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A look inside the 25-year marriage of the richest couple in history, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos — who met at work, were engaged in 3 months, and together owned more land than almost anyone else in America

A look inside the 25-year marriage of the richest couple in history, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos — who met at work, were engaged in 3 months, and together owned more land than almost anyone else in America

Jeff Bezos wife Mackenzie
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos met at work — he was the first person to interview her at the firm.
Evan Agostini/AP Images

  • Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, would divorce.
  • They were married in 1993, after meeting at D.E. Shaw & Co. Shortly afterward they relocated to Seattle to found Amazon, where MacKenzie Bezos was an early employee.
  • Today, Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated $137 billion, making him one of the richest people in modern history.

MacKenzie and Jeff first met at the investment management firm D.E. Shaw & Co. MacKenzie was a research associate, and Jeff was a vice president. Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie — a fellow Princeton grad — at the firm.

Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Source: Business Insider, Forbes, Vogue

“I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her résumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were,” he joked to Vogue in 2013.

David Ryder/Getty

Source: Vogue

After MacKenzie landed the job, she and Jeff became office neighbors. “All day long I listened to that fabulous laugh,” she told Vogue. “How could you not fall in love with that laugh?”

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Source: Vogue

Jeff said he knew from the beginning that he wanted to marry a resourceful person.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Wired, Business Insider

“Nobody knows what you mean when you say, ‘I’m looking for a resourceful woman,'” he told Wired in 1999. “If I tell somebody I’m looking for a woman who can get me out of a Third World prison, they start thinking Ross Perot … They have something they can hang their hat on!”

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Source: Wired, Business Insider

MacKenzie made the first move and asked Jeff out to lunch. They were engaged within three months and married within six.

Matt Cardy / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Wired

Then Jeff told MacKenzie about his business idea. She said that while she’s not a “business person,” she could hear the passion in her husband’s voice when he spoke. The following year, in 1994, they quit their jobs and traveled to Seattle to found Amazon.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Source: “CBS This Morning

MacKenzie became an accountant for Amazon, making her one of the company’s earliest employees.

Evan Agostini/AP Images

Source: Business Insider

Until about 1999, the couple rented a one-bedroom house in Seattle, according to Wired. Today, they own five houses across the US, in Medina, Washington; Beverly Hills, California; Van Horn, Texas; Washington, DC; and Manhattan, New York. Jeff is the 28th-largest landowner in the US.

AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia Commons

Source: Business Insider, Wired

But until 2013, MacKenzie still drove their four kids to school and then dropped Jeff off at work in their Honda. A family friend, Danny Hillis, told Vogue that the Bezoses “are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal.”

Richard Brian/Reuters

Source: Vogue

The family also adheres to a fairly normal routine, reportedly starting the day with a healthy breakfast. To spend more time with his family, Jeff never schedules early-morning meetings at Amazon.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Source: Entrepreneur, Inc.

When it comes to educating their four kids, Jeff and MacKenzie have tried a range of strategies, including “off-season travel, kitchen-science experiments, chicken incubation, Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids,” MacKenzie told Vogue.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Source: Vogue

MacKenzie — who was an assistant to Toni Morrison in college — is now a novelist. When she needs to write, she retreats to her own small apartment, where she writes until it’s time to pick the kids up from school. MacKenzie told Vogue that Jeff is her “best reader.”

Bruce Guenter/Flickr

Source: Vogue

But MacKenzie didn’t become a part of Amazon’s publishing imprint. “We are calling her the fish that got away,” Jeff told Vogue.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Source: Heavy.com, Vogue

Jeff told Vogue he would often buy clothes for MacKenzie on the fly. “Sometimes I call her and say, ‘What’s your such-and-such size?’ and she says, ‘Why?’ and I say, ‘None of your business!'” he said. “It delights her.”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

And the Amazon CEO has said he wraps up the day with a chore that MacKenzie appreciates: washing the dishes. “I’m pretty convinced it’s the sexiest thing I do,” he told Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget in 2014.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Source: Recode


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