(Getty Images)

  • 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 (R1.4 trillion).
  • He spends his 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.

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, the source of much of his wealth, on July 5, 1994.

(Getty Images)

Bezos' parents were reportedly shocked that he would give up a cushy Wall Street job in order to sell books over the internet.

Jon Erlichman

Source: "The Everything Store" via Business Insider

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.

(Getty Images)

Amazon made its initial public offering on May 15, 1997. Since that day, the split-adjusted stock price has increased over 97,000%.

Yahoo Finance

Source: Yahoo Finance

Amazon's rise left several early internet competitors in the dust. In the company's first post-IPO shareholder letter, Bezos mentioned strategic partnerships with several peers like America Online, Prodigy, and Yahoo that have either gone out of business entirely or been purchased by competitors since.

YouTube/AdventuresInHD

Source: Business Insider

Amazon has steadily grown over the last two decades, and now sells a wide variety of consumer products, electronics, and digital media.

Amazon

Source: Amazon

Another big recent growth area is Amazon Web Services. As of February 2018, the company's cloud services was a $17.5 billion business.

Business Insider


Amazon's rise is the primary source of Bezos' $150 billion fortune. Bezos remains Amazon's largest stockholder, owning 16% of the ecommerce giant.

Bezos' wealth is so massive that, according to Business Insider calculations, spending $88,000 to him is similar to an average American spending $1.

Bezos is one of the country's biggest landowners, and he and his family own five homes across the US.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

One estate, with two homes on 2.1 hectares of land, is located in Medina, WA, not far from Amazon's Seattle headquarters.

Stephen Brashear/Getty

Source: Business Insider

Bezos also owns a Spanish-style mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

Dream Homes Magazine

Source: Business Insider

He also owns a ranch in Van Horn, Texas, which serves as a base for his Blue Origin space exploration company.

Google Earth

Source: Business Insider

Bezos purchased a townhouse in Washington, DC in 2016.

Google Earth

Source: Business Insider

Finally, Bezos owns three condos in the Century building at 25 Central Park West in Manhattan.

David Shankbone/Wikipedia Commons

Source: Business Insider

Bezos has traditionally been somewhat frugal with his ground transportation. As recently as 2013, he was still driving a Honda Accord, according to the book "The Everything Store."

David Ryder/Getty Images

Source: "The Everything Store" via Business Insider

However, Bezos also owns a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet. Recent flight records show that the jet has made several stops in the Washington, DC area, fuelling speculation that this could be the location of Amazon's planned second headquarters, HQ 2.

Source: Business Insider

One of Bezos' more notable purchases in recent years was his acquisition of The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013.

Source: Business Insider


Bezos has not engaged in public philanthropy to the same extent as many of his hyper-billionaire peers like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who have both pledged to donate the majority of their fortunes to charity.

Source: Business Insider


Bezos has, however, supported Mary's Place, a Seattle organisation that provides shelter and employment training to those who are homeless, and TheDream.US, which supports people who were brought to the US as undocumented immigrants when they were children.

Getty/Chip Somodevilla

Source: Business Insider

Bezos also supports some more unusual ventures, like the Long Now Foundation, which seeks to build a giant mechanical "10,000 year clock" underground in West Texas.

10000 year clock

Source: Business Insider

The clock is intended to be a "symbol for long-term thinking," according to a tweet from Bezos.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Bezos' most ambitious venture may be Blue Origin, his space exploration company.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Blue Origin has had several successful test flights of its reusable New Shepard rocket, and is currently developing the larger, mostly reusable New Glenn rocket system, intended to compete with Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Blue Origin

Source: Business Insider

In the long term, Bezos intends for Blue Origin to support large-scale human spaceflight, with the goal of colonising the solar system.

Source: Business Insider

Bezos told Matthias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider's parent company Axel Springer, that he considers Blue Origin "the most important work [he's] doing."

Blue Origin

Source: Business Insider

Indeed, Bezos told Döpfner that he plans to spend his entire fortune on space exploration, saying "I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that."

HO/Mike Brown/Space Florida

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: