- 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.
“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.
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?”
“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!”
MacKenzie made the first move and asked Jeff out to lunch. They were engaged within three months and married within six.
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.
Source: “CBS This Morning“
MacKenzie became an accountant for Amazon, making her one of the company’s earliest employees.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.