Mr. Bezos, who owns about 17 percent of Amazon, has enjoyed what could be the most rapid personal-wealth surge in history. As Amazon’s share price has more than tripled since 2015, its leader has added more than $50 billion to his net worth, bringing his current total to around $84 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is now less than $6 billion shy of taking the title of the world’s richest person from Bill Gates, who has held the crown for 18 of the past 23 years.
Mr. Bezos’ wealth is proof of Amazon’s seemingly unstoppable growth and dominance in a wide range of fields, including online retailing and cloud computing. It adds another Horatio Alger story to the mythmaking machine of American wealth — showcasing someone from the middle class who was adopted by his Cuban-immigrant stepfather, quit his Wall Street job to start selling books online from his garage and created a company now worth nearly a half trillion dollars.
Sort of crazy that for all the talk of "Silicon Valley" that the world's two most wealthy tech titans (and people, in general) both live and operate in Seattle... (While the third richest man lives in Nebraska.)
Experts on nonprofits and friends of Mr. Bezos say he has been more focused on building Amazon and would probably turn to philanthropy later. The more wealth he creates today, they said, the more he can give away later.
Granted, money has never been Mr. Bezos’ public goal. Like many of today’s tech tycoons, he has said his mission is changing the world and satisfying customers rather than getting rich. In a commencement speech at Princeton in 2010, he recounted his choice to quit his comfortable job in finance in 1994 to take a risk on selling books online.
“I took the less safe path to follow my passion,” he said, “and I’m proud of that choice.”
I'll say. One other random aside about Bezos:
He is one of the largest landowners in America, with nearly 300,000 acres.Read more...