Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was declared Friday the richest person in the world, dethroning Microsoft founder Bill Gates with a net worth of $105.1 billion. Bezos’ rapid ascension is due to a rapid rise in Amazon stock value after an impressive Q4.
The market value of the e-commerce giant jumped nearly 57 percent following a surge in share prices over the last 12 months. A separate report shows that Amazon was behind 89 percent of online spending during the last U.S. holiday season, which started with Thanksgiving.
In October, Bezos’ net worth passed Gates’ for the first time due to an abrupt spike in share prices. One month later, on Black Friday, another spike pushed Bezos’ fortune past $100 billion.
Gates’ fortune would have been $150 billion, had he not given some assets to his family’s charity – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1996, Gates has transferred $2.9 billion in cash and about 700 million of company shares to the foundation.
Bezos is also the owner of the Washington Post and the private space flight operator Blue Origin.
Bezos Had a Rough Childhood
However, Bezos did not start life as a rich person. He was born to a teen mom and a dad unable to pay his bills on time.
I won the lottery with my mom. Thanks for literally everything, Mom,
Bezos tweeted in May 2017.
Bezos recalls that when his dad flew to Mexico to marry his mom, he was making $1.25 per hour in a retail store. His dad was also a heavy drinker. When Jeff was 17 months old, his parents divorced.
His mom remarried to a Cuban immigrant, Miguel Bezos, who adopted the future billionaire when he was four years old. His rough childhood seems to have prompted Bezos to become obsessed with success. Just like Bezos, Apple’s founder Steve Jobs and Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison were also adopted.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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