If Jeff Bezos is worth $166.8 billion, how much do you think his mother is worth?
It’s perhaps not something you’ve ever thought about but the answer’s $30 billion.
But while Bezos’ success story is inspiring, his mother’s story is equally remarkable.
But if the truth be told, his upbringing was far from privileged – he was born to a teen mother who struggled to make ends meets.
Jacklyn Bezos shared her tale in a 2019 commencement address at Cambridge College, prompting her proud son to tweet “My mom’s incredible story. Wow. So grateful. So proud. #Grit”
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the 1960s was challenging and met with judgement.
School administrators told Jacklyn she couldn’t complete her high school education.
Not to be deterred, she pushed back against the odds, and eventually, the school allowed her to return albeit under strict conditions.
The conditions, which were harsh and dehumanizing to say the least, included strict time constraints, limited social interaction and exclusion from graduation ceremonies.
But Jacklyn persevered, complied and graduated high school.
That’s not all, though, as when Jeff Bezos was just 17 months old, Jacklyn divorced his biological father, Ted Jorgensen.
She then sought work as a secretary and landed a job that paid $190 per month, which was enough to afford her own apartment.
Jacklyn was eager to continue her education, so enrolled in night school and creatively managed to bring her son to class, filling two duffel bags with textbooks and baby essentials.
And it was while at night school classes that she met her future husband, Mike Bezos, a Cuban refugee whom Jeff fondly refers to as his father.
However, Mike’s job meant the family had to move, so Jacklyn’s dream of a college graduation was put on hold for years.
Jacklyn never gave up on her educational aspirations, though, and after sending her own kids off to college, she felt a longing to join them.
She eventually returned to college with relentless determination and, more than two decades after completing high school, she finally achieved her goal and graduated from college herself.
It’s a little known fact that Jacklyn and Mike Bezos played a crucial financial role in Jeff’s journey to success.
Back in 1995, Jeff approached his parents with a bold proposition to fund his new website, Amazon.com.
His parents loaned him $245,573, which was a significant gamble considering the internet was still in its infancy.
Little did they know that their investment would turn out to be one of the most profitable decisions in history.
Talk about a return on investment – that initial $245,573 has ballooned to nearly $858 million today.
It was a massive gamble, but it paid off in a monumental way, as they’re now one of the wealthiest families in the world.
According to Bloomberg, assuming they kept their holdings over the years, Jacklyn and Mike’s net worth is estimated to be around $30 billion, which is a 12,000,000 percent increase.