Jeff Bezos' biological dad didn't know he was his father until 2012
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The biological dad of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos didn't know who his son was until 2012, when Bezos was in his late 40s.
Pretty much everyone in the world has heard of Bezos, but while Ted Jorgensen might have been familiar with the man who is now one of the world's richest, he had no idea just how close they actually were.
Jorgensen and Bezos' mother, Jackie Gise, were just teenagers when they welcomed Bezos - then named Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen - into the world in 1964.
Gise filed for divorce the following year and later married Miguel Bezos. In 1968, she contacted Jorgensen to ask him to let her new husband adopt their son, and to ask him not to interfere in their lives.
Fast forward to 2012, when Jorgensen, then 69 years old, worked as a bike shop owner in Arizona. One day, Jorgensen was contacted by an author who revealed to him who his son had grown up to be.
Speaking to Brad Stone, a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter and author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Jorgensen explained: "I didn't know where he was, if he had a good job or not, or if he was alive or dead."
The bike shop owner, who passed away in 2015, said he lost track of the family a few years after agreeing to the adoption, having believed his son would have a better life with Jackie and Miguel.
He forgot the new husband's last name, and in 1974, moved to Phoenix, where he began his bike shop before moving it to Glendale, California.
When Jorgensen learned about who his son had grown to become in 2012, Bezos had a net worth of $18.4 billion, according to The World's Billionaires by Forbes magazine.
His wealth comes from the success of Amazon, which Bezos, now 58, founded out of his garage in Seattle in 1994.
The Amazon founder considers Miguel his father, and has previously praised him for moving to America from Cuba at 16 years old, saying: "His grit, determination, and optimism are inspiring."
Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in July 2021 and sold $8.8 billion worth of his Amazon stock, but continues to own just under 10 percent of the company. As well as the online shopping site, Bezos owns The Washington Post and his aerospace company Blue Origin.
Bezos' latest net worth, according to Forbes, is $150.7 billion.
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Topics: Celebrity, Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Money