Marriage (2012) and $15 million to Princeton University, his alma mater, according to Wealth-X.
And the Amazon CEO may be looking for more philanthropic endeavors — he recently tweeted a request for ideas that will produce more immediate results.